The best shirt dresses for women that you’ll wear over and over

The best shirt dresses are versatile, flattering and effortlessly stylish.

collage of the best shirt dresses
(Image credit: Future/Mango/Monsoon/H&M/Oliver Bonas/Cos/Reiss)

As far as cost-per-wear goes, the best shirt dresses are a pretty savvy addition to your closet

Easy to dress up (add a pair of fancy flats and a blazer) or dress down (add trainers and a cross body satchel) they endure in all seasons too. The ultimate solution to those frustrating “I’ve-got-a-wardrobe-full-of-clothes-but-nothing-to-wear” days. Aside from your best jeans and a trusty trench coat, few pieces have such exhaustive styling potential.

But it’s not just it’s adaptability that makes the shirt dress one of the best dresses you can buy. They also suit every body type. If you’ve got an athletic or rectangle body shape, wear loose and floaty. Add a waist-whittling belt to draw attention to your best asset if you’ve been blessed with an hourglass shape, and layer your shirt dress unbuttoned over jeans if you’re pear-shaped. Actually, do this anyway, for a fashion-forward take. 

When it comes to finding the best shirt dresses, there’s plenty of choice available. Go sleeveless for a 60s feel that’s perfectly suited for the summer months, and can be layered beneath a roll-neck when the weather turns. Long sleeves have the benefit of flexible coverage, letting you choose whether to wear them long and buttoned at the cuffs for a polished look, or push them up for a more casual take. The trusty short-sleeve offers a half-way point between both. 

As for length, a thigh-skimming mini is perfect for the beach dwelling and body confident, while the midi is a practical choice for everyday wear. It should hit around the middle of your calf or tops of your ankles depending on your height. 

To get the most out of your new purchase, choose a colour or fabric that won’t date by next season. Denim, khaki and beige are shrewd investments, as the neutral tones will go with pretty much any accessories. Same goes for black, navy and white. For something more playful, look to ditsy florals, deckchair-worthy stripes and modern geometric prints. 

Best shirt dresses - as chosen by our fashion experts

Cos Belted Shirt Dress

(Image credit: Cos)

Cos Belted Shirt Dress

Specifications
RRP: $115 / £65
Sizes: US - 2-14 / UK 6-18
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight cotton fabric+Timeless pastel shade 

This updated take on the shirt dress makes it a key staple for this summer. The subtle A-line fit suits all figure shapes. 

H&M tie-belt shirt dress

(Image credit: H&M)

H&M tie-belt shirt dress

Specifications
RRP: $27 / £19.99
Sizes: xs-xl
Reasons to buy
+Purse-friendly price +Vibrant floral print

This feminine floral print makes it a winner for any wedding or garden party. The tie waist is great for accentuating curves in a floaty maxi dress.

Mango Striped Shirt Dress

(Image credit: Mango)

Mango Striped Shirt Dress

Specifications
RRP: $79.99 / £49.99
Sizes: US 2-10 / UK 6-14
Reasons to buy
+Could double as a beach cover-up+Flattering oversized shape

This cotton style is ideal to keep you cool this summer. An oversized cut will skim over your curves.  

Olive Venice Shirt Dress

(Image credit: Olive)

Olive Venice Shirt Dress

Specifications
RRP: $124 / £89
Sizes: One Size
Reasons to buy
+Relaxed fit+Neutral shade will go with everything

A neutral tone will work effortlessly with the rest of your wardrobe. Wear with white trainers and tan accessories.

Reiss Circle Print Shirt Dress

(Image credit: Reiss)

Reiss Circle Print Shirt Dress

Specifications
RRP: $345 / £185
Sizes: 0-12 / 4-16
Reasons to buy
+Unique print+Could be worn in all seasons 

This graphic print looks designer for a high street price tag. The shorter length hem makes it an ideal style for petite frames.

Oliver Bonas Floral & Geo Scarf Print Blue Midi Shirt Dress

(Image credit: Oliver Bonas)

Oliver Bonas Floral & Geo Scarf Print Blue Midi Shirt Dress

Specifications
RRP: $130 / £89.50
Sizes: US 2-14 / UK 6-18
Reasons to buy
+Feminine silhouette +Plenty of movement 

Patchwork prints are set to be big for next season so stay a step ahead of the style game in this pretty frock. Bell cut sleeves like these are super flattering.

Monsoon Robyn Rose Floral Shirt Dress

(Image credit: Monsoon)

Monsoon Robyn Rose Floral Shirt Dress

Specifications
RRP: $141 / £99
Sizes : US 8-22 / UK 8-22
Reasons to buy
+On-trend puff sleeves+Detachable belt

Stand out from the crowd in this romantic rose print. It's puff sleeves and shirt style bodice will really accentuate your curves.