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9 Styles of Dresses Every Woman Needs In Her Closet For Effortless Style

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Dresses- One piece garments with a bodice and skirt that covers some or all of the legs, usually for women. That’s a pretty simple definition, but when it comes to dresses, there are so many different styles of dresses.

Some of the first dresses are attributed to the Egyptians and Greeks and were more tunic like. Around the 16th century, dresses began to have a bodice and a skirt.

A dress is feminine and fun, but it doesn’t have to be overly dressy. The various styles of dresses allow room for all style personalities, body shapes, and your desired level of formality. You can choose a formal dress for a fancy occasion or choose a dress for casual wear.

The perfect dress can make or break an outfit – which is why it’s important to know the different styles of dresses available. Whether you’re looking for a sleek sheath or an elegant evening gown, there’s a dress out there to suit every occasion and body type.

In this article, we’ll explore 9 different styles of dresses and the body types they are best suited for, giving you the confidence to select the right dress for you. From modern silhouettes to timeless favorites, you’ll get the lowdown on the styles that are sure to make a statement. Armed with a better understanding of dress silhouettes, your wardrobe will be ready for any event.

This post was originally published in 2019. Updated 2023.

9 types of dresses every woman should own for amazing style. Pin

9 Styles of Dresses You Should Have in Your Closet

The following are nine of the most universally flattering and functional styles of dresses you can own.

1. The Aline Dress

Like the Aline skirt, this dress is fitted at the top and gradually flows out at the bottom, starting at the waist. The waist may be fitted but the overall shape is that of an A.

A wrap waist a-line dress with a print perfect for the office or church. Styles of dresses that flatter many body types.Pin

Dress- Amazon Lark and Ro; similar option shoes- Nordstrom; option purse similar

When it comes to style of dresses that effortlessly combine style, comfort, and versatility, the A-line dress is at the top of the list. With its timeless silhouette and flattering shape, the A-line dress has become a wardrobe staple for women around the world. Whether you’re dressing up for a special occasion or seeking an everyday ensemble, the A-line dress offers a perfect balance of elegance and practicality.

The Origins of the A-Line Dress

 The A-line dress first gained popularity in the late 1940s and 1950s when Christian Dior introduced his iconic “New Look” collection. Dior’s revolutionary design featured a fitted bodice that gracefully flared out from the waist, creating an “A” shape. This innovative silhouette offered a refreshing departure from the restrictive and boxy styles of the previous decades, celebrating the female form with its gentle curves and graceful lines. Since then, the A-line dress has remained a symbol of feminine elegance and has evolved to embrace various lengths, fabrics, and design details.

Flattering Features of the A-Line Dress

 The key feature of the A-line dress is its ability to flatter a wide range of body types. Its fitted bodice emphasizes the waistline, creating an hourglass shape or defining a more subtle curve. The gradual flare from the waist downward skims over the hips and thighs, providing a forgiving and flattering fit for those who want to downplay those areas.

Whether you have an apple, pear, hourglass, or rectangle body type, A line dresses can enhance your best features and create a balanced silhouette. This kind of dress can be a great choice for petite women in shorter or knee lengths. 

floral a line dress with wedge sandalsPin

Dress- Amazon; sandals- Amazon; bracelet – Kendra Scott

Styling A-Line Dresses for Various Style Personalities:

Romantic: Opt for an A line dress in a flowy fabric like chiffon and choose details like ruffles and bows. Pair it with heels or sandals with a bow details, a wide brim floppy hat, and a floral earring. Add a pastel colored clutch that compliments your dress. You are all set for a garden wedding or special brunch.

Classic Style Personality:  Choose a tailored A-line dress with a modest length and pair it with a structured blazer for a professional and sophisticated ensemble. Complete the look with closed-toe heels and simple jewelry, such as stud earrings or a delicate necklace.

Glam Style Personality: Dress up for a special occasion with a floor-length A-line gown made from luxurious fabrics like silk or chiffon. Add some sparkle with statement jewelry and complete the look with strappy heels and an elegant clutch. The A-line silhouette offers both grace and comfort, allowing you to dance the night away with ease.

Edgy Style Personality: Express your edgy vibes by pairing a shorter A-line dress with ankle boots and a leather jacket. Layer it with a scarf or a statement belt for an added touch of style. This look is perfect for weekend outings or casual gatherings.

Vintage Inspiration: A-line dresses evoke a nostalgic charm, making them perfect for the vintage femme style personality. Seek out A-line dresses with retro patterns, such as polka dots or floral prints, and pair them with retro accessories like cat-eye sunglasses and vintage-inspired heels.

2. The Fit and Flare Dress

It does exactly what it says. The bodice is fitted and the bottom flares out at or below the hips. A skater dress fits this definition too. This style of dress flatters almost everyone, especially apple and pear shapes. They are great for the hour glass figure too. With their fitted bodices that accentuate your curves and flared skirts that add a touch of whimsy, fit and flare dresses are a go-to choice for those looking to embrace their girly side.

A fit and flare dress with ruffle sleeve in emerald green paired with leopard pumps that makes a great holiday outfit for the woman over 40.Pin

Dress- Amazon; pumps- DSW/ Vince Camuto; option necklace – JCrew Factory option

The Origins of the Fit and Flare Dress

The history of the fit and flare dress dates back to the mid-20th century when it emerged as a popular silhouette. The style was a response to the restrictive and structured fashion of the previous decades, offering women a more comfortable and free-flowing alternative. The 1930s brought a shift away from the drop waist dress of the 1920s. Fabric rationing during the war in the 40s brought dresses back to more conservative cuts, but as the war ended and rationing restrictions lifted, fashion designers began to experiment with new styles.

In the 1950s, Christian Dior introduced his revolutionary “New Look” collection, which played a significant role in shaping the fit and flare dress style.

Flattering Features of the Fit and Flare Dress

The magic of fit and flare dresses lies in their ability to enhance your natural silhouette while adding a touch of movement and grace. The fitted bodice beautifully highlights your waist, creating an enviable hourglass shape that flatters all body types. Then, the skirt elegantly flares out, hiding wide hips.  It’s the perfect combination of flirty and feminine, making fit and flare dresses a versatile option for a range of occasions.

Styling Fit and Flare Dresses for Different Style Personalities

Sporty Chic: For a sporty chic daytime look, choose a fit and flare dress in a soft, breathable fabric like cotton or jersey. Opt for playful patterns, such as florals or stripes, and pair it with comfortable sandals or cute sneakers. Throw on a denim jacket for an extra layer of coolness, and you’re ready for a stroll in the park or a brunch date with friends.

Glam or bold: Look for dresses in luxurious fabrics like silk or satin, and choose vibrant or bold colors that make a statement. Add some height with a pair of strappy heels or chunky platforms, and let your confidence shine. Whether you’re hitting the dance floor or attending a cocktail party, the flared skirt of a fit and flare dress will have you twirling and turning heads all night long.

Boho:  For a bohemian touch, add a wide-brimmed hat and some layered necklaces. 

3. Maxi dress

A maxi dress is a floor or ankle length, informal dress. These are usually summer favorites. They come in a variety of necklines. With the right neckline, they can flatter almost all body shapes. Maxi dresses also come in various prints, patterns, and fabrics. 

The key is to get the length right- petites need to shop petite maxi dresses so the length is not too long and the proportions don’t overwhelm. Tall ladies need to shop the tall department so their maxi dress doesn’t fall oddly short.

snakeskin print maxi dressPin

The Origin of Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses first gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s, during the height of the bohemian and hippie movements. Inspired by the free-spirited attitudes of the time, designers began creating dresses that offered a sense of liberation, allowing women to embrace their natural beauty and move with ease.

These floor-length dresses were made from lightweight, flowing fabrics, often adorned with vibrant prints, floral patterns, or ethnic motifs. Maxi dresses quickly became associated with a carefree, bohemian lifestyle and have since remained a fashion staple.

Flattering Features of Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses are renowned for their ability to flatter a variety of body types. Their length creates an elongating effect, making you appear taller. The loose, flowing design allows the fabric to drape gently over the body, skimming over curves and creating a graceful silhouette.

Additionally, maxi dresses often feature empire waistlines, defined waistbands, or adjustable drawstrings that cinch the waist and enhance your feminine shape. The maxi dress with an empire waistline can be a great choice for an apple shape. Empire waist dresses skim over and away from a larger belly. One thing to note: If your belly is high and round, the empire waist won’t work for you. It’s best for hiding the general thicker mid section.

 With their forgiving and flattering fit, maxi dresses empower women to embrace their individual beauty and feel confident wherever they go.

maxi dress with empire waistPin

Dress- Amazon (similar)

How to Wear A Maxi Dress to Suit Your Style Personality

Classic: For a laid-back daytime look for classic style, opt for a maxi dress in a soft, breathable fabric such as cotton or jersey. Choose solid colors or subtle patterns for a versatile and effortless style. Complete the outfit with sandals or flat shoes, a straw hat, and simple  accessories like a pendant necklace or a bracelet. This ensemble is perfect for a beach outing, weekend brunch, or a stroll through the city.

Boho: Embrace your inner bohemian spirit by selecting a maxi dress with bold prints, vibrant colors, or ethnic patterns. Add a touch of whimsy with a floppy hat, fringed bag, or statement belt to accentuate the waist. Finish the look with strappy sandals or wedges and accessorize with long, layered necklaces and dangly earrings. A stack of bracelets is another great way to accessorize this look. This ensemble is ideal for music festivals, outdoor parties, or a summer garden gathering.

Glam Style: Dress up your maxi dress  Choose a maxi dress in an elegant fabric such as silk, satin, or chiffon. Opt for darker or jewel-tone colors to create a sophisticated look. Enhance the dress with a statement belt or a fitted blazer for added structure.

Complete the ensemble with high heels, a sleek clutch, and dazzling jewelry. You’ll be ready to make a memorable entrance at a formal event, cocktail party, or a romantic dinner.

4. Midi dress

The hem ends halfway between the knee and ankle. This can be tricky for petites but not impossible if you shop the petite department or take your dress to a tailor. Tip: let the hem end just above or below mid calf. If you hit mid-calf, you are hitting at the widest part of the leg and just above or below will look better.

floral midi dress; dresses for women over 40Pin

The Origins of the Midi Dress:

The midi dress rose to prominence in the late 1940s and early 1950s as a stylish response to the knee-length, tea-length, and floor-length dresses of the time. As the world emerged from the austerity of World War II, designers sought to create garments that were both practical and fashionable. The midi dress, characterized by its hemline falling between the knee and the ankle, offered a modest yet contemporary option for women seeking a fresh take on elegance.

Flattering Features of the Midi Dress:

The midi dress boasts several flattering features that make it a beloved choice among fashion enthusiasts. The midi dress provides a sense of modesty and strikes a balance between being refined and comfortable. 

Many midi dresses feature a defined waistline or come with belts or sashes that cinch the waist, creating an hourglass silhouette. This design detail accentuates the natural curves of the body and flatters various body shapes.

Whether you’re petite or tall, the midi dress can be tailored to suit your height. Opt for a slightly shorter midi length if you’re on the shorter side, while taller individuals can go for a longer hemline to maintain the proportional look.

The midi dress is incredibly versatile and can be styled in numerous ways to suit different occasions and personal preferences. From casual outings to formal events, the midi dress effortlessly transitions from day to night with a few simple accessory changes.

A midi dress can be fitted or less fitted in the skirt. The body con midi dress would be perfect for an hourglass figure but won’t do much for an apple body shape. Choosing a flattering midi dress will involve more than just length.

Dot patterned midi dressPin

Dress- Walmart

Styling Midi Dresses for Various Style Personalities

Vintage Femme:  Look for midi dresses that draw inspiration from past eras. Consider designs with features like sweetheart necklines, Peter Pan collars, puffed sleeves, or A-line skirts. Opt for fabrics with vintage-inspired prints such as polka dots, floral patterns, or classic stripes. Add a cloche hat to enhance the vintage look and complete it with Mary Jane heels or t-strap heels.

Complement your midi dress with vintage-inspired jewelry pieces. Look for delicate pearl necklaces, statement brooches, or vintage-style earrings. These accessories can instantly elevate your outfit and add a touch of old-world charm.

Sporty Chic: Choose a slim fitting midi dress or t-shirt style midi dress. Add sporty vibes with a baseball cap and sneakers. Complete the look with a belt bag or backpack purse.

Preppy Style: Choose a midi dress with nautical vibes or in a classic gingham print. Look for one with a collar or layer a collared shirt underneath. Add a cardigan sweater for preppy vibes and accessorize with some pearl jewelry. Complete the looks with ballet flats and a headband.

5. Sheath dress

styles of dresses sheath dressPin

A form fitting dress usually shaped by darts in the bust or bodice. Hourglass shapes can really show off their figure with this one and rectangle shapes can create curves with this dress. When it comes to styles of dresses with classic and sophisticated style, the sheath dress takes center stage. With its clean lines, tailored silhouette, and versatility, this dress has become a staple in many women’s wardrobes. 

Origin of the Sheath Dress

The sheath dress emerged as a popular style in the 1950s, reflecting the post-World War II desire for streamlined and figure-hugging fashion. Influenced by designers like Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy, the sheath dress became a symbol of feminine elegance and understated glamour. Its simple yet sophisticated design quickly gained popularity and has remained a fashion favorite ever since.

One of the nine key dresses to have in your closet is a sheath dress, especially if you are curvy or need curves.Pin

Dress- Amazon Lark and Ro– comes in several colors, wearing an 8; shoes- similar; purse- similar

Flattering Features of the Sheath Dress

The sheath dress is characterized by its sleek and form-fitting silhouette. It skims the body without excessive volume, creating a streamlined and polished look. This tailored shape enhances the natural curves of the body, giving a flattering and feminine silhouette.

Sheath dresses typically fall at or just above the knee, offering a versatile length that works well for various occasions. It strikes a balance between modesty and sophistication, making it suitable for both professional settings and formal events.

The simplicity and clean lines of the sheath dress give it a timeless appeal. It exudes an air of sophistication and refinement, allowing it to transcend seasonal trends and remain a wardrobe essential for years to come.

The sheath dress is known for its versatility in flattering different body types:

  1. Hourglass Figures: The fitted silhouette of the sheath dress beautifully accentuates the curves of an hourglass figure, highlighting the waistline and creating a balanced and proportioned look.
  2. Pear-Shaped Figures: Sheath dresses can balance a pear-shaped figure by highlighting the waist and skimming over the hips and thighs. Opt for a dress with subtle details or embellishments at the top to draw attention upward and create a well-balanced silhouette.
  3. Rectangular Figures: The sheath dress adds curves to a rectangular figure by creating the illusion of a defined waist. Look for dresses with strategic darts or seaming details that help create the illusion of curves.

Fabric will affect the fit.

How to Style a Sheath Dress To Fit Your Style Personality

Classic: Keep the focus on the clean lines and tailored silhouette of the sheath dress by pairing it with simple and elegant accessories. Opt for understated jewelry such as stud earrings, a delicate necklace, or a thin bracelet. Choose neutral-colored pumps or sandals to complete the timeless and sophisticated look.  

For a professional and polished ensemble, layer a structured blazer over your sheath dress. Choose a blazer in a complementary color, such as black, navy, or gray, and make sure it fits well to maintain the dress’s clean lines.

French Minimalist: Stick to a neutral color palette when selecting a dress. French minimalist style often revolves around timeless shades such as black, white, navy, beige, or gray. These colors create a sophisticated and versatile base for creating various outfit combinations.

Focus on selecting dresses made from high-quality fabrics like cotton, linen, silk, or wool. Consider delicate jewelry, such as a dainty necklace or stud earrings, to add subtle elegance to your outfit. Complete the look with high quality pumps or ballet flats.

Bold: Play with prints and colors. While sheath dresses are often associated with solid colors, don’t be afraid to experiment with prints and colors to add some variety to your wardrobe. Consider classic patterns like houndstooth, polka dots, or subtle stripes. Opt for rich jewel tones or bright colors to inject some personality into your look. Complete the look with a pair of statement heels and a pair of statement earrings in a bright coordinating color.

6. Shift dress

Skims the body without a fitted waist. These dresses have a column or rectangle shape. Great for apple or athletic shape bodies.

shift dressPin

Origin of the Shift Dress

The shift dress rose to popularity in the 1960s, reflecting the fashion revolution of the era. Influenced by the mod and youth culture, the shift dress emerged as a departure from the structured and cinched-waist styles of the previous decades. It was designed to hang loosely from the shoulders, skimming over the body without emphasizing the waistline. The shift dress quickly gained popularity due to its comfort, versatility, and modern aesthetic.

Flattering Features of the Shift Dress

 The defining characteristic of the shift dress is its loose and boxy silhouette. This relaxed fit allows for ease of movement and provides a comfortable and laid-back feel. The shift dress drapes over the body without clinging to curves, making it forgiving for various body shapes.

The simplicity of the shift dress is one of its most flattering features. With clean lines and a lack of excessive embellishments, it creates a streamlined and elongated appearance. The minimalist design ensures that the focus remains on the wearer’s natural beauty and personal style.

Shift dresses come in various lengths, ranging from above the knee to midi or maxi length. This versatility allows you to choose the length that flatters your body shape and fits the occasion. Shorter lengths showcase the legs, while longer options exude elegance and sophistication.

The shift dress is renowned for its ability to flatter different body types:

  1. Rectangle Figures: The shift dress adds curves to a straighter figure by creating the illusion of volume. Choose a shift dress with strategic details such as color blocking, patterns, or seaming that enhance the appearance of curves. Consider a belted style to define the waistline.
  2. Apple-Shaped Figures: Shift dresses work well for apple-shaped bodies by skimming over the midsection and creating a balanced silhouette. Choose styles with a slightly higher waistline to draw attention away from the midsection and highlight the legs.
  3. Pear-Shaped Figures: The shift dress gracefully drapes over the hips and thighs, making it a flattering choice for pear-shaped figures. Opt for a dress that falls just above the knee to showcase your legs and balance your proportions. Experiment with vibrant colors or patterns on the upper half to draw attention upward.
red shift dressPin

How to Stye a Shift Dress By Style Personality

French minimalist: Embrace the simplicity of the shift dress by pairing it with minimalist accessories. Opt for delicate jewelry such as dainty necklaces, stud earrings, or simple bangles. Complete the look with classic pointed-toe flats or ankle boots for a chic and understated style.

Glam:  Elevate your shift dress with statement accessories to add personality and flair. Try a bold belt to cinch the waist and create definition. Experiment with vibrant scarves, oversized sunglasses, or a stylish hat to inject a touch of individuality into your outfit.

Classic: Layer with a blazer or cardigan and choose classic pumps or flats.

7. Shirt dress

A long version of a shirt. This dress will usually have a collar and will open partially or fully in the front. Many follow the button up shirt style. Shirt dresses are the epitome of versatile and timeless fashion.

plaid shirt dressPin

Origin of Shirt Dresses

The shirt dress finds its roots in men’s fashion. Inspired by the classic men’s button-up shirt, designers started incorporating its tailored elements into women’s clothing in the early 20th century. The practicality and simplicity of the design quickly gained popularity, and the shirt dress became a symbol of modern femininity. Today, it has evolved into a versatile garment that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Flattering Features of Shirt Dresses

Shirt dresses typically feature a tailored and structured silhouette that flatters a range of body types. With their defined waistlines and A-line or straight skirt cuts, they create an hourglass shape, emphasizing curves while offering a comfortable fit.

The button-down front of shirt dresses allows for customizable styling and easy wearability. You can adjust the buttons to show as much or as little skin as desired, making it suitable for various settings and personal preferences.

 Many shirt dresses include a waist-cinching belt or tie, allowing you to accentuate your waistline and create a feminine and flattering shape. This feature adds structure to the dress and enhances your natural curves.

Shirt dresses are known for their versatility and ability to flatter different body types:

  1. Hourglass Figures: Shirt dresses beautifully enhance hourglass figures by accentuating the waist and skimming over the hips. Opt for styles with a defined waist and a slightly flared skirt to emphasize your curves.
  2. Rectangle Figures: Shirt dresses can create the illusion of curves for rectangular body types. Look for dresses with strategic darts or belts that cinch at the waist, adding shape and definition.
  3. Apple-Shaped Figures: Shirt dresses work well for apple-shaped figures by drawing attention away from the midsection and highlighting other assets. Choose styles with an empire waist or an A-line cut to create a balanced silhouette.

How To Wear a Shirt Dress to Fit Your Style Personality

Preppy:  Embrace the casual yet polished vibe of the shirt dress by pairing it with minimalist accessories. Opt for simple jewelry like stud earrings, delicate necklaces, or a sleek watch. Complete the look with leather loafers or ankle boots for a chic and relaxed style. Add a headband. Layer with a blazer if you need another layer. Bonus points if you choose a preppy pattern like gingham.

Edgy: The edgy and fashion-forward personality might choose a shirt dress in an unconventional fabric or design, such as leather, plaid, or asymmetrical cuts.  Accessorize with statement pieces, like chunky boots, a wide belt, or a leather jacket, to create an edgy and fashion-forward look.

Classic: Opt for a shirt dress in a neutral color, such as white, black, or navy, and pair it with minimal accessories. Add a thin belt to define the waist and finish off the look with simple, refined accessories and classic pumps.

8. Sweater Dress

A long sweater worn as a dress. Some have other dress shapes and styles, like fit and flare, but are made out of the same knit materials as a sweater. This is a great dress for fall and winter.

 Sweater dresses are the perfect blend of comfort and style, combining the cozy warmth of a sweater with the effortless elegance of a dress. With their soft knits, versatile designs, and flattering silhouettes, sweater dresses have become a beloved wardrobe staple for the colder months.


Origin of Sweater Dresses

Sweater dresses have their origins in the 1920s when fashion took a turn towards more relaxed and comfortable clothing. Knitted dresses gained popularity, offering women a cozy alternative to structured garments. Over the years, sweater dresses have evolved in style and design, embracing various lengths, textures, and patterns. Today, they continue to be a versatile choice that effortlessly combines warmth and fashion.

Flattering Features of Sweater Dresses

 Sweater dresses are crafted from soft, warm knitted fabrics such as wool, cashmere, or blends of natural and synthetic fibers. These materials offer comfort, insulation, and a luxurious feel against the skin. The inherent stretch and drape of the fabric make sweater dresses comfortable to wear while allowing for easy movement.  

Sweater dresses come in a range of silhouettes, offering options for various body types and personal styles. From fitted sheaths to relaxed tunics and oversized designs, you can find a sweater dress that flatters your shape and suits your desired level of comfort.

Sweater dresses can be flattering for different body types, depending on the specific style and fit:

  1. Hourglass Figures: A fitted or belted sweater dress works well for hourglass figures as it accentuates the waistline and highlights the natural curves. Look for styles that follow the contours of your body without clinging too tightly.
  2. Pear-Shaped Figures: A-line or flared sweater dresses are ideal for pear-shaped figures. These designs gently skim over the hips and thighs, creating a balanced silhouette. Opt for a dress with a defined waist to emphasize the narrowest part of your body.
  3. Apple-Shaped Figures: Opt for sweater dresses with strategic draping or details around the waistline to create the illusion of curves and define the waist. Look for styles that flow away from the midsection, avoiding anything too clingy.

How to Style A Sweater Dress By Personality Type

Classic: Add warmth and style by pairing your sweater dress with opaque tights or leggings. Choose a color that complements the dress or creates a contrasting look. Complete the outfit with knee-high boots or ankle booties for a chic and cozy ensemble.

Sporty Chic: Pair a loose, oversized sweater dress with a beanie and sneakers for a cute fall or winter look.

Edgy:  Choose a sweater dress with a bold pattern, metallic accents, or asymmetrical design. Layer it with a leather jacket, accessorize with statement jewelry or a wide belt, and complete the look with combat boots.

Boho: The boho and free-spirited personality embraces a relaxed and eclectic style. Opt for a loose, flowy sweater dress with a boho-inspired pattern or texture, such as crochet or fringe details. Layer it with a long cardigan or a denim jacket, accessorize with a wide-brimmed hat, layered necklaces, and ankle boots for a boho-chic and free-spirited look.

Another one of the nine dresses for women for your closet, the sweater dress for fall and winter.Pin

Sweater dress- Daily Ritual/Amazon – super soft, wearing medium; booties- similar; similar necklace- Kendra Scott; earrings- Kendra Scott; clutch- similar

9. T-shirt dress

A dress made of the same knit or jersey knit that a t-shirt is made or and usually with a crew or v-neck neckline similar to a t-shirt. These can be dressed up or down and worn year round by adding or taking away layers and changing the style of shoe worn with the dress. T-shirt dresses usually come in shift or swing styles, which are flowy aline shape dresses.


Dress- Amazon

Origin of the T-Shirt Dress

The t-shirt dress finds its roots in the iconic t-shirt, a staple of casual and comfortable attire. As fashion evolved, designers recognized the popularity and versatility of the t-shirt and transformed it into a dress silhouette. The t-shirt dress emerged as a contemporary and laid-back style in the 1960s, reflecting the changing attitudes towards fashion and the desire for effortless elegance.

Flattering Features of T-Shirt Dresses

 T-shirt dresses are known for their loose and comfortable fit. They drape effortlessly over the body, allowing for ease of movement and a relaxed silhouette. The relaxed fit also makes them forgiving for various body types and provides a comfortable, casual feel.

T-shirt dresses come in a range of lengths, from mini to midi and maxi. This versatility allows you to choose the length that flatters your body shape and suits the occasion.

Shorter lengths can showcase your legs, while longer lengths exude a more laid-back and bohemian vibe. T-shirt dresses are typically made from soft and breathable fabrics such as cotton, jersey, or modal. These materials offer a comfortable and lightweight feel, making them the ideal dress for warmer weather or casual outings.

T-shirt dresses flatter different body types:

  1. Hourglass Figures: T-shirt dresses effortlessly highlight the curves of an hourglass figure. Look for styles that cinch at the waist or include a tie or belt to accentuate your waistline. Opt for fabrics with a bit of drape to enhance your natural curves.
  2. Rectangle Figures: T-shirt dresses add subtle shape and definition to rectangular body types. Choose dresses with strategic details like ruching, pleats, or embellishments around the waist to create the illusion of curves. Belted options can also help define your waistline and add dimension.
  3. Apple-Shaped Figures: T-shirt dresses work well for apple-shaped figures by skimming over the midsection and providing a relaxed fit. Opt for A-line or swing-style t-shirt dresses that create a gentle flow from the bust, allowing for movement and comfort without clinging to the midsection.
dresses for women, t-shirt dressPin

Dress- Amazon; jacket- Old Navy; necklace- Kendra Scott; shoes- similar

How to Style a T-shirt Dress

Preppy: Pair the t-shirt dress with a tailored blazer, a belt to define the waist, and some loafers or ballet flats. 

Boho: A bohemian style personality would embrace the relaxed and carefree nature of a t-shirt dress. Layer the dress with a chunky knit cardigan, accessorize with a wide-brimmed hat, and wear ankle boots or sandals.  Choose a t-shirt dress in a flowy fabric, with a colorful or floral pattern.

Edgy: Add some attitude to a t-shirt dress for edgy style. Layer it with a leather or denim jacket, wear combat boots or chunky platform shoes, and accessorize with studded jewelry. Choose a t-shirt dress with a graphic print or band logo for a bold statement.

Romantic:  Pair the t-shirt dress with a soft, lightweight cardigan, opt for delicate jewelry, and wear strappy sandals or ballet flats. Choose a t-shirt dress in a pastel or floral print to enhance the romantic vibe.

A Word About The LBD or Little Black Dress

little black dressPin

The LBD or “little black dress” is often seen on lists of must have staples. It’s considered the perfect dress to have on hand as a go to for any formal occasion. Your little black dress doesn’t have to be “little”. It can be any style of the different styles of dresses.

A simple black a line or sheath dress can be a great substitute for a cocktail dress. A black dress is perfect for wearing to a funeral. If black does nothing to flatter your complexion and coloring, consider a navy dress in place of the LBD. It’s your closet and your style. Fashion rules are guides and meant to be broken. There is no “one size fits all” in the world of fashion.

All in all, when it comes to dresses, there is no shortage of options. Whether you are seeking something traditional or modern, formal or casual, there is sure to be something to fit your style. Each style of dress is unique and allows women to express their personal style, while also looking their best.

Dresses create a quick, effortless look and can be used to make a bold statement or keep things understated and modest. As you can see, you can’t go wrong with a dress — it is the perfect wardrobe staple! So, shop around, find something that suits your aesthetic and show off your unique style.