My Journey for a Shirt Dress

Okay, I’m wearing a dude’s shirt here, and I don’t want anyone to think I left my pants at home!

I created this post out of necessity. For the past two spring/summers I’ve wanted to add a new staple to my wardrobe – a shirt dress. The specific style I was searching for had to resemble a men’s dress shirt. Very specific. I wanted the dress to button up the front, have a collar, and cuffed sleeves.

I want to add this to my wardrobe for two reasons (I put way too much thought into this).

Number 1

A shirt dress would be easy to wear. I’m getting to a point with my style that I want to be noticeable, but I also want to make the act of getting dressed simple! Never abandoning style (nevah!!!), but embracing simple solutions to fit a busy work/life.

So, what would be easier than throwing on a shirt dress during the summer months? Stay cool, look cool. That was my goal.

Number 2

I’m a sucker for dress shirts. On men, on women – I’ve always felt they elevate anyone’s style.  Whether you wear them twice a year or every day, I think they say something when you do.

When worn correctly, a tailored shirt will give your shape angles, structure, and confidence. I’m all about all three of those. Plus, I like when ladies play with the gender scale in their wardrobe. I feel it shows a level of confidence, with a little dose of mystery. I like that.

So… I’ve been on a hunt to find styles that look like this!


I’ve come up short. I cannot find the perfect tailored piece. And if I do, it’s out of my budget. So in order to make this work, I took it into my own hands and made my own.

I went to blue. Walked straight to the men’s section, and began shopping for an XL men’s dress shirt…. for ….myself. Tip: look for solid colors or pinstripes. Steer clear of plaids or prints. Although cute on the fellas, masculine prints will be difficult to translate into a dress.

You’re almost done and ready to wear.

Go to any craft store and pick out a unique trim that will match your shirt well. Buy 1.5 yards. This will run you between $6 and $12 depending on the type of trim you choose. While you are there, get some washable fabric glue.



At home, lay the shirt out neat and glue your trim to the inside hem of the shirt. I prefer to do this in small sections at a time to get a neat finish. After your trim is placed and the glue is dry, you are done my friend. Viola – your crisp tailored shirt dress!

The reason I add a trim is to give the dress a finished look. Adding a decorative trim will help you and your peers view it as a dress…and not like you forgot your pants at home. But, if you prefer not to add a trim – by all means!



When I wear mine, I like to belt it. This will give you shape around your waist. And, you can wear ANY kind of shoe, depending on the occasion.  Heels, sure. Sandals, yep. Tennies, of course, why not?  Dress it up, dress it down. Always my motto!










Megan Dyer
The Style Counsel, LLC

See more of my shirt dress inspo here… and a brief history of the trend: