The 12 Best Shirt Dresses to Streamline Your Summer Capsule Wardrobe

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, WWD may receive an affiliate commission.

Updated June 10, 2024: This article on the best shirt dresses for women was updated with fresh product picks for summer and top editor’s choice recommendations, along with shirt dress outfit inspiration and trend insight for 2024.

Summertime dressing is all about one-and-done pieces that’ll keep you cool in the harsh sun, and the best shirt dresses exemplify that ideal easy-breezy attitude. The timeless silhouette can take you from weekend outings to European getaways and the office in one fell swoop, serving as chameleon pieces that can be dressed up or down in any well-curated capsule wardrobe.

The traditional shirt dress first entered the fashion lexicon in the 1950s, when Christian Dior’s “New Look” silhouette borrowed menswear influences like notched collars and cuffed sleeves atop full skirts, and those masculine elements continue to define contemporary iterations from designers like Altuzarra, Staud, and Caroline Herrera. The classic button down dress has since evolved through more casual cuts and fabrications, like cotton T-shirt dresses, linen shirt dresses, mini shirt dresses, and oversized shirt dresses — all of which make for effortless and breathable basics in the summer — though even elevated designs are becoming far more accessible to the everyday style star. Case in point: Zac Posen’s Gap shirt dress worn by Anne Hathaway. The Audrey Hepburn-inspired cotton gown was released as a pared-down replica (and sold out as quickly as it dropped) in a modern and affordable twist on the traditional silhouette.

“The shirt dress is such a tried-and-true staple,” says stylist Micaela Erlanger, who dresses A-listers from Lupita Nyong’o to Meryl Streep. “As someone who loves to pack smart, it’s a piece I’m going to get a lot of wear out of on vacation.” Whether you opt for a cuffed and collared shirt dress for work, a trendy denim shirt dress for the weekend, or a knit maxi shirt dress as a cover-up at the beach, its versatility knows no bounds.

If you need some shirt dress inspiration for the office or your upcoming summer vacation, keep reading for our picks of the best shirt dresses for summer and stylist-approved ways to style them.  

Top Shirt Dresses of 2024

Sign up for WWD Shop’s newsletter to get the scoop on the best in beauty and style with in-depth reviews of exciting new releases and buyer’s guides to find the products you need to try ASAP.

Editor’s Choice: Top 3 Shirt Dresses of 2024

No wardrobe is complete without a throw-on-and-go shirt dress. Since different styles apply to the range of occasions, functions, and preferences, WWD Shop editors picked our top three styles that are new for summer with different price points, silhouettes, and fabrications. Each of the below styles tick our non-negotiable boxes, such as boundless versatility, summer-proof comfort, and long-term durability, marking them as well-worthy investments.

  • Quince 100% Organic Cotton Relaxed Fit Shirtdress: We love the ease and breathability of this affordable t-shirt dress from Quince. Its loose fit is exceptionally comfortable for weekends or travel, while its simple design presents a blank canvas for playful accessorizing.
  • Altuzarra Isabela Dress: From the shirt dress experts at Altuzarra comes the Isabela Dress, which stands as a contemporary take on a classic. It’s equal parts polished and relaxed, while also mastering the balancing act between masculine and feminine. This shirt dress is an elegant investment piece you’ll cherish season after season.
  • Banana Republic Lydia Asymmetrical Shirtdress: This quintessential maxi-style shirtdress falls right in line with abounding borrowed-from-the-boys trends. Its essentially an oversized version of a menswear staple, with crisp cuts and poplin fabrication that’s chic and easy for work and play. You can play with the silhouette too, whether you add a belt to cinch the waist, or unbutton the front as a swimsuit cover-up or flowing topper.

women's shirt dress

Editor’s Choice

Quince 100% Organic Cotton Relaxed Fit Shirtdress

Size range: XS to XL
Colorways: Black and Dark Olive
Fabric: Cotton

Few pieces are as easy and comfortable as an oversized t-shirt dress. Not only is this pick from Quince blissfully affordable, but it also delivers on ideal cotton fabrication for breathability, with a moderate mid-thigh hem that shows off sun-kissed skin. You’ll always want to reach for this relaxed fit, whether to run errands on the weekends, as a cover-up by the pool, or as an outfit building block for layering on bold jewelry and pairing with statement shoes, like cowboy boots or platform sneakers.

What testers say: “I’ve been looking for a t-shirt dress for a while and I finally found one that’s flattering, not too boxy, and petite-friendly — as well as mom friendly. This checks all the boxes! I did go down a size because it’s a relaxed fit and it’s still loose around the mom pooch!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $34.90

12 Best Shirt Dresses 2024

Editor’s Choice

Altuzarra Isabela Dress

Size range: 4 to 12
Colorways: Optic White
Fabric: 70% cotton, 30% polyester

Altuzarra is renowned for its contemporary shirt dress designs, and the Isabella dress stands as a worthy investment piece for professional and formal occasions. Defined by a fitted waist with gold buttons, feminine ballon sleeves, a swinging pleated skirt, and a relaxed open collar, this flattering silhouette carries a modern, undone attitude, with hints of refined menswear influences. It doesn’t call for much fuss after that — just add minimalist jewelry, cute summer sandals, and a designer handbag to polish off your ensemble.

Price upon publish date of this article: $1,995

women's shirt dress

Editor’s Choice

Banana Republic Poplin Maxi Shirtdress

Size range: XXS to XL
Colorways: Mini Stripe and Black
Fabric: 100% cotton


Buy Now at banana republic

What if your boyfriend’s button-down came with an extended hem? Banana Republic’s luxurious and contemporary poplin shirt dress rings it at under $200, with timeless masculine tailoring, a point collar, and an easy-going relaxed fit. Available in chic black and crisp pinstriped colorways, it plays as an oversized shirt, a swimsuit cover-up, or an elevated number you can belt for more polished settings like a dinner date or professional happy hour.

Price upon publish date of this article: $160

12 Best Shirt Dresses 2024

A New Day Short Sleeve Midi Shirtdress

Size range: XS to 4XL
Colorways: Cream/Black Striped, Tan, Black, and Light Blue
Fabric: 57% cotton, 38% modal, 5% spandex

This super affordable find may just be the easiest piece you buy all season. It’s a midi t-shirt dress with comfy cap sleeves, a crew neckline, and side slits for breathability, made of a stretchy cotton blend you can move in. It comes in a wide array of inclusive sizing and staple colorways that are easy to style — so you might as well snag a few to bulk up your capsule wardrobe for summer.

What testers say: “Very comfy and flattering! I appreciate the higher neckline and longer length —makes it more modest without being to long or stuffy. I like how the shoulder design and side slit dress it up a bit too. Fits true to size.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $20

women's shirt dress

Veronica Beard Darien Contrast Cotton Midi Dress

Size range: S to XL
Colorways: Navy
Fabric: Pima cotton

Stretchy and soft, this polo-style midi shirt dress is preppy and simple for summer. Featuring a classic Johnny collar and sleeveless, cutaway shoulders, its ribbed cotton fabrication makes this a versatile and breathable staple you can move in. It falls right around the mid-calf, so it’s a great silhouette for spotlighting sandals, pumps, or white sneakers to nail down its sporty-chic vibe.

What testers say: “This dress is amazing. The quality one expects from Veronica Beard. It’s definitely form-fitting, but the overall shape and material are flattering. The collar is beautifully cut. This is a dress that will be in your closet for years! Very comfortable, easy, and classic. Heads will turn.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $278

women's shirt dress

Exquise Tobie Button-Front Pleated Midi Shirtdress

Size range: XXS to XL, as well as petite and plus sizing
Colorways: Black Motif
Fabric: Cotton, polyester, elastane

This top-selling number from Exquise takes the shirt dress to new levels. Its ruched bodice builds volume up top, while a cinched-in waist creates flattering shape. But the real kicker is its functionality; not only does it boast handy side seam pockets, it also can be unbuttoned as front slit or an open-front tunic, which can be layered atop straight-leg jeans, miniskirts, or even a slip dress. Pop on a belt to break up its softly-structured architecture, or leave it bare with low-profile accessories for an effortlessly elegant look.

What testers say: “I adore this dress. It’s easy to dress up or down, super flattering, and very comfortable. I’d say it’s pretty true to size, but forgiving with a bit of stretch. I tried my usual size and one size down, and either would have worked, but I ended up going with the smaller one.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $198

women's shirt dress

Everlane Organic Cotton Weekend Tank Dress

Size range: XXS to XXL
Colorways: Canvas, Black, Kalamata, Toasted Coconut, Bone/Grass Green
Fabric: 100% organic cotton

Similar to the best t-shirt dresses, a tank dress is just as easy with more shoulder on display. This clean-cut Weekend Tank Dress from Everlane reads minimal and ’90s-inspired. Its smooth cotton fabrication (inspired by a vintage tee in dress form) will feel lightweight under the heavy heat, while the crew neckline appears more classy for more dressed-up occasions.

What testers say: “Great dress for casual summer days. It’s easy to wear with a belt to have a more dressed-up look. The fabric is thick and washed well. I’m definitely ordering more colors!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $58

women's shirt dress

Mango Denim Shirtdress

Size range: 0 to 12
Colorways: Denim
Fabric: 100% cotton.

Hop on the denim-on-denim trend with this easy shirt dress from Mango. Rather than a heavier jean fabrication, it’s made with denim-style cotton, which is far more breathable and won’t weigh you down. It features a midi hem, classic collar, elongating buttons, and gathering at the bodice to flatter your figure.

Price upon publish date of this article: $79.99

women's shirt dress

Abercrombie Utility Maxi Shirtdress

Size range: XXS to XL, as well as petite and tall sizing
Colorways: Sage, Brown, and Black
Fabric: 60% polyester, 40% nylon

Cargo-inspired shirt dresses were all over the runways for spring and summer 2024 (more on that below), and Abercrombie’s got us covered with this affordable maxi silhouette. Its woven fabrication is especially durable for a season’s-worth of wear, while its functional pockets and comfortable elastic waistline leaves in comfortable for everyday. Add kitten heels for a chic and feminine touch, or carry a canvas tote for a day of play.

Price upon publish date of this article: $96

women's shirt dress

Staud Michelle Striped Cotton Shirtdress

Size range: XS to XL
Colorways: Seaweed Stripe
Fabric: 98% cotton, 2% spandex


Buy Now at saks fifth avenue

Staud’s Michelle Striped Cotton Shirtdress practically screams “summer!” Its keeps things light with a short hem, barrel-cuffed sleeves and all-over cotton fabrication, with a comfortable spandex panel at the waist for belt-free shaping. It offers a more playful shirt dress style you can lean into with a colorful shoulder bag and floppy sunhat.

Price upon publish date of this article: $375

12 Best Shirt Dresses 2024

Anothertomorrow Seamed Waist Shirt Dress

Size range: 0 to 14
Colorways: White and Midnight
Fabric: 100% organic cotton

Buy Now at Anothertomorrow $990

This crisp shirt dress takes on traditional “New Look” shaping with masculine cuffs and a sharp collar, but also brings feminine flair with exaggerated puff sleeves. It’s a stellar option for the office, and gets bonus points for its elevated, architectural seaming and side pockets.

Price upon publish date of this article: $990

12 Best Shirt Dresses 2024

Me+em Shirt Maxi Dress

Size range: 0 to 14
Colorways: Spring Green
Fabric: 75%™ Ecovero Viscose, 24% Polyester, 1% Elastane

If you live your life in technicolor, consider this vibrant green shirt dress from Me+em. It carries on all the classic elements with special touches like a removable belt, side pockets, and sleeves that leave room for a bracelet stack or shiny watch. It plays as a winning piece for work or play, whether you wear it with sweet Mary Jane shoes or chic wedge sandals.

Price upon publish date of this article: $495

Shirt Dress Trend 2024

models walk on the runway wearing various shirt dress styles

Left to right: Shirt dresses seen on spring 2024 runways at Altuzarra, Max Mara, The Row, Carolina Herrera, and Staud.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Shirt dresses were spotlit across the top runways for spring and summer 2024 as a simply chic statement with minimal accessorizing. Practically every silhouette had its moment; from billowing maxi shirt dresses at Staud and draping tee silhouettes at The Row to undone cargo-style shirt dresses at Max Mara. Classic belting and waist-cinching sashes appeared on wrap dresses and midi hems, while unexpected A-line mini dresses were seen at Altuzarra in cuffed shiny satin, reminiscent of tuxedo tailoring.

February Fashion Week attendees seen wearing various shirt dress styles.

Tastemakers at fall 2024 fashion weeks seen wearing various shirt dress styles.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Menswear-influenced shirt dresses continue to trend in street style, too. During fashion month this spring, show attendees leaned into the style’s roots with crisp white and blue button-up shirt dresses styled with a neck ties and blazers, while others juxtaposed the masculine attitude with open collars, stockings, and feminine rosette touches. We also saw the Canadian tuxedo trend in full effect, as street style stars donned denim shirt dresses in the range of hemlines, often paired with bold boots and gleaming jewelry for textural contrast.

Jessica Alba, Shay Mitchell, Julia Fox, Karlie Kloss, and Kendall Jenner are seen wearing various iterations of the shirt dress trend.

Jessica Alba, Shay Mitchell, Julia Fox, Karlie Kloss, and Kendall Jenner are seen wearing various iterations of the shirt dress trend.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Celebrities have also been flocking to the one-and-done silhouette in recent months. While Sofia Richie, Kendall Jenner, and Julia Fox embrace leggy micro hems and oversized dress shirts, — tying in trending borrowed-from-the-boyfriend fits — the likes of Karlie Kloss, Jessica Alba, and Lily Gladstone are opting for midi dresses with shaping belts and sharp collars. All-in-all, the shirt dress trend is reading especially minimal for summer 2024, as it forgoes bold accessories and lets structured or slouchy frocks do all the talking.

How to Wear a Shirt Dress — Shirt Dress Outfit Ideas

The beauty of the shirt dress is that it’s pulled together enough to just throw it on and wear as is. Erlanger suggests elevating the wardrobe essential with must-have accessories, including a bucket hat or oversized hat, tote bag, sunglasses, and shoes from espadrilles and designer sneakers to knee-high boots. “Don’t be afraid of the power of a waist,” she adds. “Find yourself a beautiful brown leather or raffia belt to belt the dress,” Erlanger recommends. Add a pair of designer hoops, and you can wear the look from day to night.

The maxi shirt dress trend translates perfectly to long, caftan-inspired designs that Erlanger recommends pairing with a loafer or a block-heeled boot to elevate the look even more. For a more unexpected look, Erlanger suggests wearing a maxi shirt dress open with shorts or pants and a camisole underneath. It’s a solid option for weekend plans and getaways, plus you can style the shirt dress just like you’d style a button-down. And, on the opposite end of the spectrum, she notes that mini dresses pose an opportunity to “amp up the accessories and layer on the jewelry — it’s kind of like a blank canvas so it lends itself easily to be accessorized.

For the Office

best shirt dresses shirt dress outfit ideas

Altuzarra Isabela Dress

Shown with: Dior Rouge Dior Forever Transfer-Proof Lipstick in 999 ($47), Gucci Diana Medium Tote Bag ($5,000), Vince Camuto Renira Slingback Pumps ($64.99)

For a Dinner Date

shirt dress outfit idea banana republic

Banana Republic Poplin Maxi Shirtdress

Shown with: Staud Beaded Bean Clutch ($225), Alohas Grace Bicolor Magenta Orange Leather Sandals ($180)

For the Weekend

denim shirt dress outfit

Mango Denim Shirtdress

Shown with: Mansur Gavriel Mini Bucket Bag ($495), Le Specs Air Heart Sunglasses ($75), adidas SL 72 OG Shoes ($100)

Why Trust WWD

Since 1910, WWD — often referred to as “the fashion bible” — has been the leading industry voice of authority for senior executives in the global women’s and men’s fashion, retail and beauty communities, while also informing the consumer media that cover the market. Today, WWD’s breaking news and trend coverage continues to be a trustworthy resource for both fashion insiders and consumers alike. Our shopping editors continue to uphold WWD’s editorial standards and values with quality, expert-backed product selections. Learn more about us here.

Meet the Expert

Micaela Erlanger

Micaela Erlanger is a celebrity fashion stylist based in New York. Named one of the “Most Powerful Stylists,” by The Hollywood Reporter, her A-list clients include Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Common, Diane Kruger, Sigourney Weaver, Lucy Hale, Amanda Hearst, and Shailene Woodley.

Meet the Author

Lauren Alexis Fisher is an editor, writer, and consultant with over eight years of experience in the fashion industry. After spending six years as a digital market editor at Harper’s Bazaar and a lifetime scrolling the internet, she’s well-versed in shopping all the best trends and pieces online – from shirt dresses to vacation essentials and beyond. Fisher wrote the original version of this story on the best shirt dresses.

Olivia Cigliano is a Commerce Writer & Producer at Footwear News and WWD where she writes and edits shopping content across fashion, beauty, footwear, TikTok style trends, and more. Cigliano received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Emerson College, and her byline can be found in publications including Elite Daily and CR Fashion Book. She is currently based in New York City. Cigliano updated this shirt dress shopping guide for 2024 with retailer new releases, editor’s choice recommendations, and fresh trends for summer.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top