Helen Mirren Just Reminded Me About This Ultra-Flattering Design Detail That Guarantees a Perfect Fit

It’s a game changer for summer, especially.

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Helen Mirren in Green Smock Dress

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It’s time to hear a little bit of commotion for Helen Mirren’s dress. No, I’m not talking about that periwinkle blue moment that she coordinated with a new blue ‘do. And no, I’m not talking about that black, sheer dress that is still living in my head rent-free weeks after its debut. I’m talking about that vivid green maxi that she recently wore to an event in Los Angeles. It’s the perfect summer piece, and I’m about to tell you why.

Back in late April, Mirren attended the Deadline Contenders Television event at Directors Guild of America, where she took part in a panel to discuss all things 1923, her new American Western drama series that also stars Harrison Ford. For the occasion, the Dame appeared to a hue that she (and frankly I) have been obsessed with lately: a vivid, lively Kelly green that’s showing zero signs of fading away. In fact, she wore a similar verdant just this week at the Cannes Film Festival, so it’s safe to say Mirren has a thing for green

Color aside — which, BTW, is 100 percent worth adding to your summer wardrobe ASAP — Mirren’s floor-length dress also reminded me about a game-changing detail that seals the deal for me when I buy dresses for the summer: smocking. Her maxi featured an upper bodice made entirely of the stretchy, ultra-flattering embroidery technique (the key detail), plus a flowy, tiered skirt, long, billowy sleeves, and subtle puff shoulders. 

That said, the smocking is what I’m wholeheartedly obsessed with because it adds an instant eye-catching element that just so happens to up the comfort level of a piece by an infinite amount. The material moves with you, and that’s because it’s embroidered in such a way that it stretches and forms to you — it’s almost like a custom fit. But somehow, it’s also ultra-flattering and the slightest bit compressive, so much so much that whenever I wear my smocked dresses or shirts, I feel like my waist looks really snatched — but I’m still free to move. TL;DR? It’s magical, and in my opinion, a totally underrated detail that everyone should get on board with right now.

The Cosima Nap Dress

Hill House Home

Shop now: $175; hillhousehome.com

Smock Bodice Cap Sleeve Cotton Dress


Shop now: $295; nordstrom.com

Nira Dress


Shop now: $158; aritzia.com

Nira Dress


Shop now: $248; thereformation.com

The mastermind behind the Nap dress, Hill House Home, is known for its gorgeous, supremely comfy minis and midis, with most of the brand’s designs featuring some sort of smocked bodice. And there’s a reason: it looks beautiful but it’s also comfy, and given the fact that comfort is at the heart of the design, it just makes sense. La Ligne has its fair share of smocked bodice dresses, but to be perfectly honest, there’s really no shortage of options out there because so many brands have infused their pieces with this much-beloved, game-changing detail. 

Ready to get smocked? Because trust me, you’ll be shocked at how good it is. Shop some of my favorite dresses that feature the detailing below.

The Ellie Nap Dress

Hill House Home

Shop now: $150; hillhousehome.com

Olympia Smocked Midi Dress


Shop now: $268; nordstrom.com

Striped puff-sleeve midi dress


Shop now: $50 (Originally $128); factory.jcrew.com

Selene Smocked Midi Dress


Shop now: $148; nordstrom.com

The Jersey Isabel Nap Dress

Hill House Home

Shop now: $175; hillhousehome.com

Seville Floral Print Smock Sundress


Shop now: $248; nordstrom.com

Sweetheart Neck Smock Bodice Dress


Shop now: $495; nordstrom.com

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