A shirt dress is a dress that borrows design details from a traditional man’s button-through shirt. They usually have a structured shirt collar, buttons down the centre front, sleeves, and cuffs. Some versions have mandarin collars, some are pull-on styles sans buttons, and others have no sleeves at all.
Their silhouettes vary from tailored sheath and fit-and-flares with belts that accentuate the waist, to straight shift styles, A-lines, and sack dresses that are roomy or very voluminous. In some instances, you can wear the same shirt dress with or without a belt. Lengths vary from mini and knee-length, to midi and maxi lengths. Most shirt dresses are woven, although knits do exist too. Most shirt dresses have fun side entry pocket on the skirt component. The collection below shows a fab assortment of shirt dresses across a range of colours and patterns.
The beauty of the shirt dress lies in the variety available. You can choose a version that shows or hides the contour of your body, depending on your preference. Keep things fitted from collar to hem to showcase your figure. Sport fluid or voluminous versions that create movement, romantic swoosh, and architectural drape that hide part of or most of the contour of your figure.
Most of my clients wear some sort of shirt dress because there is one for every person. Those who enjoy a very structured style to showcase their curves choose a belted silhouette with a straight skirt. Those who enjoy structure with movement opt for fit-and-flared versions that accentuate the waist and swoosh as they stride. Those who like to surrender the waist, or don’t enjoy belts, opt for straight shift silhouettes that hang like extra long shirts. And those who like to wear mega volume wear sack-like shirt dresses, or shirt dresses with cascading tiers.
I LOVE shirt dresses. They are by far my favourite style of dress because men’s shirts are a slam dunk for my body type. As long as the shirt component is sleeved, the length is midi, and there is swooshing movement on the bottom, I’ll wear most types of shirt dress. No sheaths, maxis, minis, or sleeveless though. I like belted versions as much as straight and sack versions, and have them all covered in my wardrobe. I wear shorter shirt dresses as tunics over cropped flares or cuffed straight jeans.
Here is my current collection, and will happily add more to my dress capsule.
Over to you. Do you like shirt dresses, and how do they feature in your style?