Put plainly, Never Fully Dressed is “dopamine dressing” personified. Think: rainbow-hued slips, kooky prints (lobster skirts, anyone?), and all sorts of eye-catching decadence. Fortunately for East Coast residents, the homegrown London brand is finally crossing the pond, bringing its vibrant, joyful maximalist pieces with it.
“I think we just attract that joy, that celebration of life, of ‘I love women,’” founder Lucy Aylen tells Bustle. Aylen — whom NFD’s 1.3 million Instagram followers have likely seen styling ’fits on main — adds that she’s proud her clothes can “play that part in making [a] woman be proud of herself, or love herself, or make her smile, or have a good night out — whatever it is.”
Never Fully Dressed’s infectious cheeriness is part of the reason the brand’s developed a faithful fanbase since launching in 2009 — a relationship the label doesn’t take for granted. In 2022, for instance, NFD launched a contest for customers to design their own items. Now, eight winners’ pieces — including a halter frock with strawberries all over, an asymmetrical sun-print dress, and a wrap skirt with groovy, retro waves — are being sold on the website. (Aylen hopes to make this an annual project.)
Never Fully Dressed’s devoted community also consists of some familiar names, Beyoncé included. “We had a little small concession in Topshop, in London, and she had the store closed but actually purchased the outfit with her money,” Aylen says of the leopard print co-ord set the “CUFF IT” singer went home with. “So that was quite cool.”
It was a simple, boob-print T-shirt, however, that catapulted the brand into the mainstream after stars like Kendall Jenner, Emma Roberts, and Florence Pugh were spotted rocking it. “All of my team love Florence Pugh,” Aylen says. A portion of the tee’s proceeds go to NFD’s partner charity Mind, a mental health organization. “We’ve done that maybe for about seven years, the Boob Tee,” adds Aylen. “I remember drawing that years ago.”
With new designs released biweekly, expect a consistant stream of new styles to tickle your maximalist fancy, but be warned: once they’re gone, they’re gone. “Apart from the cult pieces, like the leopard-wrap skirts, the Boob Tee, or any iconic prints, we don’t really repeat. So when we sell out, we sell out,” Aylen says.
With a new store in SoHo opening on June 8, Aylen is excited for Americans to welcome the brand. She feels like Never Fully Dressed’s multiway items (i.e., wrap skirts that turn into dresses) and inclusive sizing (the line carries sizes from 2 to 26), particularly, will resonate with New Yorkers.
“I think New Yorkers are hungry for that burst of color, of life,” she says. And, TBH, she’s not wrong.