How to Wear It: A Summer Shirtdress

May 7, 2024

A girlfriend texted me Saturday with a question that was uniquely D.C. Her office is no longer suits and sheath dresses, but it’s not jeans and athleisure either. “Can an office be ‘semi-formal’?,” she pondered. “What do I wear for that?!”

Enter the shirtdress, the solution for summer.

A shirtdress is an easy, versatile look for work, weekend events, a casual wedding, religious services, or just brunch on Sunday.  This photo from Pinterest nails the ease of a shirtdress.  Let’s recreate it.

Dress // This look just shouts Mid-Atlantic Summer. And while I adore the look of a classic shirtdress (like these ones from Talbot’s, also in plus/plus-petite and Quince), I wanted something a bit more modern.  

This Tuckernuck dress has a stronger sleeve and a sleeker style, which is perfect for updating this look.  The dress comes in nine colors, sizes XXS-3X.  I’m hoping they restock the black before my work trip in June, because it is sublime.  

Looking for a more relaxed shirt dress?  I own this Caslon gauze dress and I highly recommend it.

Shoes // Finding an office appropriate summer shoe can be a challenge.  These slingback sandals from Reformation would fit in in many workplaces, but not all.  These Aldo Dorrena sandals are also a nice option.  Looking for something more like the photo?  Cole Haan has you covered.

Need a summer shoe for a professional office?  Try a peep toe low wedge or a peep-toe d’orsay flat.

Purse // This Coach bowling bag is a fantastic piece.  It’s professional, but approachable.  I love that you can wear it crossbody or carry it with the handle.  It’s fab.  And at under-$500, it’s nice but not too nice to carry every day.

Looking for something more summery?  This Demellier straw bag with a brown leather handle is sublime.  Also, for summer elegance, this $79 Mango shoulder bag is not to be missed.

Accessories // This belt from Fossil is perfect.  No, I mean it, perfect.  No designer buckles, but something classic and simple.  I bought it two weeks ago because I need belts in my post-pregnancy, working Mom size, and I love it.  Great belt, great price.

Also, these grey tortoise sunglasses struck me as a slightly unexpected choice for the outfit.  Basically, the “wrong shoe” theory sunglasses version.  I loved this pair from Amazon for an affordable pick.  For something a bit pricier, these Illesteva sunnies are wonderful.  J.Crew also has a chic pair.

Styling // Never miss a chance to wear red lipstick when an outfit needs a lift.  This Jane Iredale lip color feels weightless and the color is perfectly buildable.  A great find.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

 

Career Style, Posts, Style, Work

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  1. Mary Lentowski says:

    Love this look! Just bought this dress from Zara, it would work well for this combo too. Heavier weight linen, elastic back on the waist, nice room in the arms/chest, pockets!

    https://www.zara.com/us/en/linen-blend-midi-shirtdress-p02157043.html

  2. Tiffany says:

    I have the Chloe Tuckernuck dress in light blue and can recommend. Although that sleeve is strong and I have only worn to events and not work. The material is sort of strange but it resists wrinkles.

  3. Meaghan says:

    Love a shirtdress. I picked this up to wear to my stepdaughter’s graduation and wore it to work today. Great fabric, collar is stiff enough for a little pop at the back, and it resists wrinkles so far.

    https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/hybrid/exquise-tobie-button-front-pleated-midi-shirt-dress?color=009&type=STANDARD&quantity=1&size=3702

  4. Allison says:

    Love this post! I told a friend recently that I’m making this my summer of the shirt dress!

  5. Jo says:

    I own that Caslon dress that I bought two years ago, I think at your rec – I found it to be bump-friendly and wore it constantly through second and part of third trimester. Lightweight enough for a DC summer. Note that it wasn’t the sturdiest; the nature of the fabric is such that with such frequent wearing and washing, it did start to have pulled threads, etc. Would still buy again.

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