Style and Styling

5 Ways to Wear a Shirt Dress

Warm Weather Edition!

Happy day, reader dear!

This is an odd post for me to be writing… I was never much of a shirt dress fan. Don’t get me wrong; I loved how shirt dresses looked… On mannequins, on everyone else, but just not on me. I bet that happens to you, sometimes. You love a look on someone else; try it on; and “Ewwww.” That was my problem with shirt dresses. There was always something not right. It was too stiff, or too classic, or too masculine, or too simpery, or too this, or too that, or too the other thing. When I got clear about what worked for me, finding the right one was easy!

Note: You will see both shirtdress and shirt dress. Search both the one and two word versions when shopping or inspo hunting!

Shirtdress + Fun Pumps + Statement Earrings

This one is should be a no-brainer. Shirtdresses can be classic easy summer business wear. But if you want a little more fun, let’s add accessories with more flair and spark!

Shirtdress + Trousers

This is one I LOVE! The feminine feel of a dress, the no nonsense ease of pants, the quirk of combining the two. Here you can see both a spring version of the look and how I worked it for summer business casual.

The nice thing about these looks is they read as more creative than trousers and a blouse, and don’t look unfinished without a jacket. Believe-you-me… Jackets are something we try to avoid here in Georgia in the summer!

Shirtdress + Sandals +Straw Hat

This combo is perfect for heading to the farmers’ market on a Saturday morning. Great air circulation and bare piggies are just right for choosing fruit and veg, and for having a cold beer at an outside table somewhere… Ahhhh!

Pop on a small crossbody bag for money, keys, and phone. Grab your grocery bags and go!

Shirtdress + Flip Flops + Beach Bag

(Never thought I’d say Flip Flops in an Outfit Recipe!)

A shirtdress makes a fabulous bathing suit cover-up! You can leave it open to shield your shoulders from the sun, button just the middle buttons for a sexy beach-goddess vibe, or finish buttoning it up for dinner at that lovely little seafood place that’s a step up from fried fish and beer eaten with your fingers! Keep a pair of hoops and another pair of sandals in your bag, just in case. There’s nothing wrong with fried fish and beer, but maybe feeling fancy with a knife and fork is the texture of the day!

Day: Add sunscreen liberally!
Night: Slip on hoops and heels!

Shirtdress + Tee +Jeans

You saw the shirtdress above as a kind of tunic over trousers, so why not go a step further and leave it open as an overshirt with jeans and a tee? Go for the standard blue jean, or if you want to dress it up, why not white jeans? Wearing the shirtdress as a topper has the added benefit of keeping your white jeans clean for an extra wearing!

I’m really grooving on this one… I wonder if this is tomorrow’s OOTD?

Hmmm. I may need to revisit this theme again in the fall for some looks with a cooler weather vibe. A shirtdress is a great seasonal transition piece! So, how about you? Is there a shirt dress in your wardrobe? Does it get worn? Only for work? Did you get some new ideas today? Let me know in the comments below; it’s always a treat to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,


  • Erika

    Thanks for the great ideas, Liz. What sets you apart from lots of other fashion bloggers is the easy to follow advice, not just 10 photos of the same outfit and purchase links at the bottom. Infinitely more helpful! I tried the dress — a fitted tank dress—over trousers trick twice last week and loved it. Will have to cruise the sales for a full button shirt dress and try that. Appreciate the inspiration!

    • closetplayadmin

      Welcome back, Erika! Glad you found some inspiration here! Just remember to keep your personal preferences, especially fabric type and collar/cuff ideas, in mind when you shop! I’d hate it if you bought one only to have your closet wear it!

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