8 Shirt Dresses That Are Anything But Basic and How To Style Them

No more basic 'fits.
best shirt dresses australia

Shirt dresses are the wardrobe chameleons you didn’t know you needed, effortlessly blending comfort with a dash of chic. Far from basic, these versatile pieces have been go-to pieces in the wardrobes of the sartorial set for seasons upon seasons, and they’re certainly not going anywhere anytime soon.

With the ease of your favourite oversized tee but elevated and chicer, these handy dresses are something to consider adding to your wardrobe if you’re a No-Muss-No-Fuss kind of dresser who values style. And the good news is gone are the days of frumpy, outdated designs from your shirt dresses, there are endless unique and fresh options on the market that can suit any style, vibe and occasion.

How to style a shirt dress?

Not sure how to style them? It’s easier than you’d think! With such a simple piece, most of your styling will revolve around accessories – and this is your chance to really have fun with your outfit.

If the weather calls for it, a shirt dress is practically made to be thrown over some bright swimwear and paired with thongs – we love those of the platform kind – to lean into that endless summer energy. However, if it’s a bit too chilly, knee-high boots and an equally oversized knit make for a perfect pairing. Don’t be afraid to layer, dresses over pants have certainly returned from the early 2000s and a maxi long-sleeve shirt dress paired over straight-leg trousers or jeans is an unbeatable chic look.

Look to accessories such as belts, juxtaposing combat boots or delicate kitten heels to add texture and dimension to such a simple piece. Don’t forget your jewellery, if you ask us the bigger the better as it helps to add further details, although a minimalist look with a simple cuff and hoops will always look elegant.


  1. Franca Shirt Dress, $56 (usually $185) at Avenue The Label (here’s why)
  2. ST MRLO Denim Shirt Dress, $139.95 at The Iconic (here’s why)
  3. River Island Long Sleeve Button Front Denim Midi Dress, $150 at ASOS (here’s why)

The best shirt dresses to add to your wardrobe in 2024

avenue best shirt dress


Franca Shirt Dress

$56 (usually $185) at Avenue The Label

Let’s start simple (but far from boring) with an oversized white shirt dress that is the perfect basis to any outfit. Style with a chunky belt and some sandals in summer or layer with a chunky knit and knee-high boots if the weather is particularly cool. Immediately give off a low-effort Cool Girl vibe.

Sizes: XS to XL | Colours: White | Materials: 100 per cent cotton

Style notes:

  • Shell buttons
  • Curved hemline
  • Sharp statement collar
  • Dropped shoulders
denim shirt dress


ST MRLO Denim Shirt Dress

$139.95 at The Iconic

A denim shirt dress is likely what you picture when you think of a shirt dress and with good reason. An extremely versatile style, this denim mini dress gives off such a laidback vibe but still feels pulled together and can be styled for a myriad of occasions. The oversized front pocket is an added detail and the shift silhouette of the dress is particularly flattering on every body type.

Sizes: 6 to 18 | Colours: Washed Black and Light Blue Wash | Materials: 100 per cent cotton

Style notes:

  • Metal buttons
  • Collared neckline
  • Short sleeves
denim midi shirt dress


River Island Long Sleeve Button Front Denim Midi Dress

$150 at ASOS

If you love the denim shirt dress but are after something that works a bit better for winter, this River Island midi dress is ideal for layering and can hold its own against the chill. The Grey colourway adds a bit of grunge and edge to your outfit but the silhouette still feels chic and elevated compared to more casual styles.

Sizes: 6 to 18 | Colours: Grey | Materials: 100 per cent cotton

Style notes:

  • Silver buttons
  • Front split
  • Full long sleeves
  • Front pockets
cos shirt dress


Bow Mini Shirt Dress

$90 (usually $150) at COS

Is this the cutest dress of the season? It’s definitely a strong contender. This kelly green number offers a fresh twist on the classic shirt dress, featuring a statement necktie and puff sleeves for a feminine, romantic silhouette. The necktie can be styled as a belt or left as is, allowing you to personalise the look to suit your taste.

Sizes: 4 to 16 | Colours: Green and White | Materials: 95 per cent cotton and 5 per cent elastane

Style notes:

  • Mid-length puff sleeves
  • Turn down collar
  • A-line silhouette
hm shirt dress zebra


Satin Shirt Dress

$29.99 at H&M

This affordable alternative is guaranteed to be your new favourite night-out mini, it feels fun and flirty yet still refined and classy. The zebra print species things up a touch and we love the styling with over-the-knee boots for not just added coverage and warmth but also a bit of edge.

Sizes: XS to XL | Colours: Zebra, Dark Green, Patterned Blue, Dark Khaki, Black and Cream/Black Pattern | Materials: 100 per cent polyester

Style notes:

  • Balloon sleeves
  • Front button closure
  • Elasticated at the waist
denim mini shirt dress


Muse Denim Shirt Dress

$259.95 at Neuw Denim

Style this adorable denim mini – which is the perfect trans-seasonal wardrobe addition – with your favourite knee-high boots and an oversized tote for an effortlessly stylish ‘fit for the office.

Sizes: XS to XL | Colours: Royal Indigo | Materials: 99 per cent cotton and 1 per cent elastane

Style notes:

  • Silver button up
  • Flutes sleeves
  • Contrast stitching
jag mini dress


Kingsley Cotton Silk Shirt Dress

$99 (usually 300) at JAG

Shirt dresses can sometimes feel structured and even stiff; however, this cotton and silk blend flows and falls gracefully over the body. It delivers the effortless style you desire, but with expertly placed pleats at the waist and bubble sleeves, it feels more feminine and flirty than usual.

Sizes: XS to XL | Colours: Royal Indigo | Materials: 99 per cent cotton and 1 per cent elastane

Style notes:

  • Buttons through front
  • Side seam pockets
  • Designed in Australia
shirt dress over pants


Oversized Deconstructed Shirt Dress

$105 (usually $175) at COS

We love the styling of a maxi or midi shirt dress over tailored trousers, and this COS piece is the perfect choice for that look. Come summer, you’ll find us pairing it with sandals and bangles for an effortless vibe. Until then, layer it with your favourite coat and loafers for a chic, transitional ensemble.

Sizes: 4 to 16 | Colours: Light Blue | Materials: 97 per cent cotton and 3 per cent elastane

Style notes:

  • Dropped shoulders
  • Oversized, boxy silhouette
  • Button details on sleeves

What shape do shirt dresses suit?

Shirt dresses are one of those styles that literally suit everyone. The typical silhouette is ultra-flattering, but there are endless alternative styles to suit various preferences. Whether you want to accentuate your waist, opt for a boxier fit, or find something versatile for different occasions, there’s a shirt dress for you.

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