seven ways to style a shirtdress

Today we’re happy to welcome Claire from the Advisors Circle. She is here today to show the many different ways she has found to style her new Camp Dress.

When I saw Liesl’s Camp Shirt + Dress pattern, I knew immediately that the style was up my street. I love a shirtdress, I love a camp collar and the loose breezy style is a practical one for my lifestyle. I wanted to make this one a bit “special,” so I used this amazing Ruby Star Society rayon which has beautiful colors and a fun design, while feeling soft and silky against the skin.

Seven ways to style a shirtdress.

Wearing the dress just plain and simple with a pair of heels is easy and looks great. I wore it like this to my husband’s work party this year and it was perfect! However, a shirtdress is an item of clothing that I do actually like to wear in several ways. I really think it’s such a versatile piece in your closet because of the combo of the skirt and collar. Here are a few ideas to show you what I mean.

Seven ways to style a shirtdress.

You can change the look of it by simply buttoning up to the top and throwing a casual contrast jacket over the top. Experimenting with the buttons can give quite a varied feel to the garment.

Seven ways to style a shirtdress.

Another easy adaption is to make thin tie from the same fabric or even a contrast fabric if you want a pop of color. You can wear it as a waist tie, check out Elisabeth’s recent post for more details on adding this to your dress.

Seven ways to style a shirtdress.

Or how about styling it as a ’70s disco necktie? I employed this exact addition recently on a silver jumpsuit I made and I love it. So easy, but so effective.

Seven ways to style a shirtdress.

Another reason I find a shirtdress extremely versatile is because it’s so easy to layer. I wore this outfit recently to a sewing meetup with my buddies here in Seattle.

Seven ways to style a shirtdress.

I just buttoned all the way to the top and threw a cropped sweater over the top with boots. I love this look! You could totally use a cropped cardigan in the same way. With a cute pair of shoes, it would look very ’50s retro if that’s your thing!

Turtlenecks, polo necks, whatever you call them, the extended-necked sweater is everywhere right now, and I think it looks great underneath the Camp Dress. This is one of the reasons I sewed the short-sleeved version, as I had this exact outfit in mind. So cozy!

Seven ways to style a shirtdress.

Another very common way I wear a shirtdress is just to throw a chunky jumper over the top and put on some casual trainers. This will not to be to everyone’s taste, but I love a bit of pattern clashing and this combo makes me super happy! My four year old brought out some Christmas tunes and we jumped around a bit!  You could also use a solid chunky jumper and cinch it with a wide belt. That would look very cool.

Seven ways to style a shirtdress.

I’m sure you can think of a myriad other ways to incorporate a shirtdress like this into your wardrobe, but these are some of my favorite ways to wear one. I hope you enjoyed a wee look at my styling habits!


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  1. Lezlie Pascoe

    Such great ideas, thank you!
    I especially like it with the cropped sweater! What pattern is the sweater? It looks SO CUTE on you. I’m hoping I’ll look close to that if I make one

    1. Thank you so much Leslie! It’s a really fun dress to make. The sweater is the Astoria by Seamwork.

      1. Apologies – Lezlie! My autocorrect got going!

  2. mjb

    Love the fabric! It can also be worn unbuttoned as a duster over skinny jeans and a tee 🙂

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