9 Types of Dresses for Effortless Style

A true wardrobe staple, dresses come in so many different styles, colours and prints — the options are almost endless! Whether you’re looking for something a little dressier or a daytime must-have dress, there are numerous dress types for each and every occasion.

Elevate your dresses with a pair of delicate heels or create an edgy ensemble with a pair of biker boots; style with jumpers during the winter months or feel cool and casual all summer long!

Wondering which dress to choose? Get ready to discover our Joe Browns’ top tips on how to style 9 types of dress, so you can always look effortlessly stylish and sophisticated.

Shift Dress


Are you searching for a dress that converts effortlessly from day to night without compromising on a flattering fit? The shift dress could be the answer to all your prayers! The shift dress is the perfect option for all ages and sizes, due to the versatile and complimenting nature of the dress.

 

First becoming popular in the 1920, designers like Chanel created these loose-fitting dresses, using a design where the material falls straight from the shoulder and has darts around the bust. At the time, these dresses were worn by “flappers” and were a huge contrast to the stiff Edwardian corset dress!

 

Choose a black shift dress for a versatile dress that will take you from office to event and from season to season. Wear with flat sandals and a straw hat, or pair with tights and heels before finishing with contrasting jewellery to add interest to block colours — with bold earrings, chunky necklaces and colourful bracelets, you’ll be set for any occasion!

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Reversible TunicReversible Tunic

Midi Dress


The midi dress is the perfect option for effortless style all year round. The hem on a midi dress finishes mid-calf and is available in a variety of cuts and colours making it a fabulously flattering choice.

 

While the shorter shift hemlines became fashionable in the 1920’s, as the great depression fell, so did the hemlines on women’s dresses. This left many people opting for a midi style and this type of dress has become increasingly popular in recent years.

 

Are you looking for a dress for a formal occasion? A midi dress is the ideal choice, whether you're off to a wedding, christening or work event. Wear with heels to elongate your legs — we recommend minimalist heels to give you height without the weight of a clumpy shoe. While, for an easy casual outfit, throw on a pair of trainers and cinch your waist with a belt.

 

In the summer, choose a floral print and wear with strappy sandals, then mix it up and pair with combat style boots and a knitted jumper for the colder months.

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Bodycon Dress


When you’re going to an event and want to look impeccably stylish, a bodycon dress is the perfect solution. This form-fitting style accentuates your contours and femininity — confidence is key when wearing a bodycon dress!

 

If a bodycon dress feels completely out of your comfort zone but you’d like to give this style a try, we suggest a ruched bodycon dress. This will give you the same beautiful silhouette without that skin-tight feeling, helping you to feel more comfortable.

 

Often made from lighter materials, this type of dress makes an ideal summer outfit. Throw on a pair of sandals or trainers along with your favourite jacket and you’ll be set for a picnic in the park or a day at the beach. For an evening look, throw on a pair of heels, grab your favourite clutch bag and you’ll be ready to go!

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Wrap Dress


The wrap dress was originally designed by Diane Von Furstenberg during the1970’s and it has been a hit ever since! The design of the dress means it follows a woman's body, enhancing and concealing at the same time — ideal for every figure type.

 

There are endless ways to style a wrap dress for any occasion and season making it a truly versatile piece of clothing that is both timeless and flattering.

 

Create casual looks by pairing your wrap dress with trainers for a sporty twist to this otherwise feminine and graceful item of clothing. During the winter, wear with some knee high boots, a knitted jumper and a chic coat. Introducing a jumper will make your dress look like a skirt, giving it a complete makeover from the usual summer look.

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Shirt Dress


Perfect for a day-to-day look, or pair with some heels and an embroidered clutch bag, the shirt dress is a truly stylish and versatile look. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of lengths, sleeve styles, colours and patterns, making it a dress that will look fabulous on anyone!

 

Wear a floral print shirt dress to instantly look cool, casual and ready for a day in the sun. For a more playful look, finish with heels and bare legs to create a sassy summer ensemble — the perfect outfit for a few drinks in town with friends!

 

A plaid or tartan-style shirt dress with biker boots makes for the ideal winter outfit or swap your boots for trainers and roll the sleeves up to create a sporty-chic look. Alternatively, choose a white shirt dress and pair with a statement hat, knee high boots and an oversized shacket for a lovely autumnal number.

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Monochrome Floral DressMonochrome Floral Dress

Long Sleeve Dress


When temperatures plummet in the UK, long sleeve dresses are essential for staying stylish through the winter months. While you could invest in a new dress, a long sleeve summer dress can be repurposed in the winter with a little layering. All you need is a thin roll neck jumper and a pair of boots to instantly transform your summer dress into a fabulous winter ensemble!

 

A thick and cosy maxi cardigan will introduce an extra element to a shorter style dress, paired with biker boots and a statement necklace to really finish off the whole look. Intricate patterns such as floral or checkered can be easily transformed from day to night with a switch up of accessories and shoes!

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Mini Dress


The mini dress first the fashion scene in the 1960s and we’ve been in love with them ever since. From eye-catching bodycon styles to classic a-line and skater designs, there’s a mini dress out there for everybody!

 

When it comes to mini-dresses, high heels are a firm favourite as they help to lengthen your legs. However, if you prefer something a little more comfortable, we recommend choosing flats that expose your ankle, a small block heel or wedges — these will achieve that flattering look without hurting your feet!

 

Make sure you always balance your outfit for a truly stylish look. An oversized blazer is perfect for a body-hugging mini dress; a leather jacket is a great way to contrast a patterned or floral print; and a longer jacket or cardigan is perfect for shorter styles.

 

A Joe Browns top tip: An updo for your hair and simple shoes will ensure your dress makes a statement!

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Pinafore Dress


Pinafore dresses are the perfect transitional pieces through seasons and will help you look and feel great through the temperamental British weather!

 

Swap out your typical workwear with a pinafore dress for a stylish alternative that can be layered differently each day. A stripe t-shirt or long sleeve top is the perfect pairing for a pinafore dress that will look smart but chic for all your work meetings.

 

To switch it up and create a more edgy, street style look, opt for a graphic t-shirt underneath your pinafore dress. This works for warm and cold weather, as you can throw on a pair of sandals during summer months or a chunky cardigan and boots for the winter. A classic denim pinafore dress will never fail to please but if you’re looking for something a little more unique and colourful, choose a cord pinafore dress in a quirky colour such as rust orange.

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LBD


Everybody loves a little black dress and it’s often featured as a key item in a carefully curated capsule wardrobe. This is because one little black dress can lend itself to a multitude of occasions as it’s like wearing a blank canvas, so you can dress it up or down by using different accessories and outerwear.

 

Choose from a simple black jersey dress or midi style for an LBD you can wear again and again. For a cool and casual look, trainers and a pair of retro sunglasses is the ideal outfit for running errands or popping out for lunch in the spring. Alternatively, pair your little black dress with a quirky red leather jacket or animal print coat to still look fabulous while keeping warm during the winter!

 

Our top tip: To make your legs look longer, put on a pair of nude-coloured shoes during the summer or opt for black tights in the colder months. This will create a sleek look perfect for both summer parties and chilly winter walks!

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What type of dress will you be wearing? We’d love to know how you style your dresses. Let us know over on Facebook and Instagram.

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