What Is And How To Style A Shirt Maxi Dress

Shirt dresses with buttons in the middle

A shirt dress is a dress that borrows from a classic tailored men’s shirt. It has elements like a collar, cuffs, front buttons, and pockets, just like a man’s shirt. Shirt dresses resemble shift dresses except with buttons going down their lengths. And like a man’s shirt, they do not have waist definition. Shirt dresses use fabrics such as cotton, linen, denim, and even silk.

A shirt maxi dress is, therefore, a full-length shirt dress. It sometimes comes with short sleeves but retains all the elements of a shirt dress in the shirt maxi dress. With no defined waist, these shirt maxi dresses are quite flattering, concealing the midsection, an area of concern for most women. They are also pretty comfortable, making them popular for hot summer days or holidays on warm, sandy beaches.

Since the shirt maxi dress is so flattering to women of different body types, there are many ways to style it. We will look at a few here so you can make the most of your dress.

How To Style A Shirt Maxi Dress

1. Wear It As A Shirt

Get your favorite pair of tight jeans and wear them underneath your dress, and unbutton it from the waist down. Alternatively, wear the shirt maxi dress as an open shirt with your jeans and a tank top underneath. Both ideas create a cool, edgy yet casual look that you can wear to a friend’s party or a second date. For this look to work, pick a print and color that makes the shirt maxi dress really pop.

2. Create A Cinched Waist

One of the greatest appeals of the shirt maxi dress is its free-flowing design. That allows you to style it pretty much as you wish, including creating a defined waist. You could add some waist definition to your dress using a simple belt to create a more polished and ‘put together’ look. For something more provocative and edgy, you could wear a corset on top of the dress. Defining the waist is an easy way to transform a simple shirt maxi dress into a stunning piece.

3. Add A Jacket

Adding outerwear to these maxi dresses is an easy way to add a pop of color and style to this simple outfit. For instance, pairing a white shirt maxi dress with a cropped denim jacket and a pair of ankle boots creates a nice casual look. Alternatively, a blazer worn over the dress with a kitten heel makes things more official. So be sure to pick the right jacket for the occasion.

4. Stay Loose And Simple

Wearing the shirt maxi dress as is, without defining the waist and with minimal accessories is a quick and easy casual look. You can create a casual ensemble perfect for running errands with a pair of comfortable sandals, a hat, and a statement necklace. Alternatively, a simple wedge with a scarf and jacket over the maxi dress will create this beautiful boho look for brunch or a movie night with the girls.

Keeping the waist undefined makes the shirt maxi dress an excellent choice for pregnant women. It accommodates their bellies in a flattering and stylish way, helping them look and feel beautiful while staying comfortable.

5. Sporty Casual Look 

Another way to create an easy casual look with the shirt maxi dress is by simply rolling up the sleeves and donning a pair of sneakers. It gives an easy look, especially when paired with a baseball hat and minimal jewelry. You could go watch a game in this outfit and be comfortable, casual, and stylish. Loosening up some buttons to expose a vest underneath will also achieve this casual look.

6. Beach Cover-Up

Shirt maxi dresses make for excellent beach cover-ups. You can unbutton the dress and put on sandals, sunglasses, and a hat to create a gorgeous look for the beach. You can roll up the sleeves or leave them down, and the dress can even be partially buttoned up. Either way, shirt maxis are the perfect beach cover-up. Remember to pick lightweight, breathable fabrics to keep you comfortable in the summer heat. And the fun thing is, once you are ready to leave the beach, you can just button up and be fully dressed instantly for the next venue.

7. Layering For Winter

Contrary to popular belief, you can wear shirt maxi dresses in the winter provided you choose the right material. Choosing heavier materials like flannel, wool blends, and thick denim is necessary to keep from freezing and then layer it to add some warmth.

One way to do this is by adding tights or leggings underneath the dress to keep your legs warm. Remember to choose neutral colors for the tights and/or leggings to avoid color clashing. Knee boots are another great option to keep your legs warm under your dress.

You could also wear a wool vest over the dress, or a coat to keep warm. Add a scarf where necessary and gloves as well. The goal of layering your shirt maxi dress is to keep you warm without taking away from the dress.

8. Experiment With Accessories

The shirt maxi dress is so versatile that you can style it with virtually any accessories. From statement jewelry pieces to different bags and shoes, this dress can make it all look good. 

For instance, you could wear a monochromatic dress with delicate, strappy heels and a large statement bracelet with an envelope bag for a business cocktail. 

You could also wear the same dress with a flower print jacket, bright-colored wedges, and a sling bag for a baby shower. So depending on what look you are going for, do not be afraid to switch things up with the accessories.

Shirt maxi dresses are versatile and appeal to women of all ages and style preferences. You can create so many looks with just one dress and a few good accessories that the shirt maxi should feature in every woman’s closet.

Are There Form-Fitting Shirt Maxi Dresses?

Yes, some shirt dresses are form-fitting, just as there are some fitting men’s shirts. However, many of the shirt maxi dresses tend to be free-flowing, and it is those that appeal to and are most flattering to most women.

Can I Wear A Shirt Maxi Dress To A Date?

Yes, you can absolutely wear a shirt maxi dress to a date. Only ensure that you choose the right kind of shirt maxi dress. Pick a dress made from the right material in a print or color you like and that would work for the date venue. You can wear shirt maxi dresses anywhere if you select and style them accordingly.

Lior Shapiro

I love clothes with pockets and dresses, and I think any woman can pull off a good maxi dress.
I believe women's clothes with pockets make the world a better place.