The Best Shirt Dresses You Should Buy Right Now

A shirt dress is comfortable, effortless and elegant.

The Best Shirt Dresses You Should Buy Right Now
A shirt dress is a true classic. Annie Sheehan for Observer

Anyone who cares about building a capsule wardrobe filled with dependable classics (and really, who doesn’t?) knows the importance of having a dress (or two…or three…) that’s an instant outfit all by itself, without agonizing over coordinating separates or additional accoutrements.

Take the shirt dress, which is one of those frocks that’s comfortable yet polished, and is an ensemble all on its own. A shirt dress is an effortlessly chic, easygoing and elegant closet staple, so it’s not surprising they’ve endured the many fickle fashion cycles over the years. Shirt dresses have remained popular for decades, with different interpretations and iterations of the menswear-inspired silhouette that reflect the popular trends of the times, whether that be the ladylike pleated looks of the 1950s or the slinky Halston designs of the 1970s.

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Shirt dresses are so versatile; you can dress them up or tone them down, and they’re just as appropriate for a day at the office as they are for a night out on the town or even a beach vacation; it’s all about the particular shirt dress you choose and how you accessorize and style it. They’re fitting for all seasons, but a breezy, flowing shirt dress does seem to have extra appeal as the weather starts to warm up, given how easily you can simply pair them with a stylish ankle boot, simple sandals or lug-sole loafers.

Today’s shirt dresses come in a variety of fabrics, colors and silhouettes, whether you’re looking for a retro-inspired belted number, a casual, billowing borrowed-from-the-boys style or a bohemian floral frock. Below, see the best shirt dresses to add to your wardrobe right now, that you’re sure to wear for years to come.

  • Mirth.

    Mirth Marfa Camp Dress in Ivy Coral

    It’s time to break out the florals, like this pretty button-down shirt dress with perfectly puffy short sleeves that’s sure to be a warm weather staple.

    $248, Shop Now
  • Magic Linen.

    MagicLinen Linen Shirt Dress Tarragona

    We’re big fans of all things linen over here, and no summer wardrobe is complete without at least one item in the breathable fabric. This rose-colored shirt dress hits just above the knee, with a removable belt that you can tie to add a bit more structure.

    $98, Shop Now
  • HVN.

    HVN Cristina Belted Polka-Dot Silk Midi Shirt Dress

    For a perfectly preppy, ladylike retro shirt dress, look no further than this silky polka dot HVN frock. It’s feminine and elegant, and would look so chic with a pair of cat eye shades and ballet flats.

    $675, Shop Now
  • Monrow.

    Monrow Double Layer Shirt Dress

    A white cotton dress is the unofficial summer uniform, and this layered shirt dress is a fun, breezy twist on the look.

    $225, Shop Now
  • Equipment.

    Equipment Calyer Cotton Shirtdress

    You can’t go wrong with an all-black design, like this belted cotton midi dress.

    $375, Shop Now
  • Nanushka.

    Nanushka Barlia Cutout Crepe Shirt Dress

    This slim-fitting, long-sleeved ivory shirt dress pays homage to a classic coat dress, and features unexpected cutouts on the back.

    $775, Shop Now
  • American Eagle.

    American Eagle Floral Drop Waist Shirt Dress

    Bring out the sunshine in this flirty yellow shirt dress, which has an adorable ruffled hem.

    $22.47, Shop Now
  • Mikoh.

    Mikoh Oku Tunic

    A relaxed yet polished cotton tunic easily transitions from day to night.

    $143, Shop Now
  • Rails.

    Rails Parson White Dress

    This oversized cotton shirt dress embraces the menswear aesthetic.

    $218, Shop Now
  • Ba&sh.

    Ba&sh Bowie Dress

    This flowing floral shirt dress has a statement round neckline as well as plenty of ruffles and a subtle tie at the waist.

    $395, Shop Now
  • Christopher John Rogers.

    Christopher John Rogers Oversized Wool Midi Shirt Dress

    We love the eye-catching shade of this oversized fuchsia shirt dress.

    $1,575, Shop Now
  • Wayf.

    Wayf Devon Ribbed Shirtdress

    This body-hugging black ribbed mini is a decidedly modern take on the classic shirt dress.

    $79, Shop Now
  • & Other Stories.

    & Other Stories Oversized Midi Shirt Dress

    The prim oversized collar perfectly offsets the leg-baring hem of this striped mini shirt dress.

    $119, Shop Now
  • Ganni.

    Ganni Printed Mini Shirt Dress

    Throw on this printed cotton shirt dress for the most effortless cool girl moment.

    $295, Shop Now
  • Garnet Hill.

    Garnet Hill Linen Midi Shirtdress

    A floaty, short-sleeved linen midi shirt dress is just screaming to be taken on that seaside getaway you have planned for this summer.

    $159, Shop Now
  • Ninety Percent.

    Ninety Percent + Net Sustain Cecilia Ribbed Shirt Dress

    This ribbed black shirt dress is all about understated and casual elegance.

     

    $190, Shop Now
The Best Shirt Dresses You Should Buy Right Now