Susan’s Reality Fashion: The Hunt for the Perfect Shirtdress

I love a dress. Who can beat the one-and-done ease of a frock, and summertime is the right time to make getting dressed as easy as possible. The problem, my friends, is finding THE ONE. I have issues, you see. Although I’m pretty fit and trim(ish), I have a major arm issue. As in, I don’t like mine. Never have, really. My point is this: Finding a summer dress that doesn’t bare my arms has often felt like searching for the Holy Grail. Only this season something miraculous happened: Designers jumped on the shirtdress bandwagon in record numbers and at all price points. The shirtdress (SD) can be dressed up or down. The SD is comfortable. The SD is both office and weekend appropriate. The SD has sleeves! Well, not always, but mostly. Frankly, I’m shocked you haven’t heard my screams of delight. My advice? Go get yourself an SD and wear it with reckless abandon. Most versions come with a self-belt, and I say you can wear that belt or swap it out for a skinny leather belt in a color (or the neutral shade of your choice). I prefer an SD made of cotton, like oxford shirts, because they (1) are cool in the heat and (b) won’t cling the way silk sometimes does. Pair your SD with flats or kitten heels, add jewelry (or not) and enjoy. Go! Buy! Be chic!

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Jones New York Cotton Shirt Dress with Belt


Courtesy of Jones New York

Fun Shirt Dress

Courtesy of Brooks Brothers

Mango Cotton Shirt Dress

Courtesy of Mango Online Inc.

Alice + Olivia Loren Denim Shirt Dress


Courtesy of Shopbop

Tommy Hilfiger Short-Sleeve Eyelet Belted Shirtdress


Courtesy of Macy's

Charter Club Three-Quarter-Sleeve Printed Belted Shirtdress


Courtesy of Macy's

Michael Kors Stretch-Cotton Poplin Midi Dress

Courtesy of Michael Kors

Short-Sleeve Shirtdress, Geo



Next: Fashionable Summer Styles to Hide Belly Fat

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Courtesy of L.L. Bean

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