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How to Style a Shirt Over a Dress: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to styling a shirt over a dress there are some clever fashion hacks that could transform your look instantly resulting in giving your wardrobe a more versatile, creative and glamorous touch. This trend offers you a budget friendly and sustainable way to repurpose your dresses for different occasions and seasons. Doesn’t matter if you are looking for a casual, sophisticated or an edgy look, once you layer a shirt over a dress you unlock an array of styles. Following is a guide which will help you to make better styling decision using this fashion trend.

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Understanding the Basics

Before mastering the many ways to style a shirt over a dress, we must grasp the basics revolving around this trend. In order to nailing this look perfectly we must understand the correlation between texture, color scheme and proportions. The key is to select the right shirt for the right dress, an appropriate pair has the power to make your contour more appealing and uplift your outfit, while on the other hand an inappropriate pair could make a mess out of your look.

1. Choose the Right Dress

The base of this look lies in the dress you choose, and a simple silhouette is considered to be ideal as it serves as a canvas for layering. A streamlined shape of a slip dress, A-line dress and a sheath dress works perfectly. However, considering a more voluminous style would also give no harm, for example a maxi or a midi dress in order to give a bolder statement.

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2. Pick a complementary Shirt!

Fabric, color and the pattern are the most important factors which should be in consideration while selecting your shirt. When selecting a shirt for a casual vibe you should opt for a denim shirt, while when looking for a more classic look to your dress you should go with a sharp white button-down shirt. When looking for a frisky look, one must choose a shirt with bold prints a color that contrasts with your dress. The job is to make sure that the shirt complements the dress without overpowering it.

Master the Art of Layering

Layering is an art in itself and there are numerous ways to style your shirt over a dress:

  • Tie it at the Waist:

To give more definition to your contour, one must use the classical approach that cinches the waist. Just simply tie the end of the shirt of your choice and make a note at waist level. This method usually suits almost all dress types, and it works perfectly when used with a button-down shirt.

  • Wear it Open:

In order to achieve a relaxed look, you must wear the shirt open similar to a jacket. This look is best to showcase a beautiful dress while you add a layer on top for warmth and texture.

  • Belt it:

To achieve a polished and cohesive appearance, you can add a belt over your shirt which will also put the entire look in the right place. This method is ideal when used for a oversized shirt as it helps to define the waist.

  • Experiment with Sleeves:

To make your outfit more interesting you can choose a shirt with distinctive sleeve details, or you can simply roll up the sleeves.

Accessorize Wisely

Accessories surely have the power to elevate your layered outfit. When choosing your accessories make sure you opt for the ones that uplift your look without cluttering it. A stylish handbag, minimalist jewelry or a belt holds the power to complement your look. Footwear is also something that can complement your different looks as sneakers gives a casual vibe while heels on the other hand can give a more formal look.


Styling a shirt over a dress is a fashion trend that allows you to look for more creative and personal expressions. Following these techniques can bring new life into your old boring dresses and it will also expand your options of styling. Doesn’t matter if you are casual day out, a semi-formal night out in the town or anything that comes in between, this fashion-forward trend can definitely adapt to your styling and the occasion. So, for the future, when you feel uninspired while looking at your wardrobe, always remember this comprehensive guide that helps you in styling a shirt over a dress for a fresher look.

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