5 Kinds of Dresses: Strapless, Silk, Shirt, Mini and the Little Black Dress


This article is about the different types and styles of dresses worn by so many women.  Strapless dresses are fun and trendy, while the black dress is a classic and should be a staple in every woman’s closet.  The silk dress is elegant and now very affordable.  Mini dresses and shirt dresses are hip, but not everyone can wear both.

Strapless Dresses

The strapless dress is “in” and it’s “in” in a big way.  The strapless dress is everywhere.  Females of all ages and sizes can be found wearing the strapless dress.  Strapless dresses show up in the workplace, in the classroom, at weddings and in weddings.

The strapless dress has been around for a long time, but it seems that it has never been more in vogue to wear one than now.  Women are wearing and loving their stylish strapless dresses.

As U Wish Juniors Strapless Pocket Dress, Red, 9

Merona® Women’s Strapless Dress – Pink 8

Applique Ribbon Strapless Prom Dress Bridesmaid Gown With Bow Junior Plus Size, Large, Black

If you are in the market for a strapless dress, you’re in luck.  Any department store carries a wide variety of styles.  Prices can vary from the high end to the dirt cheap.  It all depends on the occasion.  Many wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses are going strapless.  But if you are a wedding guest, feel free to browse those bridal shops for the dress of your dreams.  A black satin street length dress is absolutely perfect for a wedding.

One note-make sure you will not be matching attendants’ dresses.  Not only is a black strapless dress elegant, but its practicality and versatility is undeniable.  Depending on the style, a black strapless dress can be dressed down for the office.  By adding a jacket or sweater, the black strapless dress will play double duty for the fashion conscious working woman.

So you love the strapless dress, but you’re afraid your arms may not be in the best shape.  Then pair a shawl or a short jacket with the dress.  Since many venues can be chilly by having some covering on your arms,  you’ll feel warm and comfy in that gorgeous strapless dress.

Maybe you’re a larger size and feel that a strapless dress is not for you.  Don’t be discourage.  There’s a style out there for just about any size.  Just because you’re a plus size, doesn’t mean you can’t be fashion conscious.  Find that strapless dress that is a perfect fit for you.

Here is the kicker for many women.  They love the strapless dress, but feel immodest when wearing one.  If wearing the strapless dress is uncomfortable, then that shawl or short jacket is a perfect choice. A street length dress is a better choice for you.  Stay away from very short dresses. However, keep in mind, the strapless dress is often MORE modest than other styles.  Strapless dresses, if fitted properly, do not show cleavage.  What’s the difference in showing shoulders or showing legs?  It’s all skin anyway.

A strapless dress may not be quite as versatile as the little black dress, but with a little creativity and originality, it can certainly find its place at many functions.  Yes, coverings on the strapless dress are wonderful.  But what about a shirt underneath the strapless dress?  These are being seen more and more and are trendy and cute.  With the right accessories, a woman can make a bold fashion statement with the strapless dress.

There’s a strapless dress out there with your name on it.  So go ahead.  Find the perfect strapless dress.  Slip it on and feel cool, comfortable, and totally with it.

Silk Dresses

When you think of silk, what first comes to mind?  Maybe it evokes images of the Orient when it was a major producer of silk.  Whatever comes to mind, women love the look and feel of silk.  A silk dress exudes sex appeal, sensuality, softness, and a sense of style when a woman wears it.

Silk dresses used to be a luxury of the well-to-do, not the average American woman.  Silk was costly and hard to come by.  But those days are long gone.  Silk dresses and blouses can be found in just about any department store and in all price ranges.  A silk dress is oh so comfortable.  And when it comes to clothing, I think most women want comfort as much as good looks.  Silk dresses have such a soft touch to the skin that you will want to wear it over and over again.

BCBGMAXAZRIA Womens Scalloped Hem Silk Dress, Off White, X-Small

Nicole Miller Womens CDC Strapless Dress, Cobalt, 6

aryn K Women’s Short Sleeve Tunic Dress, Mocha, Medium

Silk dresses are not just for formal occasions.  While silk is the poster child of elegant, formal affairs, it can be found in the office as well.  Beautiful silk dresses have a professional appeal.  Since the workplace is the best place for comfort and practicality, the silk dress lends itself well to the office and the classroom.  Young girls are learning the joys of silk dresses.  And luckily for them, silk is  now highly affordable.

Silk can be for the casual occasions too.  Because of its affordability, its comfort and softness, the silk dress has become a staple of the casual wardrobe. Too many women have avoided the silk dress for fear of getting it dirty with the high price of dry cleaning sending dollar signs to their brains.  However, those days are no longer with us. Silk dresses can also be cleaned easily.

Many women opt to send their silk dresses to the cleaners, but these days a silk dress can be tossed in the washing machine on the delicate cycle.  So when it’s casual, the change of getting it dirty is much higher.  Easy cleaning makes a silk dress an easy choice for so many women who value a quality silk dress that is not a hassle to keep looking crisp and fresh.

What about the silk dress on those formal occasions?  Has that now gone by the wayside?  No way.  The silk dress is a must when it calls for something really really dressy.  What is more dressy than a wedding?  A long beautiful silk dress is a show stopper, while a gorgeous street-length silk dress makes a stunning statement.

No matter what the occasion,  the silk dress can be a very versatile and practical part of a woman’s wardrobe.  It can go casual; it can go formal.  It can go professional; it can go anywhere you want it to go.  The beauty and softness of a silk dress is a vision  that should not go unnoticed.  A silk dress is a lavish, affordable treat and no woman should be denied it.

There are so many lovely ladies who never had the opportunity to own one of these wonderful silk dresses.  With the expense and easying cleaning factor removed,   there are no more excuses for not owning a silk dress.  Go out and buy yourself a luscious silk dress and when you do, wear it in honor of those ladies who never got to wear their very own silk dress.

Shirt Dresses

Shirt dresses – who doesn’t love them.  I’m not sure of the history of shirt dresses, but my best guess is that some woman out there tried on her husband’s shirt and was pretty impressed with how she looked in the mirror.  Whether that’s the story or not, men’s shirts look great on women.  Men also love to see women wearing their shirts.  It’s a sexy statement that has moved beyond the bedroom to the fashion world.

Chadwicks Chadwicks Long T Shirt Dress

Lamade Womens Marah Shirt Dress, Black, Medium

BCBGeneration Womens Belted Shirt Dress, Black, Large

Shirt dresses come in many sizes, colors, and lengths.  The original shirt dress was probably white and belted.  Stunning and oh so comfortable!  My sister gave me a shirt dress and at first I wasn’t sure about it.  But when I tried it on, it looked really really nice.  I loved that dress because it was slimming.  I could wear it with or without a belt, depending on my mood.  No belt meant free and easy.  Belting it meant I wanted to show off my waistline.  Not that I had such a great waistline, but that shirt dress made me look like I had a great waistline.

As I said, my shirtdress was somewhat long, but it had the tailoring of a man’s shirt at the hem.  Even though it was long, I could still show a little leg, giving it a more feminine appeal.

Shorter shirt dresses are also fun.  Pair a shirt dress with a pair of skinny jeans or pair the shirt dress with those panty hose without feet.  Wear a cute pair of sandals with that outfit and watch heads turn.

The shirt dress isn’t just fun and games.  The shirt dress is a serious piece of fashion born (probably) from a not-so-serious event.  Shirt dresses are perfect for work.  They look professional especially if accessorized properly.  Shirt dresses can be worn with a variety of shoe styles—sandals, heels, boots, and even tennis shoes.  Shirt dresses exude comfort.  They are never too tight, but they can be belted to give them a more professional look.

Shirt dresses are not just white.  My shirt dress was bright blue plaid.  Yes, you could see me coming, but I always got a compliment whenever I wore it.

Shirt dresses look good on just about every woman and age is not an issue when wearing a shirt dress.  In fact, older women love shirt dresses just as much as younger women do.  Shirt dresses can cover a multitude of sins or they can show off an hour glass figure.

Shirt dresses seem to have a western appeal.  A neat idea is to wear a a denim shirt dress with a red bandana.  Pair it with western boots and you’re off to the rodeo.  Shirt dresses also have an elegant appeal.  A white  shirt dress can go from office to party when a black patent leather belt is wrapped around it.  Want a beach look?  Add a straw hat and  a great pair of sunglasses with a shorter shirt  dress and you’re ready for a walk on the beach.

If I haven’t convinced you yet that shirt dresses are the cat’s meow, then pull out one of your husband’s shirts and take a walk back in time.  Do you look great?  My guess is an absolute yes.  Maybe you’ll get really brave and take his shirt dress on a dry run.  Ask him, ask friends, your mom—How do I look?  Great, you say.  Then it’s off to the mall to find the perfect shirt dress.

The Little Black Dress

Nothing makes a statement like a cute little black dress.  It boasts  elegance and style for any woman who wear it.  The black dress is always a fashion hit on any occasion or function, so no wonder it is a “go-to”  for so many.

Metrostyle Bandage Dress

French Connection Women’s Xmas Annie Dress,Black,6

Mango Women’s Dress Limo, M, Black

So what is the allure of the black dress?  While many colors and shades have tried to move in on its territory none have succeeded.  Designers love color and love the idea of promoting a new trend.  That’s why a popular trend is often compared to the king or queen of  the fashion world—sensual and sexy black.  Remember when brown was the new black?  And then there were all the understated shades of gray.  Neither brown nor gray could hold a candle to black.

So back to the question:  What IS the allure of the black dress?

This is not a sexy answer, but its allure to women is its practicality.  A black dress can be worn with a tailored jacket to get it a workplace look.  Pair a strapless black dress with a short or long sleeve sweater and . . . voila,  looks professional and it’s perfect for the young coed off to her college class.

Women of the 21st century love being the quick change artists.  A party after work—the 21st century woman removes the jacket or sweater.  What’s underneath will dazzle a roomful of party-goers.  An adorable sleeveless or strapless black dress paired with the right accessories and any girl looks great.

The little black dress is the backdrop for great earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.  How about a more formal function, such as a wedding?  Nothing says sophistication like a string of pearls worn with the black dress.  Some 21st century women make the bold move of skipping the jewelry.  The woman in that little black dress will certainly turn heads on any occasion.

You can’t say enough about the versatility of black.  It looks great with so many colors.  Soften black with shades of pink.  Make a bold statement with a fiery red.  The contrast of black and white is elegant and fashion-forward.  Even certain shades of brown capture the eye,  making a dramatic statement.

There is much more to accessorizing than ever before.  Of course, jewelry is an obvious choice.  But try the following on for size:  scarves, blouses, shawls, bolero jackets, belts, purses, and hats.  Don a black dress, add a red belt (if the dress works with a belt), and red shoes.

Talk about the wow factor!  Add animal prints to black—slinky and sexy.    Want a dress that hugs the figure, then add a sash.  Partner a blue satin sash to the black dress, then strap on a pair of silver stilettos.  This is a perfect look for that New Year’s Eve bash or an upscale office party.

When purchasing a black dress, realize there are many styles, fabrics, and prices to choose from.  However, this is a purchase not to make on the cheap because the black dress is a classic.  It will take a woman from the classroom to the office to the party scene to the wedding.  A well-made dress can last many years, so look at the purchase of it as an investment in your wardrobe.  Keep in mind too, that a black dress can actually save money in the long run because of its versatility and practicality.  Black is beautiful especially when worn by the 21st century woman.

Mini-Skirt Dresses

Remember when mini skirts and dresses came into being?  People were shocked, outraged, and totally taken aback by the very short lengths and the very long, showy legs.  The trend hung around for a long time until many thought the mini had run its course and had taken its place in the long lost fashion closet.

Deep-V sequin halter mini dress SMALL PINK

Leopard spandex mini dress MED/LGE NEON PINK

Foil slinky asymmetrical mini dress with jewel shoulder strap SML/MED RED

But the mini dress is back with a vengeance.  They are not just for the teens these days, but lots of 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, some 50’s and  occasionally  60’s can be seen showing some leg.  By wearing a mini, a woman is making a bold statement.  She says I’m not afraid to bear some skin.

While many women are donning mini dresses and mini skirts, it is important to understand this fashion trend is not for everyone and it’s not for just any place.  A few do’s and don’t’s apply, so take note.

The mini dress is not for the workplace.  This is not a hard and fast rule, but generally speaking mini dresses and skirts are not considered professional dress in the office.  Practically speaking, it is difficult to be modest in a mini dress when sitting or bending over.  Mini dresses and skirts can be a distraction for others.  While some women may say,  “that’s not my problem, ”  a hard-nosed boss may think otherwise.

The mini dress is a fun, flirty piece of clothing.  It can be worn well at parties, informal get-togethers, vacationing, shopping, dating,   Mini dresses and skirts can be a more comfortable option than  shorts.  Add to fun and flirty,  feeling good.  There are no shortages of fun places, so feel free to don that mini dress or skirt.

Great legs are a must for mini dresses.  While that may be insensitive and politically incorrect in this day of political correction run amuck, it is just the way it is.  Mini dresses look good on girls with great legs.  Girls with great, long legs complement mini dresses even more.

So your reactions is:  I’ll wear my mini dress no matter what you say.  Okay, okay so wear that mini dress, but opt for a longer version.  Try a couple of inches above the knee, but forget a mid-thigh length.  Remember the goal of fashion is to make a woman look her best. And with millions of choices, there is a style that complements your body. Don’t wear a mini dress because it looks good on someone else.  Long, lean, and leggy is what works for mini dresses and skirts. And if a mini dress doesn’t do it for you, find something that does.

Mini dresses and skirts are part of the fashion world that’s doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Mini dresses may be gone tomorrow, but the fun side will always be with us.  Enjoy your mini dresses and skirts, but be sure it’s right for you.

A long time ago, mini dresses raised hemlines and eyebrows.  It represents a carefree attitude and an attitude that is somewhat anti-establishment.  No matter how you feel about mini dresses, they are undeniably  a major fashion trend that has come and gone and come again. There are many styles of minis including sequin mini dresses, gold sequin mini dresses, black sequin mini dress, long sleeve mini dresses and more.

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