The shirt dress is just what it sounds like. It is a button down shirt with a collar that has a longer hem so that it can be worn as a dress. Shirt dresses can be short and fall to mid thigh, they can be long and have a maxi dress hem at your heels, or they can fall anywhere in between. Shirt dress variations include belted shirt dresses, loose and straight shirt dresses, or flared shirt dresses. In addition, you can find shirt dresses in many different colors and prints. We see shirt dresses all over runways and city streets alike so everyone should have at least one in their closet, but you might be wondering which variety is best for you. Here are some tips on how you should wear a shirt dress so that you can pick the right one for your style.
Wear it Loose
In general, shirt dresses should be worn with a loose fit. Because there are buttons going down the front, if it is too tight you run the risk of popping a button or having the dress pull at the buttons creating unflattering gaps. Loose fit does not mean that the shirt dress should be overly baggy, however. You do not want a shirt dress that makes it look like you are wearing something that is a size or two too big for you. You just want the dress to hang casually on your body. Because of the loose fit, many women wear shirt dresses in a more casual setting rather than the workplace or out at night. As a result, sneakers or flats are a popular shoe choice. However, longer maxi shirt dresses can be dressed up for the office with a great pair of sandals or heels.
Wear it Belted
If you do want to dress up your shirt dress then belting it is one way to do that. A belted shirt dress looks more professional and has a more polished look so that you don’t look like you just rolled out of bed. Some shirt dresses come with tie belts made of the same fabric as the rest of the dress while others you will have to add a belt to.
Wear Your Shirt Dress with Layers
As you can see from the examples above, many shirt dresses are rather short. If you are not comfortable wearing something so short you many want to layer your short dress over a pair of leggings or pants so that you feel better. Layering is also a good way to keep wearing your shirt dress into the fall and winter months. Fashion experts say that skinny jeans are on their way out. Maybe layering a shirt dress over your skinny jeans is a good way to repurpose them. Kim Kardashian rocks this look above.
You can also layer your short dress the other way by adding a jacket or sweater over the shirt dress like Kate Mara does in the picture above. Jackets and cardigan sweaters are a nice way to extend the wearability of your summer shirt dresses into the colder months. You can also wear a regular sweater that cuts off at the waist over your short dress turning it into a skirt rather than a dress. The collar peeking out over the sweater gives a nice school girl look.
Shirt Dresses with Flare
For pear shaped women, the traditional shirt dress presents a problem. Most short dresses have a straight cut from shoulder down to hem. If you are pear shaped, this results in the dress hugging your hips and thighs rather than hanging loose like it is supposed to. The solution is a flared shirt dress. Flared shirt dresses look like any other shirt dress on the top, but they flare out at the waist. You can see a few examples above.
Accessorize for Shirt Dress
One of the trends seen on the runways for spring and summer 2017 was the white shirt dress. Each designer that had one put their own little twist on the plain white shirt dress. Since shirt dresses are by definition a little plain, you too can accessorize your shirt dress to add a bit of your own originality to your outfit. One way you can accessorize a plain shirt dress is by adding embellishments to the dress itself like in the picture above of a white shirt dress with a ruffle around the collar.
Another way to accessorize your shirt dress is to add a belt, pair of shoes, or jewelry that gives a pop of color or personality. Long necklaces work well with shirt dresses. And you can spice up any outfit with a pair of snazzy sneakers or pretty sandals.