How the strawberry dress became the item of the summer – and how to get the look

The dress of the summer is flouncy, covered in strawberries, and set to fulfil all your cottagecore dreams.

While in previous times the hero piece of the season has been declared by the pages of magazines and red carpet trends, this year things are a little different.

Instead, we know that the Strawberry Midi Dress from Lirika Matoshi is a massive hit thanks to TikTok, where women lip-syncing Strawberry Blond by Mitski upload unpackaging videos of the gown’s tule ruffles and don the strappy detailing to wander through fields and indulge in pandemic picnics.

So what’s made the dress so popular, despite its $490 (£375) price tag?

In part, it’s all about the drama. The dress is pure princess-y ridiculousness. It’s indulgent, absurd, and allows for an escape from all the rules of dressing like a grown-up.

By that we mean it’s pink tulle, with a deep V neckline, a mid-length hemline that moves as you walk, and covered in a glittery strawberry print.

It’s available up to a size 20 – a rarity in an it dress – and works for anyone who’s bold enough to wear it.

It fits into the key aesthetics of the moment – the dreamy softness of cottagecore combining with songs about strawberry frogs to make something that’s powerful in its girlyness.

No wonder, then, that it’s found such a love in the lesbian and wlw community.

Then there’s the coronavirus element, which has restricted us to the home and, strangely enough, made us more open to going out-there with our fashion choices.

No longer do we need to ask ‘do I have somewhere to where this to?’ when we’re readying our clicking finger while online shopping. We know full well we have nowhere to go, and that the only way people will appreciate our sartorial choices is on social media, a place that’s geared towards the dramatic silhouette and trendy print of the strawberry dress.

And as we said, it really has been all over social media. Under the #strawberrydress tag on Instagram alone, there are more than 10,000 posts.

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(Straw) berry berry, quite contrary. 🍓

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24

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Thankful for you! 🍓☁️

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Beyond the influencer snaps and perfectly posed pics, Instagram and TikTok has also been overrun with tributes to the dress, such as illustrations, memes, and songs – again, many of which are themed around women who love women.

But as with so many it dresses before it, there’s one thing stopped the strawberry dress from trickling down to the masses: the price.

Handy, then, that there are a load of dupes online for far lower prices – although we can’t vouch for the quality.

Wish claims to sell a similar gown for £13, Amazon sells a Mooua version for £19.90 (but the listing uses photos of the Lirika Matoshi original gown, so we advise serious caution), while Yesstyle has an £18.88 dupe.

Shein, meanwhile, sells their own strawberry print dress for £8.99.

You’ll likely find better online shopping results by going not for an exact replica, but a high street dress that has similar themes as the iconic strawberry dress.

Sister Jane has a high-neck organza gown with a similarly pleasing strawberry print for £76, while Glamorous, sold by ASOS, offers a £35 mini dress with a fruity motif.

H&M’s Conscious line has a load of floaty tulle dresses this season, including a pink one that’s evocative of Killing Eve’s Villanelle, & Other Stories delivers a fitted puff sleeve dress that feels just as fitting for a cottagecore picnic, and Topshop has a check-print organza shirt dress that ticks off the floaty and pink categories.

You’ll note on Instagram that Lirika Matoshi also sells a matching strawberry face mask, so ensure that whichever dupe you go for, you get a matching print for your face covering.

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