11 best dresses with pockets that will be instant wardrobe staples

Because sometimes we’d rather leave the house without a bag

Laura Hampson
Tuesday 27 April 2021 06:00
<p>Keep your hands cosy with our stylish picks</p>

Keep your hands cosy with our stylish picks

One of our favourite small joys is discovering that the dress we recently purchased has pockets.

At this point, we’re not quite sure why every dress doesn’t come with pockets. Not only is it a completely practical solution (we can finally leave our handbags at home, hurrah!) but pockets also give your hands the option to stay cosy – it’s a win-win.

With lockdown easing and the weather getting warmer, it’s officially dress season again, and luckily designers are catching on to our pocket-wanting ways.

From high street stalwarts to small British labels, there’s plenty of dresses with pockets to love this year. To find the best of the best, we’ve looked at the sizing, durability, design and the brand itself (particularly the brand’s eco-credentials) to determine our top picks.

Without further ado, here are the dresses with pockets you’ll find us in all summer long.

Read more:

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Sugarhill Brighton Veronica tea dress

If you’re looking for a brand that’s ethical, sustainable and a whole dose of fun, Sugarhill Brighton ticks every single box. Its collection of pretty dresses are vibrant and eye-catching, and we love the Veronica tea dress with its dappled pink and white spot print, which was painted in the team’s seaside studio. The fit of this dress is true to size and it hugs all the right places (the A-line skirt is fun to swish about in too). Production is small to minimise waste, and Sugarhill Brighton also donates 10 per cent of its profits to charities, non-profit organisations and environmental causes – so there’s a feel-good factor with your purchase as well.

YAS yasmarvis long dress

This summer, weddings are back on, which means you’ll need a wedding guest dress that stands out from the crowd – and YAS’ yasmarvis dress does just that. Made from 100 per cent organic cotton (which means it’s grown without the use of harmful chemicals), this two-tone colour blocking dress in powder and navy blue is the perfect addition to your spring/summer wardrobe. Pockets are neatly added to the inseam and the shirred bodice and angel sleeves are very en vogue. Be warned, however, if you have a larger bust it may not quite sit how you want it to, with the shirred bodice placed directly under the chest rather than gathering at the waist – so one of our other picks may be a better choice for you.

M&S floral tie front midaxi relaxed dress

When the weather can’t decide if it wants to be hot or cold, you need a dress that will adjust accordingly. This paisley “midaxi” dress from M&S’ Per Una range does just that. Made from sustainably sourced viscose (i.e. natural wood pulp from ethically managed forests which give the dress its eco-credentials) the material is lightweight – it kept us cool on a recent balmy day – yet warm enough to prevent it from being a summer-only option. The long blouson sleeves add to its allure and the relaxed style is nipped in at the waist with a tie-front belt too. As with most M&S lines, the sizing is more inclusive than most high street stores, with UK size 8 to 22 available for this paisley number.

The Regular quilt dress

Founded by long-time pals Bex Courtney-Wells and Vic Holbrook, The Regular’s collection is small, but in our eyes, perfectly formed. The quilt dress is the signature garment from the duo and comes in an array of earthy colours (brick, calico, slate, shell) but our favourite is the forest-hued evergreen. Made in England from 100 per cent pure linen and produced in small batches, it only comes in two sizes S/M (UK 8-12) and M/L (UK 12-16), but we found the fit versatile enough to live up to these broad claims; it can also be worn loose or nipped in with a belt, giving a choice of silhouettes. These dresses are designed to be owned for life – the material is thick and feels heavier than most dresses (ideal for winter months), but the oversized nature means it’s airy enough to be worn in warmer temperatures too.

H&M tie black shirt dress

Part of high street giant H&M’s conscious range – which means at least 50 per cent of each piece is made from sustainable materials, like recycled polyester or organic cotton – this tie-belt dress is a smart staple for your wardrobe, and one our reviewer turned to time and time again when she was at a loss for what to wear. Slightly oversized (so size down if you’re looking for something a bit more form fitting), the dress has a round collar, button front and a detachable black belt that sits around the waist. Made from 100 per cent viscose, it feels quite thin to the touch so it’s the ideal dress for layering. Wear it with boots and a big jacket in the winter and on its own with bright sandals come summer. The pockets on this are particularly too, so you can definitely leave your bag at home.

Berjoan gingham long tier dress

We really hope gingham never dies. This flattering print is perhaps best exhibited on Berjoan’s ankle-skimming maxi dress with a V neckline and gathered deep hem frill. Combining the style set’s favourite trends of 2021, this dress has blouse sleeves, a bow tie cuff and, of course, pockets in the side seams. Made in the UK using 100 per cent organic cotton woven in France, the dress is only available in three sizes – S (UK 6-8), M (UK 10-12) and L (UK 14-16). The fit is oversized but the fabric has a slight weight to it, meaning it hangs nicely, and the adjustable waist means it fits a size or two above what is intended.

Hush izzy daisy embroidered dress

Nothing will pep up your wardrobe like this vibrant shirred dress from cult UK label hush. Pretty in powder blue, this daisy embroidered dress has long, slightly puffed sleeves, a stretchy shirred bodice (perfect for those long, lazy Sunday lunches in your favourite beer garden) and a flowing skirt. hush pledged to become more eco-friendly in 2018 and, since then, it has increased the number of garments it makes with sustainably sourced materials from 2 per cent to 60 per cent. The dress, which is made from 100 per cent cotton and comes in a UK size 6 to 18, fits true to size. The brand has a number of other lovely pocketed options, like this shirt dress and this smock-style paisley delight.

River Island blue texture gingham wrap midi dress

River Island has long been our go-to for fashion-forward finds, and this dress will make you want to grab your closest pals and head to the park for a picnic ASAP. With its blue gingham print, blouson tie sleeve, wrap neckline and midi length, it’s a bright and breezy option that will never go out of style. Available in UK size 6 to 18, the fabric is a lot thicker than expected, so we found that it wasn’t one for very hot days. The neckline is quite low cut, so it may not be work appropriate either, but it’s a great option for transeasonal weekend wear.

Yumi green plus size ditsy floral frill shirt dress

A lovely inclusive brand, Yumi’s curve range goes from UK size 18 to 28 and has lots of fun, bright prints. There’s a large and varied selection of dresses with pockets to choose from here, but we were drawn to this green ditsy floral shirt dress. Made from soft fabrics, it’s a comfy option for warmer days; the frill sleeves are feminine while the collared neckline gives it a structured feel. The colour is a lot brighter than expected, so it’s not one for minimalists, but we found that only added to its charm. Other dresses with pockets we love from Yumi include this bird print number, this dungaree-style dress and this vintage mustard hued dress.

Closet London black bow tie strap round hem dress

While jaunts to the Med may still be up in the air for this summer, we have a feeling this beachy dress will be your warm-weather staple regardless (especially during the inevitable heatwaves). With its bow-tie sleeves and floaty design, its versatility means you can dress it up with heels or down with sandals.  A word of warning though – it comes up quite small around the chest, so we’d advise you to size up one (if not two sizes) for a more comfortable fit. If you’re looking for a more between-weather dress with pockets from Closet London, we recommend this gathered shoulder spot dress with long sleeves and a skater-style skirt.

Only onlulrika life a-shape dress

If you prefer your gingham knee-length, may we recommend this flouncy Only dress? Made from a lightweight cotton and polyester blend, it’s part of ONLY’s sustainable arm, Life. The dress has three-quarter length sleeves and large pleats on the chest which flare out, and the material is super lightweight, which does means it’s prone to flapping about a bit in the wind (as our reviewer found out the hard way!) That said, the pockets on this are perfectly placed, and we think this is a great for wearing with tights and a jacket, or by itself on balmier, less windy evenings. You can either wear as is or tie it in at the waist with the belt.

The verdict: Dresses with pockets

Finding a dress with pockets made by a small UK label is like discovering a goldmine, which is why Sugarhill Brighton’s Veronica tea dress is our top pick. While it could certainly do with being more inclusive with its sizing, we love its vibrant hue, flattering cut and the brand’s sustainably-minded mission. Yumi and M&S get top marks for size inclusivity and, if you have a bit more cash to spare, The Regular’s quilt dress is perfect no matter the season and has a feel-good eco-friendly factor too.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on dresses and other fashion offers, try the below links:

For more women’s style that you will want to add to your wardrobe immediately read our round up of the 10 best spring jackets for women that will see you through to summer

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.