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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Equipment Calyer Cotton Shirtdress
You can’t go wrong with an all-black design, like this belted cotton midi dress.
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.
American Eagle Floral Drop Waist Shirt Dress
Bring out the sunshine in this flirty yellow shirt dress, which has an adorable ruffled hem.
Mikoh Oku Tunic
A relaxed yet polished cotton tunic easily transitions from day to night.
Rails Parson White Dress
This oversized cotton shirt dress embraces the menswear aesthetic.
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.
Christopher John Rogers Oversized Wool Midi Shirt Dress
We love the eye-catching shade of this oversized fuchsia shirt dress.
Wayf Devon Ribbed Shirtdress
This body-hugging black ribbed mini is a decidedly modern take on the classic shirt dress.
& Other Stories Oversized Midi Shirt Dress
The prim oversized collar perfectly offsets the leg-baring hem of this striped mini shirt dress.
Ganni Printed Mini Shirt Dress
Throw on this printed cotton shirt dress for the most effortless cool girl moment.
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.
Ninety Percent + Net Sustain Cecilia Ribbed Shirt Dress
This ribbed black shirt dress is all about understated and casual elegance.