The shirt dress: a year-round, versatile staple that can be worn in both a fluorescent-lit office space and a picnic party on the beach. First seen in the 1950s with a cinched waist and crinoline full skirt, the menswear-inspired shirt dress features a structured collar and buttons down the front and is universally flattering for any body shape. Plus, it acts as a blank canvas for accessories; hence, the ability to whip up an outfit for any occasion.
There are still the hourglass silhouettes of the 1950s, but today the shirt dress is more of a shift look, meaning the dress falls straight down from your shoulders and fits a bit looser. Denim and linen are more casual, sturdier cottons for the workplace, while silk and chiffon are gorgeous for dressier events. Whether sleeveless or sleeved, knee-length or maxi, there are a multitude of options at some of our favorite stores⎯all around $50 dollars or less.
Dorothy Perkins has a modern, graphic take on the botanical print trend with this short-sleeve number (#3). The sleeveless light-wash denim dress from H&M (#2) and striped jersey cotton frock from Gap (#1) are perfect for sweltering hot days.
Mango's classic safari-esque khaki shirt dress (#8) and Uniqlo's sleek long-sleeved belted black shift (#4) are great for the office. Ruche (#5) has a killer vintage-inspired number that's light and sweet for the warm season.