This Dress Style Is the Easiest Thing to Throw on in Summer



Now and again I’m reminded of a fashion item that straddles two oppositions, be it high-low, spring summer or smart casual. Case in point? Shirtdresses. When it comes to everyday dresses, there are a few styles that will withstand the test of time and seasonal shifts. Much like your wrap or knitted dress, a shirtdress is a fashion component you can fall back on time and time again. You’ll likely find it nestled in amongst French-inspired capsule collages, alongside Breton, trench coats and basics.

Summer is when shirtdresses come into their own. It’s the season retailers comply with the simple lines and elegant styles that best adhere to effortless dressing. A shirtdress is perhaps one of the most universal and wearable styles for a multitude of environments. As we saw from last week’s brazen rays, getting dressed in the heat is more about easy-to-throw-on styles that appear uniform, so there is no better choice for the current climate.

The versatility of the style transcends the seasons and bridges the gap between smart casual dress codes for day events, whilst offering up enough suave for formal occasions. For this reason, it's often the choice for Royal engagements. There are many events to contend with, from weddings to family barbeques, places of worship and laid-back picnics. The designation of a garment is heavily reliant on fabrication. This year, there has been a slew of shirtdresses cut from grainy cotton and linen yarns to appease our hot weather wardrobes.

Linen shirtdresses are most commonly worn in the summer months, however, cotton (particularly crisp poplin) shirtdresses, can quite easily be worn year-round, teamed with either canvas trainers or knee-high boots. Shirtdresses aren’t limited to button-downs either. Buttonless designs aid seamless silhouettes. Other style increments include fabric waist ties and button loops, in addition to patterned motifs and vibrant colourways. If you’re airing on the formal side of dressing, the sway of full skirts and length will always suffice. Below, I’ve compiled an edit of shirtdresses to suit all occasions and budgets. Keep scrolling to see my top picks!

Shop My Edit of Comfortable Shirtdresses

A vintage-style broad collar button-down dress.

Boden always release classic and well-considered designs. The ruched sleeved adds a feminine detail to the typical column-style shirt.

The brown on ecru pinstripe is the summery update of Breton.

A premium-looking piece with many a detail - from puff sleeves to the open back.

A sumptuous cotton-rich maxi in this season’s cocoa brown.

 Described as a sunny “kumquat,” this colour is perfect for hot climates. It can also be used as a beach cover-up.

A classic fit and flare style with an abstract motif.

The name says it all. Fluid lines and a boxy shape for premium comfort.

 A quirky update to the classic shirtdress. Just look at the squiggly sleeve motif!

A light voile midi that would look great paired with white trainers. It also features a concealed slip that can be worn separately.

A dress with a lot of thought in design- soft denim with a structured bodice and drop hem skirt.

The puff sleeve and collarless style is a feminine take on a traditional shirtdress.

A resort wear piece that can double up as a casual summer dress for peak temperatures.

The pintuck detail is reminiscent of corset boning, which is great if you’re hoping to carry sculpted styles through to the summer.

I’ve fallen for the colour and relaxed fit of this Lemaire piece.

I love the western feel of this Isabel Marant number. The waist detail is particularly special.

A classic ’50s shape with a ruched puff sleeve and plenty of volume in the skirt.

I’m fond of midriff shirring and the soft shaping it adds to a frock.

There’s something extra special about this shade of blue.

Cuff sleeves lend a feminine touch to this over-pronounced silhouette.

A midi dress fashioned from 100% lyocell, with a cinched-in waist and dipped hem.

A puffball sleeve with tiered lengths adds finer details to this mini shirtdress.

Related Stories