I remember getting my first ever shirtdress from Express when I started my very first 9-5. I of course bought it in two colors, eggplant and black. They were a staple in my work wear closet. Over the years I tried more everyday shirt dresses that I could wear on the weekends, or even on vacation.
This style of dress has been around since the 1930s and are a true classic. It’s just one of those things everyone should have in their closet. Plus, with so many different variations, you can find one that matches your personal style.
Whether you may lean more preppy, minimal, or edgy, there are options! And all it takes are the right accessories to transform one dress in multiple ways.
How To Style A Shirt Dress
Adding a belt is the easiest way to cinch your waist and make a shirt dress more flattering. But adding a belt is also the perfect opportunity to change up the style of the dress. Many options come with a tie waist already.
But they typically just match the fabric of the dress. Not as exciting as adding let’s say a cool edgy belt, or something woven and interesting for summer.
Use the belt as a way to change up the style of the shirt dress with just one little accessory. Adding a belt is one of my favorite tricks to completing looks and making outfits more interesting.
Accessorize For The Season
For spring and summer, add in seasonal accessories like rattan and woven belts or bags. Add a denim jacket for a little extra warmth at night. And try summery shoes like sandals or espadrilles.
For fall and winter, choose heavier layers like chunky boyfriend sweaters to go over your dress, and knee high boots or ankle booties. If you’re belting it, choose leather or suede always.
Keep The Hemline In Mind
Depending on where you’re heading you’ll want to keep your hemline in mind. If you’re heading into the office and work in a more conservative work environment, a more knee length or even midi length would be ideal. If you’re just wearing a shirt dress casually, especially in spring and summer, a shorter hem is perfect!
Shop My Favorite Shirt Dresses
It’s something different and more fashion-forward making this dress feel a little more exciting than just a classic white shirt dress. I also really love the hem on it. I went with my usual size at MANGO. You can read my Mango sizing review here.
Shirt Dress Outfit Ideas
Styling A Shirt Dress For Summer And Warm Weather Vacations
For wearing a white shirt dress in the summer or on a warm weather vacation, just add all your favorite accessories for the season. Espadrilles, rattan belts and bamboo clutches. This look comes together in no time and feels perfect for summer.
This is something I would wear for a nice dinner out on a vacation or maybe a summer date night. Swap the espadrilles for a flat sandal for something more casual. Here’s another midi-length shirt dress that I would wear on vacation in a more casual look.
For a longer midi shirt dress style, these styling tricks work just the same! Add a leather sandal and summer tote for the perfect vacation look. You can also swap the belt that comes with it for something that works for the season.
Styling A Shirt Dress For A Night Out
Styling a white shirt dress for a night out with girlfriends or a date at a hot restaurant or lounge just requires a little leather. I like to add my favorite closet essential, a black leather jacket. Instantly makes this feel much more edgy and cool.
But don’t stop there, add a belt that’s also black leather or even a cool chain belt could be interesting. Adding this Isabel Marant lecce belt to my dresses is one of my favorite styling tricks to make outfits more interesting.
Shirt Dresses To The Office
The shirt dress is meant for the office if you ask me. So many easy ways to style this by adding a blazer, or long cardigan.
But honestly, you can wear it as is and not have to fuss at all. I left the tie waist belt that came with the dress to use for this look so that it’s not too flashy or different.
For shoes, I added a blue suede pump and coordinated a pretty bandana to my tote bag. This look is great for meetings, the office, or if you need to just feel a little more put together for an event. I would wear this to a meeting or speaking engagement.
Casual Shirtdress Styling For Everyday
It’s hard to choose a favorite look here, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this dress without the belt. Just leaving it loose and casual and paired with chunky platform sneakers. Would also be cute with Dr Marten sandals or something really chunky with a platform.
This look is perfect for running errands, or grabbing lunch with a friend. I’d even wear this out exploring a new destination. Super comfortable and feels a little cool and edgy without the belt.
I think the puff sleeve on this dress also helps to make this feel a bit more interesting without the belt making it not so boring, which is another win for this look.
Shirtdress For Fall With Knee High Boots
To take your shirt dress into fall, just add boots! I love a knee high boot with a mini dress and this is the perfect combination. The white and cognac brown is a favorite combination too. It’s so classic. You can have some fun with the style of boots.
Try a classic knee high boot, or something more trendy like these western inspired boots. A shirtdress outfit for fall would also be great with a combat boot to add a bit of edge to this more preppy and classic dress silhouette.
So it’s safe to say, a white shirtdress is truly a staple you should have in your closet. You can wear these from day to night, dressy to casual. And from season to season which is why I think it’s smart to invest in one or two that you really love and feel good in.
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