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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
18 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
75 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best T-shirt dresses for women

If you’re looking for a dress that is both comfortable and trendy, add a T-shirt dress — or a few — to your wardrobe. In the world of fashion, T-shirt dresses have one of the simplest designs around. They’re essentially long T-shirts that have been cut, contoured, and styled into dresses. 

And T-shirt dresses have stayed true to their classic tee roots and emerged as one of the most versatile garments on the market. It’s easy to achieve a variety of looks with one. It can be paired with plain flip-flops for a casual look or dressed up with a blazer and strappy sandals. Long-sleeved T-shirt dresses are perfect for cold weather wear with heeled boots and a vest or cardigan. 

No matter the season, a T-shirt dress is in style. Not sure which ones are right for you? This buying guide shares an overview of popular styles and fashion tips to point you in the right direction.

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A summer or spring T-shirt dress can be worn in winter when paired with boots, vest, cardigan, or infinity scarf.

Key considerations

A T-shirt dress is instantly recognizable by its material, sleeves, and cut.

Material

The vast majority of T-shirt dresses are made of cotton or cotton blends, the classic T-shirt material. 

All-cotton styles remain a favorite with women because they become progressively softer with repeated washing. They’re also lightweight and breathable, not to mention gentle against sensitive skin. One of the pitfalls of 100% cotton, however, is that it’s prone to shrinking or fading.

Cotton blends are usually mixed with polyester, spandex, rayon, modal, or elastane. These materials add to the overall flexibility of the dress. Unlike 100% cotton, blends are generally colorfast and won’t shrink. Unfortunately, some blends have a rough finish that can make the dress cling to the body. 

Sleeves

T-shirt dresses are available in short-sleeved and long-sleeved styles. Believe it or not, you’ll find more than one length for both.

Short sleeves on T-shirt dresses may be cut to below the shoulder (such as cap sleeves), to the mid-bicep, or down to the elbow in their longest variation. Some sleeves are fitted and hug the upper arm, while others are generously cut, just like the sleeves on T-shirts.

Long sleeves on T-shirt dresses usually reach down to the wrist. However, some variations are cut at the three-quarter length. Long sleeves on T-shirt dresses usually hug the arm as opposed to being cut generously like short sleeves.

Cut

Traditional T-shirt dresses resemble loose, boxy, extra-long T-shirts. However, they take on different silhouettes depending on how they’re cut.

A-line T-shirt dresses, considered the most popular cut, have a triangular cut featuring a skirt with a moderate flare. Swing styles also fall in this category, though the skirts are much fuller and more flowy. 

Straight-cut T-shirt dresses are the “boxiest” styles. These T-shirt dresses have a looser, nondescript cut that does not taper at the waist. For that reason, they’re thought of as more forgiving as opposed to figure-flattering.

Bodycon T-shirt dresses hug the contours of the body to create an hourglass silhouette. This is the most fitted style of T-shirt dress. It accentuates the waist and features a fitted, tulip-shaped skirt. 

It’s recommended that you hang up your T-shirt dresses instead of folding them inside drawers to keep them wrinkle-free.

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Features

Waistline

The most common waistlines on T-shirt dresses are empire, natural, and dropped.

Empire styles are cut just below the bust. They’re popular for the whimsical touch they give to T-shirt dresses. According to many women, the empire waist is considered universally flattering and fairly modest since it doesn’t draw attention to the abdomen or hips.

Natural waists fall around the belly button at what is often referred to in fashion as the “true waist.” This cut accentuates the waist and creates an hourglass silhouette. It’s flattering to most wearers, though women with a longer torso could find that the waistline appears too high on their bodies.

Dropped waist styles are cut below the hips. The skirts are full and loose, and the material below the waistline seam is often frilled or pleated. This remains a popular choice for wearers seeking a Bohemian or more relaxed look.

Length

T-shirt dresses are available in a broad range of lengths. The most popular options are cut at the mid-thigh or just around the knee. Longer T-shirt dresses are available as well, including midi and maxi lengths.

As is the case with any other type of dress, just where the hemline falls on a particular wearer varies considerably. For example, taller women often find that short T-shirt dresses appear unusually short on them. Shorter or petite women who wear the same dress may find the length to be just right.

Pockets

There are some T-shirt dresses that have side-seam or front pockets. Wearers are divided on the overall practicality of them, though. Because T-shirt dresses are usually made with lightweight, unstructured materials, putting anything heavy in a pocket, such as keys or phone, weighs down and stretches out the dress. If anything, some wearers say the pockets are ideal for holding lighter items like tissues, hair ties, or lip balm. Other wearers say the pockets are there simply for decorative purposes.  

Design

Just like classic T-shirts, T-shirt dresses are available in many solid colors as well as prints and designs. Here are some ideas for how to style each one:

Colors: Solids are incredibly versatile, making it easy to pair a T-shirt dress with almost any type of footwear, accessories, or layering pieces. Given the simplicity of the dress, women can go bolder to elevate their look by wearing statement jewelry or a brightly colored jacket. Navy blue is by far the most versatile color in T-shirt dresses. It’s easy to dress it up or down, plus it always looks great with denim of any color.

Prints and designs: A T-shirt dress featuring a print or design is usually the focal point of an outfit. For that reason, it’s best to pair these styles with subdued pieces like a solid cardigan or simple jewelry

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DID YOU KNOW?
If your T-shirt dress shrinks and is too short for your taste, you can “lengthen” it by sewing a long fringe around the hem.
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T-shirt dress prices

T-shirt dresses range in price from $15 to $75. Material and quality affect the price the most; however, the label often has an impact as well.

Inexpensive: Simple T-shirt dresses, such as those with a basic design or color, cost between $15 and $30. Most dresses in this affordable bracket are generally well made, but there are some outliers that are cut or sewn together poorly.

Mid-range: These T-shirt dresses, many of which are made by popular brands, cost $30 to $50. There is plenty of variety in this range when it comes to cut, material blends, colors, and patterns. All things considered, you get the most bang for your buck here.

Expensive: The most expensive T-shirt dresses cost $50 and more, and the vast majority of these styles are made by premium designers. While quality and design are usually first class with these T-shirt dresses, they aren’t much different from mid-range styles.

If you prefer a fitted look, stick to your normal size in T-shirt dresses. If you prefer a relaxed fit, it’s recommended that you size up by one or two sizes.

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Tips

  • Roll the T-shirt dress to pack for travel. T-shirt dresses are easy to pack, especially if you roll them up. This technique also helps keep wrinkles to a minimum. 
  • Use for loungewear. Some T-shirt dresses are so comfortable that they’re ideal for loungewear. One can also be used as a beach cover-up.
  • Choose purses carefully. Some purses work better with T-shirt dresses than others. Totes and satchels are ideal, but a crossbody bag may cause the dress to ride up on one side.
  • Buy one style of T-shirt dress in multiple colors. T-shirt dresses are go-to garments, which is why many women invest in the same dress in a variety of colors. 
  • Try on more than one size. Just because you’re a medium or large in one brand doesn’t necessarily mean you wear a medium or large in all brands. For that reason, try on more than one size, especially in brands you’ve never worn before.
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Accessorize your T-shirt dress with a belt to give yourself a more defined waistline.

FAQ

Q. Do T-shirt dresses all have a crew neckline?

A. No, and this is perhaps how T-shirt dresses vary the most. It’s common to see scoop-neck, V-neck, bandeau, and boat-neck styles. 

Q. Is it common to wear shorts under a T-shirt dress?

A. Yes, especially because T-shirt dresses are flimsy and known to ride up while walking or sitting. Bike shorts, yoga shorts, and volleyball shorts with a shorter inseam are popular options because they’re thin and not very noticeable. 

Q. Do I need to iron my T-shirt dress?

A. All-cotton T-shirt dresses wrinkle easily and benefits from ironing or steaming. Cotton blends are less prone to wrinkling, though it’s not unusual to need to iron or steam them as well. It’s easier to get wrinkles out of blended materials, and in some cases, hanging the dress in the bathroom while you take a hot shower does the trick.

 

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