After your morning alarm goes off, you’ve had your coffee, and it’s time to officially start the day, it’s also time to plan what you’re going to wear. But if you’re stuck between wearing a shirt or a dress, why not opt for both? That’s right. The shirt dress––one of the most versatile and stylish dresses you’ll want to have wardrobe-ready.
With the ability to style your shirt dress up or down for any occasion, you can wear it to the office, a brunch date, or perhaps even a formal event––as long as you style it correctly. So, how can you style your shirt dress? We’re here to provide tips and outfit ideas for styling this timeless wardrobe staple shirt dress, so you can look and feel your best.
What Can You Wear with a Shirt Dress?
When it comes to styling a shirt dress, the options are endless. If you're going for a casual dress look, consider adding a stylish jacket or a cozy cardigan paired with your favorite sneakers, flats, or sandals to create an effortlessly chic look. But if you’re planning for a dressy occasion, pair your shirt dress with statement jewelry pieces and heels.
Regardless of the event, you can’t go wrong with a bag for style and convenience. A crossbody bag or a tote works well for a casual outfit, while a clutch or a small handbag is perfect for a dressy occasion.
When to Wear a Shirt Dress
Aside from endless ways to style your shirt dress, another benefit is you can wear it in various weather conditions, from hot summers to chilly fall days. Here are some top tips for how to wear a shirt dress from season to season:
- Hot weather: In the summer months, a shirt dress in a lightweight fabric like cotton or linen can keep you cool and comfortable from day to night. With simple accessories like a stylish belt and a comfortable pair of sandals or sneakers, you can rely on a shirt dress to keep you cool, collected, and chic.
- Cold weather: When the weather gets colder, you can still wear your favorite shirt dress by layering it with a cardigan or a jacket. You can also wear tights or leggings to keep your legs warm and ankle boots or knee-high boots for additional coverage, warmth, and style. For an added touch of cozy, consider a fun scarf, shawl, or hat.
- Transitional weather: A white shirt dress can be the perfect transitional piece in the spring and fall. Pair it with ankle boots or flats and a denim jacket for a casual and comfortable look. And when the weather starts to cool down, wrap your shoulder in a scarf or cardigan to stay warm and stylish.
Rain or shine, you can style your shirt dress for whatever weather Mother Nature has in store. By choosing the right fabric and layering it with the appropriate accessories, you can wear a shirt dress year-round.
Shirt Dress Outfit Ideas
Now that you know the basics of how and when to wear a shirt dress, let’s get to the fun part: outfit ideas! As you rummage through your closet, don’t be afraid to experiment with different lengths, silhouettes, and accessories to find the perfect shirt dress outfit for you.
Casual Outfit Ideas
There’s nothing better than being casual and comfortable––and the shirt dress is the perfect marriage between the two. For a chic and effortless look, consider the following styles:
- Pair your shirt dress with white sneakers or sandals and a crossbody bag
- Mix and match with a denim jacket or a stylish blazer, and a pair of ankle or knee high boots
- Go casually but boldly with a belt around your waist to flatter your figure
How to Style a Shirt Dress for Work
A shirt dress paired with a blazer is a classic and professional look that works well in many office environments.
- Opt for a solid-colored t shirt dress in a neutral shade such as black, navy, or gray, and pair it with a fitted blazer in a complementary color.
- Add a skinny belt to cinch your waist and add some shape to your outfit.
- For shoes, opt for closed-toe pumps in a neutral color to complete the professional look.
These outfit tips are perfect for business meetings or presentations, and they’re easy to customize from day to night by swapping out your shoes or adding some statement jewelry.
How to Dress Up a Shirt Dress
Do you have a more formal event coming up? From bridal showers to fancy weekend dinners, a shirt dress can be a great alternative to a traditional cocktail dress, especially when styled with the right accessories, colors, and patterns. Here are a few of our favorite looks and tips:
- Pair a classic black or white shirt dress with heels and statement jewelry for an elegant look
- Add a pop of color with a brightly colored shirt dress, and coordinating accessories
- Go for a subtle or vibrantly-patterned shirt dress for a standout look, and pair it with your favorite heels or wedges
- Consider adding a belt around your waist for a flattering silhouette
Don’t be afraid to play dress up when it comes to styling your shirt dress for a nice occasion. You’d be surprised at how many variations you can discover!
Top Tips for Styling a Shirt Dress
Now that you’ve got a few outfit ideas in mind, we want to leave you with a few additional tips before you customize your shirt dress style. From cute accessories to finding the right length, you won’t regret taking the time to put together the perfect shirt dress outfit. Consider the following tips to take your outfit from basic to fabulous:
Jewelry: For day-to-day errands, consider simple stud earrings and a few bangles to complete your look. If you’re getting ready for a night out, opt for colorful, dangly earrings, a fun necklace, or maybe even an anklet for an extra flare.
Belts: Belts are a great way to add shape to your shirt dress. You can wear narrow belts around short or long-sleeved shirt dresses for dressy occasions. On the other hand, consider a wide belt to add a little extra to your outfit and emphasize your waistline. When choosing a belt, consider the color and material of your shirt dress to ensure you choose a belt that complements your ensemble.
Shoes: Shoes can make or break an outfit, so it's important to choose the right pair to complement your shirt dress. For a dressy occasion, opt for strappy heels, wedges, or ankle boot shoes. These can elongate your legs and add some height to your silhouette. For a casual look, pair your shirt dress with sneakers, sandals, or flats for a comfortable and effortless vibe.
Length: A shirt dress that is too short may be inappropriate for certain occasions and can also be uncomfortable to wear. Make sure you choose a shirt dress that is an appropriate length for your comfort and the occasion you’re attending.
By following these tips when styling a shirt dress, you can create a stylish and comfortable outfit that will make you feel confident and fashionable.
Find Your Style at Karen Kane
Styling a shirt dress is all about experimenting with different silhouettes, accessories, and shoes to find the perfect look for you. With these tips and outfit ideas, you can style your shirt dress for any occasion, from dressy events to casual weekend away outfits.
Remember to have fun with your outfit and let your personality shine through. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the different options, we’re here to help! From tips on how to style a jumpsuit to how to style linen pants, we’re here to help you find your fashion stride.
At Karen Kane, we want you to look and feel confident in every outfit you put on. Committed to creating meaningful styles and fashion staples for every woman, you’re sure to find a piece or two of chic women’s clothing in our collection that makes you feel beautiful.