The shirtdress—celebs and models do it, and friends, you can, too. Here’s six things you need to know about how to wear this casual yet classically chic hybrid look, from Toronto stylist Sansyrae St. Martin.
1. The right height. “Anywhere from mid-thigh to just above the knee is ideal,” says St. Martin. “Too short and it looks like you forgot your pants—any longer and it’s a nightgown from the ’80s!” If pairing over leggings, the shirtdress should fall below the bum but above mid-thigh. “Keep the fabric crisp and casual,” she adds.
2. “Fit depends entirely on your figure. If you are curvy, it’s generally most flattering to wear a nicely tailored shirtdress, possibly even belted. If you have a long and lean physique, then a straighter, boxier cut is a fun and fresh take on the style.”
3. Keep it light. “Chambray or cotton are great for a casual look while silks and chiffon are a little more dressed up,” she says. “You can even play with some bold patterned shirtdresses.”
4. “The shirtdress is a lot like a pair of jeans,” says St. Martin. “It’s simple enough that your accessories can really create the look. If you want to go for an ‘I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-look-this-cute’ vibe, then slip on flat boots or booties with your casual shirtdress. If you want something more stylized then wear a spectacular statement heel.”
5. Yes, petite women can rock the shirtdress: “Keep the fabric light to maintain movement and have fun with your accessories.”
6. Speaking of accessories… “You can do so much with the shirtdress,” she says. “Anything from a ball cap and sneakers to pointed heels and a great big bag and sunglasses.” Just don’t overdo it. “A large part of why the shirtdress is so fantastic is it’s effortless simplicity.”
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.