There's something about a steaming hot, sunny summer day that brings out the hippie in thousands of British women. Perhaps it's the fact that loose, flowing clothes are so comfortable. Perhaps it's because they look so cool, very different from the everyday and often boring-as-hell high street fare you find all over Britain. Some people love to buy Fair Trade, others love unusual, vibrant colour combinations and some of us just adore the wonderful, exotic fabrics typical of hippie fashion... plus the fact that no two hand-made dresses are the same.
We thought it'd be cool to look in detail at some of our most popular hippie dresses, styles that fly off our shelves the minute the weather warms up and the sun starts to smile at us. If you fancy buying a few pieces of iconic Brighton-sourced hippie clothing for women, here's some inspiration.
5 brilliant summer dress buys for hippie fashion fans
The wrap dress is such a flattering summer buy, perfect because you're in full control of the fit. We have ladies of every shape and size in Brighton and we're delighted to sell our fabulously pretty, patterned retro-style wrap dress in everything from tiny weeny to XL sizes.
It's made from purest 100% organic cotton with not so much as a sniff of nasty chemicals, which makes it a desirable item for those who prefer their fabrics natural. The three quarter sleeves are feminine and stylish, and the pretty A-line silhouette just skims the knee.
Like most of our dresses this one looks great over jeans or leggings too, and you can either dress it up for a thoroughly girly look or create something with a bit more oomph, teamed with big, chunky boots if you like. Tights are optional, stripy toning knee socks give it a funky boost and it's equally suitable whether you're off to a festival or attending a wedding - add a hat and pale tights and you're about as ladylike as it gets.
You know that free feeling you get when a perfectly-fitted sundress swirls fluidly around your legs, cool and fresh? We love that swishy look and feel! And this fabulous contemporary take on traditional tie dye is one of our biggest sellers for summer.
Available in a beautiful, clear, pale turquoise blue accented with basic black and sparkling white, the top is close-fitting with a sweet v neck and strappy straps, as pretty as it is practical. It also comes in the most gorgeous pink and grey, a gentle blue/grey accented with rich raspberry pink and clean, summery white.
Just like all our hippy dresses, it's enormously versatile. You can wear a tight long or short sleeved cotton top underneath if you like, or go for broke and show off those sun-browned shoulders. It can go as smart or casual as you like. And it's just one in a range of unique, beautiful gypsy / boho / hippy style clothes specially created for discerning women who love something much more than just a little bit different.
Not strictly a dress... but it isn't a classic jumpsuit either. Our fabulously exotic and wearable summer bandeau jumpsuit delivers the best of both worlds, bang on the catwalk button for the coming season, flowing and feminine. And perfect for a windy day, the kind of summer's day we often get down in Brighton. Wear this and you won't find yourself showing the world and his dog your knickers every time there's a stiff breeze!
Yes, it flows like a dress. But the soft, wide, gathered trousers stay put, keeping your modesty intact and allowing you to enjoy your day to the full without constantly hanging onto your hem. Best of all, this amazing garment comes in a choice of colour-ways including deep pink, paler pink, turquoise blue, sky blue and fantastic pale brown. If paisley floats your sartorial boat, this one's for you.
There's something really special about our brilliant black spiral dress complete with a cute pixie hood. For one, the asymmetry is both quirky and unique, with a creatively-cut hem, intricate embroidery on one sleeve and off-centre circle design embellishing the breast.
With a tiny amount of Spandex - which is just like Lycra - woven into the fabric, you're guaranteed a flattering close fit every time with no bagginess. And it looks so good with smooth, brown legs and flats. If you get chilly, throw a pair of leggings underneath and you're ready to party on 'til dawn... and beyond.
The maxi dress is back with a vengeance this summer, adored by all kinds of women and a big fashion hit in hot, sultry weather. How about our deliciously cool and pretty white embroidered and tiered maxi dress with its slimline spaghetti straps?
The ultimate in girliness, it's perfect for picnics, lounging outside pubs as the fiery summer sun dips below the sea, sitting in a flower-filled field, whatever you find yourself doing this summer when pure, chilled femininity is on the cards.
What if you prefer to inject a little - or a lot - of heat and vibrancy into your summer? Our sizzling orange and deep purple-brown maxi dress is a classic with its lovely a-line skirt and strapless bodice. It's hot. You're hot. Together you'll make beautiful music.
What's the perfect accompaniment to all these luscious hippy dresses?
A shrug, of course. It's summer so you don't need anything heavy. But our delicate, cobwebby shrugs are just the thing, warm enough for rock and roll but not too hot for a fragrant, mellow summer's night. And they come in a vast range of fabulous colours, from subtle to eye-wateringly vivid.
A little bird tells me the exact same shrugs are on sale in a posh mid-Sussex boutique for £25 each. Ours are just £10.99. No contest.