This season we are celebrating ten years of our Lydia Jersey Shift Dress, one of our most enduring styles. Imagined by our designer Gabi D’Amico for our SS13 collection, it has remained an integral part of our loungewear range to this day, realised in washed indigo and washed black. “I designed it as part of my first season at TOAST,” says Gabi. “Initially it was going to be in a woven fabric, but then we decided to make it in a weighty indigo jersey that felt really modern – the style worked so well in it.”

On joining TOAST, Gabi was tasked with designing pieces with easeful, contemporary shapes. “I followed my taste and intuition on what could make a woman feel comfortable and feminine.” The result was the Lydia dress, which we return to again and again, due to its simplicity and versatility. Contrasting corozo buttons run down the back of the style, a defining feature. “Initially we thought about having mother-of-pearl ones, but the natural corozo felt less dainty and looked great,” she says. 


The style is a favourite for our store teams and our customers. Bee Gregson from our Marlow shop, considers the Lydia dress to be one of her favourite TOAST pieces. “It's just so easy to wear, super soft and is so flattering, she says. It hangs on the body really well and the pockets add a more casual, slouchy look. Maria Teninzhiyan, Repair Specialist at TOAST Notting Hill, pictured above right, says it is her favourite summer holiday dress. “I always travel light and take it with me because it's very versatile.” While Alyssa Campbell from our Bath shop, pictured in the top image, believes the Lydia to be a must-have staple for any wardrobe. “The easy, simple shape moves seamlessly with my body, allowing me to flow into any situation,” she says, “whether I am pruning roses in the garden or meeting friends for an early dinner.”


TOAST customer Janet Mills, above left, has worn the Lydia dress for many years, and is pictured wearing it in Bordeaux, France. “It’s timeless and can be worn anywhere any time of the day – what’s not to like!” Elizabeth Page, pictured above right, also reaches for the dress each year. “The slubby cotton and simple shape make it a casual staple,” she says. “The low back and buttons lend it a feminine elegance and it looks great with a loose white shirt over the top, too.”


The shape has since been updated to a Lydia Jumpsuit rendition. This season, it has also inspired a new dress and jumpsuit, both with a soft V-neckline and chest patch pocket, which sit alongside the original dress in the collection. The first Lydia dress sample still belongs to designer Gabi, who returns to it each summer. “I still get stopped every time I wear it," she says. "It’s a testament to our timeless design that it continues to feel modern year after year.”

Shop our Lydia Jersey Shift Dress, Lydia Jumpsuit, V-Neck Cotton Jersey Dress and V-Neck Cotton Jersey Jumpsuit.

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I’ve just bought my first one! Like Nicole in previous comments I’m not a dress wearer by nature, they don’t work for me and I ordered knowing I’ve got a couple of casual summer events to go to, thinking it would probably go straight back. But- when I put this on, black, midi I was amazed how good it looks. Simple, flattering and with loads of potential. I’m already dragging out lovely old loose knits to wear over it and trying it out with a belt! Suffice to say it’s not going back and I’d be very interested in it in a different colour like the gorgeous burnt orange or a grown up green you often use. I’m 5’4” about 64kg and bought the small, think I might have found the recommended M too big.

Liza 10 months ago

I remember when the Lydia dress first came out. I tried it on at the Islington branch of Toast and couldn’t decide between the blue or black. The fabric of the first iteration was a hefty cotton. Such a good fabric. I regret, because I was watching my pennies, I didn’t buy it. Then it sold out. And subsequent versions weren’t made in the same weighty cotton. A big shame because the cut of the dress is fabulous and I would do anything to have one now. But in the first fabric.

Beth 10 months ago

Just bought my 6th Lydia dress in blue(2 short, 3 midi bought over the years)as my blue and black originals are now faded as 10 years of sunshine has mellowed them – still v wearable but more casual😊.The orange and jade are still bright but I wear them less! I was worried as the sizing was said to have changed and finding myself in London went to try it on. Delighted to find it is fine and I fit in the same size (L – I am 64, 168 cm and roughly a 16) if anything the armhole cut is a little higher and less likely to reveal a bra. I absolutely love this dress – it is timeless.

Jane 11 months ago

I am 60 next year and have been a Toast customer since the beginning, but I have only ever bought a dress under duress. I hate wearing dresses because they don’t feel like me at all. I feel un feminine because I don’t like wearing dresses. I would love to feel happy and look confident in a dress. Coinciding with a life changing pre 60 upgrade I am undergoing at the moment, I have just read about your Lydia dress and it is now sitting in my shopping basket – wish me luck!

Nicole 11 months ago

I still wear my Toast dress, jersey, rich blue, white buttons down the back – I have had it for many many years and it is always the right thing to wear. It is so comfortable so I feel relaxed and able to enjoy the event, from party,lunch, afternoon tea, in The Cotswolds where I live, or in London with my family. It has the essential side seam pockets, and although the back is low the shoulders stay in place. I did add a band of the material I cut off to shorten the hem to the sleeves. It washes easily and needs little ironing. Thank you Toast – this simple dress has added much whatever I am doing. I would have added a photo of it hanging up waiting for me to wear it tonight but not sure how I do this! JS

Judith 11 months ago

I love this dress. Would you ever release the pattern to buy?

Katie 11 months ago

That blue Lydia dress was one of my first purchases from Toast when an artist friend recommended your jeans to me some 6 or 7 years ago. Lydia still comes out on warm summer evenings, and funnily enough I just bought her new black v-necked incarnation which is even more stylish, slimming, and wearable than it’s predecessor. I have been worried about Toasts new standardising sizing policy because, already an XL, I was afraid it would size me out of Toasts beautiful and enduring designs. It seems stupid to worry about a clothing company, but I’m not exaggerating: for the first time in my life Toast clothes have allowed me to feel consistently good in my body every day – even now as I enter my 60s. Would you consider an XXL to compliment your new XXS size? Luckily the new Lydia XL still fits (and looks very beautiful). Please keep doing what you do for women of all shapes and sizes. After all, nothing about Toast is ‘standard’: you’re exceptional!!

Kate 10 months ago

I still have the washed black Lydia from the first year it appeared. The following year you offered a shorter version that just covered the knee or sat at the knee, depending on your height. I bought it in a beautiful orange-red, but sadly managed to shrink it. I would LOVE to buy that again in that vibrant colour instead of always seeing the Lydia offered only in the blue and washed black. Please bring that back, Toast, and widen the colours you offer Lydia in.

Carolyn 11 months ago