Pretty and practical, dresses are an essential part of many women’s wardrobes. Offering easy style all-in-one, dresses are beloved for their feminine aesthetics and ability to create a chic outfit without any pesky matching of tops and bottoms. Of course, not every dress is the same, and just one won’t do. Instead, a variety of styles to suit different occasions, events and climates is a must. From easy designs made to keep you cool in the heat to smart styles that’ll take you from the boardroom to the bar, there is a wide range of dresses available, each with its own benefits. Here, we list the 10 types of dresses every woman should own.
1. Cotton Dress
The perfect summer staple, a cotton dress is a must-have for every woman's wardrobe. Soft, lightweight, and breathable, this natural fabric will keep you cool and comfortable all summer long. The only decision to make is on the style. Whether you opt for an easy, everyday T-shirt dress in cotton jersey, a cotton cheesecloth beach popover, or a chic, cotton midi dress, you won’t regret it. After all, the cotton dress is a classic!
Whether you want to beat the heat or show off your arms, a short sleeve dress makes an excellent choice. Offering shoulder coverage while remaining cool and un-restrictive, this dress style is perfect for a variety of occasions. From a classic T-shirt cut to cute cap sleeves and flowy batwing designs, there are plenty of options to choose from. All you need to do is find the one that’s right for you. To do so, think about when and where you want to wear your short sleeve dress. If you’re looking for a weekend go-to for walks and coffee runs, choose something simple and fuss-free. If you’re all about rocking your dress for dinners, events, and more, opt for something a little more luxurious.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, yet still a vital piece of your dresses collection, is the long sleeve dress. This style of dress is perfect for trans-seasonal wear and cold weather. Try teaming a long sleeve dress with sneakers for those mild spring days or layer one up with stockings, boots, and a jacket or coat for the autumn and winter months. The choice is yours!
4. A-line Dress
Feminine, flattering and ever-stylish, A-line dresses are an important part of every woman's wardrobe. This classic cut has been around forever and is still a must-have for your closet. Perfect for everything from parties and picnics to office days and trips away, an A-line dress is a versatile and chic choice. Typically more fitted through the bust and flaring out from the hips in a subtle “A” shape, this dress shape creates an hourglass silhouette that flows comfortably over your hips and bottom.
5. Midi Dress
Not too short, not too long, a midi dress hits that sweet spot in between. Finishing mid-shin, this dress length has been a super popular choice in recent years. Both practical and flattering, it’s a lovely option for a variety of occasions. Choose a flowy midi for those relaxed summer weekends or something more structured for dinners, dates, and more.
6. Maxi Dress
Full-length, flowy, and fabulous, a maxi dress makes a stylish statement. Offering comfort and style in spades, this beloved dress style is a must for your closet. We recommend choosing a versatile option that looks just as good with flip-flops for days by the pool as it does with wedges and jewellery for dinner and drinks. To nail the look, we recommend a relaxed cut teamed with dressier details, such as a print, ruffle detailing, or statement sleeves.
Whether you usually wear prints or not, it’s always a great idea to have a printed dress in your closet. A little more playful than your average colour-blocked design, a printed dress offers a fun take on this womenswear staple. For a subtle take on the trend, opt for a striped design. For something a little more striking, try an animal print, such as leopard, or a feminine floral design.
8. Shirt Dress
Nothing says effortlessly chic quite like the shirt dress. Whether crafted from crisp cotton or luxurious linen, a shirt dress always looks smart. From the timeless button front to the elegant collar, it’s all in the details with this style. The key is to find one that suits you. For a beach luxe style, we love a linen or cotton cheesecloth style. Or, if you’re after something a little more polished, consider a classic cotton design with chic tailoring.
Whether you’re looking for something simple to throw on for weekend activities or an easy dress to pack for a getaway, the humble T-shirt dress is always a winner. A go-to for the warmer months, a T-shirt dress is a piece you’ll wear time and time again. Choose one in cotton for a comfy and breathable feel.
10. Beach Dress
Summer and dresses go hand-in-hand, so when the weather heats up, be sure to turn to this womenswear essential to keep you cool in style. Perfect for slipping on over bathers, the beach dress has long been a seasonal staple for women. To find your perfect match, be sure to consider what you’re after. If you’re looking for something super comfy that can take you from sofa to sand with ease, opt for a relaxed, cotton jersey style, such as the Rainbow Beach Dress. Looking for something more sophisticated that’ll lend itself just as well to the bar as the beach? Try a dress with elevated details that’s equal parts laid-back and luxe. We love the St Barts Beach Dress teamed with some chic sandals for a fabulous look that’s made for poolside cocktails.