The Power of the Perfect Shift Dress

May 19, 2017
shift dress, cornflower blue with white embroidery, envelope clutch, matching cornflower blue slingback flats

Outfit Details: shift dress (boutique) but this one and this one are similar, monogrammed envelope clutch, Lucky Brand shoes (old) but these are similar

A classic cut made popular by fashion icons such as Grace Kelly and Jackie O, the shift dress is a style that has been around for decades and, I assure you, won’t be going away any time soon. It’s honestly just too perfect! The shift dress has been one of my favorite dress styles for as long as I can remember for three reasons: it’s flattering, breezy, and it’s the perfect base to dress up or down.

In the South our springs, summers, and even falls can be pretty hot so the shift dress is a perfect way to beat the heat while still looking stylish. This specific dress type hangs from the shoulders and has a simple line. Because of the simple cut of the dress it’s easy to move around in and it looks good on pretty much all body types (yay!).

The best thing about a shift dress in my opinion, though, is that it is so easy to transition. The dress is basically a blank canvas that you can dress up or down. With the right accessorizing, the same shift dress could be worn to run errands, to a lunch out, or even to a cocktail party! Here’s how I would style the dress for those occasions:

Running Errands:

Obviously you don’t need to look like a runway model to run errands, but pulling on your favorite shift dress is much easier than matching a shirt and bottoms and it can be just as comfortable. You’ll look super cute and your dress will keep you a lot cooler in those hot summer months than jeans would. When I’m running errands I like to slip on my Keds or some flat sandals and run around town in those. I wear a simple necklace with the shift dress and just grab whatever cross body purse I find first.

Lunch Out:

I try to look a little nicer when I go out to lunch with friends, so to help my shift dress transition I upgrade my accessories a little bit. Adding a bracelet or a nice necklace and some earrings will take your dress from casual to stylish. I like to pair that with ballet flats or wedges and bring along a purse that contributes to the look. I ran errands and met my sister for lunch in this outfit so I combined the two looks to best fit my day.

Cocktail Party:

My-oh-my do I love a semi-formal event! Dressing up is one of my favorite things to do, so I love accessorizing my shift dresses for fancier occasions. To make the dress acceptable for a cocktail party (or an event like it) I pair my shift dress with nice heels, a clutch purse, and usually a necklace, bracelet, and earrings that are going to add to the simple elegance of the dress. With the right accessories you can go from shopping at Publix to Jackie O in no time!

You can perfectly customize your shift dress to make it match your needs and style! It’s such a classic piece that I can basically guarantee that you could find one in any store you walk into. When you can’t decide what to wear this summer, pull your shift dress out of your closet and make it work for you- it’s a popular style for a reason. A dress is practically magic when it’s comfortable, functional, and glamorous all at the same time!

    1. Oh-my they are so wonderful! They’re easy to dress up or down and you can style one dress in so many ways. The shift dress is definitely my go-to outfit!

    1. Yes, a shift dress is so easy to slip on when you’re in a hurry. I also think they’re really comfortable so they’re great for when you have to run around town!

  1. I agree this is a great look for any outing. I don’t actually own an shift dress but I should look for one. Yours looks so cute and stylish. And it’s all about the accessories to dress it down or make it more elegant.

    1. Thank you so much! You’re right, just adding a few accessories can completely change the look. I find a lot of my shift dresses at boutiques and I saw some cute ones at Loft just the other day if you wanted to look for one!

  2. The dress totally isn’t my style but I really like it! The pattern and color go well together!
    Great summer outfit 🙂

    xx, rebecca

Comments are closed.