What To Wear With A Shift Dress?

A shift dress is one of those clever crossover dresses, that can be made to look really sexy and alluring for nights out, and also be dressed up smart enough to be suitable for office and formal wear. These dresses are very comfortable, and can be very flattering as long as you dress them right. What to wear with a shift dress? Luckily they incredibly forgiving, so you don’t have to stress too much!

Types of shift dress

There are a few different types of shift dress, but the basic shape is the same. It is a high necked dress, which usually ends just below mid thigh. They are usually short sleeved or with wide shoulder straps, but you can find long sleeved versions too.

Most are loose fitting, but you can also go for a slightly more fitted shift dress, to make the most of your figure. Shift dresses come in just about every colour and material, so you are sure to find the perfect shift dress for you.

The most important things to remember when shopping for a shift dress are:

  • Choose a flattering neckline
  • Avoid shift dresses that are overly short
  • Pick a colour or a print that suits your colouring
  • Go for a slightly tailored dress, so that your natural curves shine through

What to wear with a shift dress

A. Jackets

HOMEYEE Women's Vintage Crew Neck 3/4 Sleeve Patchwork Cocktail Aline Dress A135 (UK 8 = Size S, Black-B) Because a shift dress is a longish dress that generally falls straight from the shoulders, a short, more fitted jacket is the way forward.

You can go for a leather jacket (yellow or brown, for example), which will add an an edge to the feminine look of the shift dress, or a denim jacket which will give a casual style.

B. Shoes

Platform shoes work great with a shift dress. The length suits a high shoe, and the casual look of the platform contrasts with the slightly more formal look of the dress. Flats also work very well with this style of dress.

If you want to add to the chic appeal of your dress, try a pair of knee high boots. They work really well with the thigh skimming length, and give an air of class and fun to your look.

Chunky ankle boots can give a fantastic air to your outfit; the extra chunkiness of the boot will offset the femininity of the dress and bring an air of the masculine to an outfit that may seem a little too girly.

C. Leggings

In the colder months, you can absolutely get away with wearing leggings or tights under your shift dress.

Just make sure that they match, or complement the colour of your shift dress in some way – don’t pair a green dress with orange leggings unless you want to look like something out of a Roald Dahl book!

Nude or black tights look the best with the shift dress, and will give a more professional look to the dress.

D. Accessories

Because this dress is a loose fitting thing, a few well placed accessories can help to bring it out of itself.

Long, loose jewellery is a great addition to this dress, because it itself is a fairly relaxed fit.

Because of the high neckline of this dress, it may be best to avoid a necklace – try a few stacking bangles or a pair of dangly earrings to add contrast.

If your dress is a highly patterned one, try for some toned down jewellery that will give a good complement to your dress. If you have gone for a black or white dress, then obviously feel free to go crazy with the colour of your accessories!

A belt is a great addition to any shift dress. It will change the way the dress flows and can accentuate some of your best curves.

A thin belt is the best bet, to draw the eye to your waistline, or you can go with a thicker one is you want to add more definition – just bear in mind that the thicker belts will pull up more material and may make the hem of your dress shorter than you would like it!


A shift dress is a great thing to wear; it is flattering and can be made to look fancy and formal or casual and calm. Adding different accessories and other pieces of clothing can completely change your look, so go wild and change your shift!

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