Did you know the first mini skirt wasn’t created until the 1960s? Or that until 1910 boys wore dresses until they were 5 or 6 years old? Trends come and go, but building the perfect wardrobe means finding the right pieces for your lifestyle and budget, but for your body as well. We all gravitate toward specific styles, cuts, fabrics and even trends but when it comes to dresses, fit and body shape matter and there are key dresses that every woman needs in her closet for anything life may throw our way.
I’ve listed the top 9 dresses every woman should own or try this season.
Dresses Every Woman Should Own
1. The Little Black Dress
Ahhh, the Little Black Dress. Believe in the power and versatility of the Little Black Dress! Made famous by Audrey Hepburn, they are easy to layer, versatile and add so much more personality than you’d think. Every woman should own one or two little black dresses – one for day one for evening. But….let’s mix it up a little, shall we? I’m currently feening over these 3 dresses via NastyGal.
2. Wrap Dress
“Thank you Diane Von Furstenberg,” sincerely every woman ever. Wrap dresses are universally figure-flattering and can be worn for a classic day look with flats or an evening out. With so many lengths, styles and colors, wrap dresses never go out of style or have an age limit, so invest. I recommend investing in one of these 3 DVF ones – trust me when I say they will be timeless. I still own the one my mother handed down to me!
3. Maxi and Formal Evening Wear
Personally, I own one maxi and two formal gowns; I own one great maxi I style differently each time. Maxi dresses are comfortable, easy to layer, and great when we don’t want to shave. My biggest piece of advice: wear the appropriate undergarments! Thongs can create horrible lines that cut your figure in half and “granny” panties give panty lines. Stick to boy shorts or the seamless kind.
Floor length formal dresses will be your impromptu wedding and fundraiser savior. I decided not to give it its own category since so many sites allow you to rent like this gem from Rent the Runway.
4. Shirt Dresses
Both a current trend and a fashion staple, shirt dresses are for the “calm, cool, collected” girl in all of us. Paired easily with sneakers, loafers, boots or heels, shirt dresses come as casual or formal as you want. Zara has a great selection this season, versatile and very understated.
Check out some Shirt Dress style inspiration here!
Best for pear and “sporty”-shaped bodies, A-line dresses are a classic closet staple that’s often overlooked due to its “girly” stigma, when in fact, the way they’re worn is entirely up to you! I love pairing A-line dresses with a leather jacket and heels. Whether to the office or out and about, A-line dresses offer a great on-the-go alternative. I picked my 3 favorite ones from ASOS.
6. Floral Sundress
TGIFF! Floral Friday is a definite thing at our office and it’s a staple print that won’t be going away anytime soon. Sundresses can be a little difficult to pull off in the colder months, but they’re easy to layer, especially with a beautiful turtleneck. This season try a fun floral print velvet dress like the one I’m currently crushing on from Zara!
7. Shift Dress
Shift dresses can be a little tricky and are not meant for every body type. If you do decide to add a shift dress into your wardrobe, make sure it fits well both in the front and the back. My favorite way to wear shift dresses are with low tops and a jean jacket. Forever21 makes great affordable shift dresses.
For lack of a better word, let’s call this the “bombshell” dress. You know what I’m talking about; whether full bodycon or something so wild a fierce it needs no name, this dress is for going out to show out. NastyGal slays when it comes to the bombshell dress.
9. Tailored Sheath Dress
Thank Victoria Beckham and Kate Middleton for bringing this dress to the forefront. Office wear does not have to be frumpy and for this dress, fit is everything. Perfect for interviews, work presentations, networking events or cocktail hour, this will be your most daring work dress. Banana Republic has a whole selection of sheath dresses perfect for the office.
There was a time in my life when I hated dresses. I was eight and only wanted to wear sweatpants, jeans and run as fast as I could from the frilly dresses I was put in.
As I got older, I wore dresses to make my skinny and scrawny 15-year old self look more “sophisticated”. When I got to college I wore them out of laziness (you put it on and done). Now as a grown woman I find dresses to not only be my lazy-girl go-to, but a form of empowerment as a woman and a minority.
We stop rooms in our dresses, steal spotlights and flaunt our gender, not hide it. I wear dresses when I own my womanhood and think of it as a sign of equality. We are not meant to blend in but stand out and dresses do just that.
Did I miss a dress? Leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, don’t forget to sign up for the Sitting Pretty Style newsletter below. Until next time!