Women's Dresses & Gowns

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Women’s Dresses That Conquer That Dreaded Dress Code

You got the invite to the event of the season and you couldn’t be more excited as the big day draws near, but what should you wear? Some invites specify a dress code, but others just leave you hanging - giving you the freedom to choose, but with a cost. That unrestricted freedom comes with the pressure to choose the right dress. Admittedly, this pressure can also happen when choosing an outfit for everyday life events. Is that sleeveless dress acceptable for work? What type of dress should you wear to that fancy restaurant on date night? We put together a list of popular dress types and where it’s okay to wear them. Because let’s be real, life has too many other stressors - fashion should be fun and the least of your worries!

Yellow and Black Women's Dresses

Shirt Dresses

Express Black and White Shirt Dress

Shirt dresses can be as casual and comfy as a T-shirt dress or as pretty and proper as a high-neck, cinched skipper shirt dress. Depending on the style, these dresses can be worn everywhere from the beach to the office. Throw on a T-shirt dress and rock it alone or add a jean jacket and sneakers for the perfect casual summer day look. To transition your T-shirt dress into colder weather, you can add layers and a bit of edge by wearing tights, over-the-knee boots, and a leather jacket. This style of dress is perfect for casual occasions, but can be dressed up as well. For days at the office, try a button up midi or a collared shirt dress for a casual yet professional work look.

Summer Dresses

Venus Floral Summer Maxi Dress

Summer means warmer weather, longer days, and our personal favorite - sundresses! This is the time when dresses can really shine. Bolder colors, lighter material, and fun prints and patterns make their debut during spring and summer months. We love the endless variety of casual summer dresses - from wraps to swimsuit coverups to flowy bohemian-style options - and are obsessed with the comfort and freedom a dress brings on a warm, sunny day.

Little Black Dresses

Sears Little Black Dress

A little black dress is an absolute wardrobe staple. It can dressed up or down, paired with limitless accessory options, and worn to a wide variety of events. Wear it to work, to happy hour, and to date night at that high-end restaurant. Go with a simple and classic design, or pick one that stands out from the crowd. Its versatility is wonderful, but sometimes you want to make a statement that’s just a little bit bolder than an LBD can offer. Cue the little red dress. A little red dress is just as sexy, but adds a bit more fire to your look than an LBD.

Maxi Dresses

Express Velvet Maxi Dress

A maxi dress should be your new go-to versatile dress. Its long length makes it acceptable for dressier occasions - yes, even formal events when paired with heels - but can easily be dressed down for everyday activities as well. This is a dress that can effortlessly take you from day to night. Pair it with heels and elegant jewelry for an evening out or dressy event, layer it with a tailored blazer for a day at the office, or layer it over a white tee and throw on some sneakers for street-worthy style.

Sweater Dresses

Olive Walmart Sweater Dress

Sweater dresses combine the coziness of your favorite sweater with the more formal style of a dress. Sweater dresses can be fitted or slouchy, making them a versatile closet addition. Perfect for seasons with milder temperatures, pair it with heals, block booties, or sneakers and layer it with a leather jacket on chillier days. Sweater dresses can also work for colder months if paired with tights and knee-length boots.

Cocktail Dresses

Sears Silver Cocktail Dress

Cocktail dresses are shorter in length, with a knee- or thigh-length hemline, and often have fun accents or prints. They are dressy and should be worn to semi-formal events and parties, but they allow you have fun with the style. You can go with a sleek fitted style, a layered and loose style, or a style with an empire waist and a fuller skirt. Even the sleeve options are limitless when it comes to cocktail dresses. Sleeveless, one-shoulder, long-sleeve, and even padded shoulder designs are all popular options, among many others. Cocktail dresses look stunning with a pair of heels, but can be paired with dressier flats instead.

Formal Dresses

Black Floor Length Formal Dress

Formal dresses are the most elegant of dress options. They are most commonly floor-length and meet evening gown and formal dress-code requirements. These dresses are most commonly required for weddings, balls, galas, and formal dinners. A-line and empire-waist are the most common styles for formal dresses, with popular variations like halter top, off-the-shoulder, and sweetheart necklines.

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