With so many different styles of clothing available to wear, it can be hard to know which pieces are the most versatile and will have the biggest impact on your wardrobe. While there are thousands of different dress options out there, some are more universally useful than others.
With so many different types of dresses available, it can be hard to know which ones will have the biggest impact on your wardrobe and help you stand out from the crowd.
However, with the right knowledge about what kinds of dresses suit you best and which will give you maximum versatility in your closet, you can make every dollar spent on clothing count.
There is also a huge difference between a cheap dress and an expensive one.
Expensive doesn’t always mean high-quality or functional – but when shopping for cheap clothing items you should look for fabrics that last wash after wash and dryer after dryer.
10 Types of Dresses Every Woman Should Know
With so many things to consider, here’s our guide to 40 types of dresses every woman should know about…
1. The Basics
Basic dresses are any types of dresses that have a classic silhouette and will go with pretty much anything. Basic dresses can be worn for work, for casual events, for special occasions, and even as a maternity dress if you choose a style that is loose and roomy enough.
Most basic dresses are knee-length or shorter, although a few are midi-length. However, they are not as versatile as other types of dress, particularly if they have a tight or complicated fit or structure.
2. Shift Dress
The shift dress is the most basic form of the A-line dress and is characterized by its wide-set shoulder straps and straight, wide-fitting shape that falls below the knee. A shift dress’s loose, boxy cut makes it a very versatile dress that can be worn for many different occasions.
As it’s made from a delicate fabric, a shift dress is best for spring and summer wear, and you may need to wear a cardigan or coat with it in the colder months.
To vary the style, you can try different fabrics, hem lengths, and neckline styles like a V-neckline or round neckline. You can also wear a shift dress as a top by pairing it with a pair of leggings or jeans.
3. Pencil Dress
Pencil dresses are a type of shift dress that are very narrow and straight-fitting, with no curves and a very short hemline that ends at the knee or above it.
Pencil dresses are best worn by people with a petite or slender frame, as they will look out of proportion on anyone with curves. As they are very minimalistic, pencil dresses can be worn for formal or semi-formal events as well as for casual wear.
Wearing a pencil dress is an easy way to appear put-together without trying too hard. When buying a pencil dress, choose a fabric that has stretch in it so that it can still flatter your figure.
4. A-Line Dress
A-line dresses have a wide, flared shape that will naturally fall below the knee. A-line dresses are best for women with an hourglass or pear-shaped body type who want to flaunt their curves.
A-line dresses are very versatile and can be worn for work, for special occasions, and for casual wear. A-line dresses also come in many different styles, such as long sleeve, short sleeve, and sleeveless, as well as different neckline styles like a V-neckline or round neckline.
You can also wear a knee-length A-line dress as a tunic over leggings or jeans.
5. Empire Waist Dress
Empire waist dresses have a fitted waistline that sits above the natural waist, making them a great option for pregnant women or anyone who wants to hide their midsection.
Empire waist dresses are a great option for work and special occasions, as long as you pair them with the right accessories (think pumps and a classic handbag).
When buying an empire waist dress, you also have the option of buying it with a longer hemline, usually around knee length, so that you can wear it for casual wear as well.
6. Wrapped Waist Dress
Wrapped waist dresses have a fitted waistline that is covered with fabric and is meant to draw attention away from the waistline.
Wrapped waist dresses are a great option for people with a larger waistline who want to minimize it without wearing something too baggy.
As wrapped waist dresses look best when worn with a fitted top underneath, they are best for work and formal occasions, although you can also wear them casually with a looser-fitting top.
7. Knee Length Dress
Knee-length dresses are best for casual wear and can be worn with a variety of different tops and accessories. Knee-length dresses are a great option if you want to look put-together but don’t have time to put together an elaborate outfit.
Knee-length dresses are also a good option if you want to hide your tummy if you’re not quite at your ideal weight or aren’t comfortable showing it off.
You can wear knee-length dresses for casual events and for casual work environments, although you might want to swap out the jeans for something more professional if you work in an office.
8. Long Evening Gown
Long evening gowns are best for special occasions, such as a wedding, graduation, or New Year’s Eve party. Long gowns are a great option for anyone who doesn’t have anything to wear for special occasions and has a limited budget, as they are usually inexpensive to buy.
Long gowns come in a variety of styles, from formal to casual.
However, they are best if you’re short-bodied as they will make you appear even shorter than you already are. Long gowns are best paired with a pair of heels or other high-heeled shoes.
9. Cardigan Dress
Cardigan dresses are long dresses that are best worn with a pair of leggings or tights. Cardigan dresses are a good option for people who want a long dress but don’t want to wear tights or stockings.
A cardigan dress is also a good option if you want to hide your tummy but don’t have time to go to the gym.
You can wear a cardigan dress casually or to work, although you might want to swap out the leggings for a pair of tights or knee-high socks if you work in a formal environment.
10. Button-Up Shorts Dresses
Button-up shorts dresses are long dresses that have wide shorts attached to the bottom hem, giving them a baggy fit. Button-up shorts dresses are best for casual wear, as they are very informal and relaxed-fitting.
You can wear button-up shorts dresses casually or to work, although you might want to swap out the leggings for a pair of tights. Button-up shorts dresses are great if you want to hide your tummy but don’t have time to go to the gym.