The Chic List: Dress season is here… at last!

Now that I’m in my 40s, I feel so much happier in my own skin because I am no longer dressing to please men. I make the effort entirely and completely for myself.

This Belize Officiel white dress creates a fresh spring/summer look. A statement bag adds interest.

I choose pieces such as this chic white halter-neck Claudia dress from La Collection or this maxi skirt from Mango simply because they make me feel empowered, happy, stylish, sexy – sometimes all of those things at once.

Of course, if one of my girlfriends happens to notice what I’m wearing when we’re out for dinner, my purchases instantly become even more treasured. Because we all value compliments from our own sex.

Men? What do they know really? When it comes to understanding women’s style, they might as well be from Mars. Women will notice those all-important little details most blokes are bafflingly blind to.

I mean, when was the last time you heard a straight man say: ‘I love the drape of those trousers, they are so flattering on you’?

My Instagram feed is full of women my own age and older posting photographs of their

outfits to inspire and to be enjoyed by other women. It’s a wonderful means of bonding and opening up online communication in the female community. Clothes, which we all use as a means of daily self-expression, are a great way of lifting each other up. I much prefer my style now that I’m older because I know who I am, care less what people think, and refuse to be led down the garden path by every season’s trend.

As women, we may endure more scrutiny for what we wear, yet we also, joyfully, get to reinvent ourselves with clothes well into old age. Speaking of reinvention, dress and skirt season is finally upon us and, especially this year, it feels extremely therapeutic to shed those heavy winter layers. When it comes to choosing spring/summer dresses, I’m not a frills or a bow girl – I like them maxi or midi with a clean minimalist look. But occasionally I will reinvent myself with a bright print or block colour when I find the right piece.

When it comes to dresses, less is more, and I prefer to invest in a couple of good quality versatile ones that will stand the test of time.

This investment buy fits so beautifully you’ll live in it every summer.

Dress, £59.99, shop.mango.com

A shirt dress is a style superstar: team with flip-flops for day, heels for dinner.

The joy of a maxi skirt? It looks as chic with knitwear as it does a T-shirt.

Bangle, £11.99, zara.com

Just add a minimalist white dress.

Bag, £425, Loewe, net-a-porter.com

Loewe’s high-end basket bags will elevate the rest of your outfit.

Follow me on Instagram @thestylistandthewardrobe