Meet your new wardrobe MVP: the T-shirt dresses!
T-shirt dresses are the little black dresses of summer. They’re simply a longer version of your favorite T-shirt made of a cotton or cotton blend, which is a great summertime material to keep you cool.
Combined with their shift shape, T-shirt dresses have that throw-on-and-go ease that few wardrobe staples can master.
Effortlessly styled up or down all season long, it’s a classic and comfortable option for day, night, and any warm vacation!
Can’t figure out ‘how to style T-shirt dress’? Don’t worry, we have the full how-to style guide at the bottom.
Viva Cabana Pick!
We love this black midi T-Shirt dress for everyday wear. Wear them with white sneakers for a causal look!
The most classic of the bunch is, quite literally, an oversized T-shirt, often made of cotton jersey and featuring very little nipped-in shape beyond that of a straight up-and-down tee—crewneck, short-sleeves, and all.
To add a little bit more swing, shop a T-shirt dress that features a simple tiered style, which feels a bit more feminine than the alternative as well.
For more dressed-up events, you can either opt for a cotton dress that hits slightly lower, at mid-calf or below; or slip into a T-shirt dress of any length that’s made of a more luxe silk or similar flowing material.
RELATED: 19 Best Summer Dresses to Shop Right Now
Style Tip: transitional style
A classic T-shirt dress is perfect for transitional weather from spring to summer and summer to fall.
Add a denim jacket and white boots in the spring and black ankle boots and a chunky wool sweater come fall.
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No matter what your personal style is, there is a T-shirt dress for you. Shop our favorites here.
Our Top Picks
Best Striped Dress
What We Love: Breton stripes reign supreme with this T-shirt dress, which hits just above your knee and gives off that preppy, nautical-inspired vibe you indulge in all year long.
It’s a classic timeless style that you can wear over and over. (Plus, it’s on sale now!)
Helpful Tip! Style this dress with sneakers for an all-over sporty look, dressing it up for added flair with a cross-body bag and a chunky bracelet.
Material: 100% cotton
The Best Shift Silhouette
What We Love: For the simplest of throw-on-and-go, ultra-casual T-shirt dresses, shop this cotton shift from H&M. In stripes, neutrals, and pastels alike, it retails for under $15… and is often on sale!
Wearers love the cotton material: “Perfect soft fabric but still thick enough to not be see through.”
Helpful Tip! Petite reviewers do recommend sizing down due to the oversized style of this T-shirt dress.
Material: 100% cotton
Best Maxi Dress
What We Love: While many a T-shirt dress is just an oversized version of your favorite cotton topper, this dress skims the floor and gives the category a whole new meaning. For day or night, you’ll love this flowing tee.
Helpful Tip! Add a statement belt (or even a harness for an edgier option) around your waist to define your figure and balance the loose, flowing silhouette
Material: 52% cotton, 48% recycled polyester
What We Love: Logo-mania is a huge trend from the ‘90s that is coming back with reckless abandon.
If you want to dip your toe into the look, but keep it feeling subtle, shop this Tory Burch white T-shirt dress with an eyelet-style logo print all down the front.
Helpful Tip! Lean into the ’90s style and pair this number with your favorite flatforms, be it loafers or sneakers.
Material: 100% lightweight jersey
Best Tiered Style
What We Love: The layered tiers of this T-shirt dress allow for the optimum movement with a little bit of subtle added detail that makes it feel more elevated than a traditional swing dress.
Helpful Tip! Wear this as a cover-up on the beach or dress it up with a pair of sandals for brunch with your best friends, all summer long.
Material: 100% cotton
What We Love: For those who love it shorter as a coverup—this Ugg T-shirt dress is the one for you. The mini silhouette is balanced by the sporty and casual elongated sleeves and classic tee shape.
Available in a fun, feminine pink, highlighter yellow, and classic black, you can’t go wrong with the style or colors!
Helpful Tip! Style it with white sneakers and a cross-body bag and you’re good to go.
Material: 100% cotton
What We Love: The elegance of this La Ligne dress was so popular the first time around that the brand brought it back for a second summer. Now available in white, navy, and army green.
We love this dress for tailored everyday wear, hitting your frame at mid-calf with a single tie waist that adds just the right amount of waist structure while still feeling easy-breezy.
Helpful Tip! For an effortless office-approved look, just add your favorite blazer.
Material: 100% organic cotton
What We Love: Yes, even splurge-worthy dresses fall into the T-shirt category, especially when it comes to this Balenciaga creation.
With a mock neck and short-sleeve top, this white cotton gown hugs your figure through the thighs and flares out like a true ballgown down below.
Helpful Tip! Wear this one with heels to keep those legs long and hit the party circuit like a pro.
Material: 94% cotton, 6% elastane
Best Side-Slit Midi
What We Love: This Amazon dress is from their trend-driven line, The Drop, and is one of those T-shirt dresses that spans generations. And reviewers agree: “It is perfect for anything, casual, travel, even dress-up.”
With a mid-calf length, it feels more conservative, maintaining that casual nature—especially when paired with low-top sneakers.
With a side slit that only reaches your knee, you can show a little bit more skin without feeling as though you’re bearing it all.
Material: 95% modal, 5% elastane
Best Swinging Style
What We Love: When you want that classic shift dress with a little bit more movement, shop this Amazon brand for one in every color of the rainbow (you have 23 hues to choose from!).
One reviewer raves about its versatility: “This dress is perfect for almost any occasion… I fully plan to wear this even going into the fall with leggings.”
Helpful Tip!: While the tee looks great with sneakers all summer long, you can style it with sandals or chunky heels for a slightly more festive affair.
Material: 95% viscose, 5% elastane
What We Love: While a classic white cotton T-shirt dress is always a great go-anywhere for the warmer months of the year, it feels more elegant at this mid-calf length.
Designed with a more fit and flare silhouette than other T-shirt dress options, this midi flatters your figure while remaining effortless.
Helpful Tip! Belt it or wear it swinging, styling it with flat sandals for brunch with friends and low-top sneakers for a day full of errands.
Material: 100% Pima cotton
Best Pocketed Style
What We Love: Whether it’s a place to store your keys, phone, or simply a credit card, the addition of pockets to an everyday dress is always appreciated.
And in a T-shirt dress? Largely unheard of. Slip into this casual tiered must-have.
The length is also a perfect match for petite wearers: “I am 5’ 1″ and have difficulty finding dresses that aren’t too long. This dress is the perfect length, soft and comfortable.”
Material: 35% rayon, 60% polyester, 5% spandex
Best Go-Anywhere Classic
What We Love: If you only shop for one T-shirt dress this season, make it this one. With a mid-calf length, it’s conservative and appropriate for all ages, while its striped pattern makes it feel a little bit more youthful, albeit classic.
Leave it to Ralph Lauren to craft the most timeless take on the go-anywhere summertime trend. It’s a great dress whether you’re throwing it on solo or topping it with a denim or leather jacket for more fickle summer evenings.
Material: 39% cotton, 2% elastane, 59% viscose
Best Night-Out Tee
What We Love:If there’s one T-shirt dress that will take you to a fancier event with that timeless cool-girl style, it’s this one. And, from The Row, that comes as no surprise.
The brand was started as one to craft the “best” version of all of your wardrobe staples, and the T-shirt dress tops the list come summer.
Helpful Tip! You’ll love this oversized navy blue ankle-length frock, styled with a clutch and heeled sandals for a dinner out with friends.
Material: 31% polyester, 69% triacetate
Best White Sneakers to MaTch
White sneakers can be your T-shirt dress’s best friend. Clean white touch gives nice summer vibe.
Best Slide Sandals to Match
Wear slide sandals to complete your causal summer look. Easy and breezy!
Styling a T-shirt dress
With a T-shirt dress of any size or style, all you need is a pair of shoes and you’re good to go.
DAY: For a casual morning, we love styling our T-shirt dresses with low-top sneakers or flat sandals, grabbing a denim or leather jacket for a bit more warmth.
WORK: Head to the office with the addition of a summer tweed blazer, a pair of sandals or mules, and a classic, leather handbag.
NIGHT: We swap out those sneakers for heels, opting to add a bit more jewelry to the overall look for some nighttime sparkle.
What to Look for
Look for that classic short-sleeve T-shirt shape.
Material: Anything and everything. Cotton, silk, and all that lies in between!
Fit: A T-shirt dress should not be body-hugging or tight. While some swing more than others, it’s the loose and easy silhouette that’s characteristic of this trend.
Size: Mini, midi, or maxi are all welcome in the T-shirt dress family.
Pro Tip 😎
A T-shirt dress is like the LBD of summer. Dress it up or down with ease, depending on the length and mix-in of shoes and accessories.
Whether you’re shopping for a T-shirt dress in classic cotton or dressed-up silk, this shift dress style is the easiest throw-on-and-go of the season.
How do you look less casual when wearing a T-shirt dress?
Accessories and layering pieces are going to be the ultimate must-haves when styling your T-shirt dress upscale or casual.
While sneakers and a cross-body bag might be fine for a more casual morning, it’s just as easy to look less casual in a T-shirt dress by slipping into a pair of heels, opting for a silhouette that’s made of a more flowing fabric like silk, or adding jewelry and other sparkling accessories to your overall look.
What is the best fabric for a T-shirt dress?
There is no such thing as the “best” fabric for a T-shirt dress. Of course, cotton is more resilient than, say, silk, but that goes for everything in your wardrobe.
The beauty of the shift shape of a T-shirt dress is that anything goes! Opt for cotton jerseys by day and silk by night, styling them up or down with ease.
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