Wardrobe Staple: The T-Shirt Dress

80+ temperatures are now here in my neck of the woods, and that means that I’ve put away most of my heavy sweaters into storage (aka the bottom of my husband’s closet) and brought out some of my favorite warm weather clothing. Over the years I’ve found that there’s nothing more comfortable (or easier to pack when traveling to hot places) than t-shirt dresses. I love them! Wear them alone or slap on a belt, and you’re done. My favorite C&C versions outlined in this post are wearing thin many washes and two years later, and so this summer I’ll be looking to re-stock.


So far, I’ve identified a few candidates, including a navy Splendid maxi or a black Alexander Wang drapey short sleeved dress. and What I really have my eye on though, is this number below.

This particular dress is perfect (the cut! the slightly longer back! the silhouette!) in my opinion, except for the price – $250 which to me is pretty reasonable for let’s say, a cocktail dress, but on the high side for a cotton everyday dress. Except, this dress seems that it may be the so-called unicorn of t-shirt dresses that has so far eluded me – the excellent white version that is not see through. That last part is so important, yet every white t-shirt dress I’ve tried on to date has failed. Why?

Anyway, while I ponder finding the perfect white t-shirt dress, I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite t-shirt dress inspiration photos, below.

First up – Miroslava Duma.


You can find a similar dress in navy via Fred Perry, hereor a longer version in red, via Anthropologie.

Second, the always beautiful Diane Kruger. Here’s a pretty good version of her gray dress, around $100.


And last but not least, the incomparable Kate Moss. She makes everything look so good.

kate moss red

ASOS makes a pretty good version of her dress, in black and blue, for $40.

Are you a t-shirt lover like I am, or do you like a little more structure to your summer dresses?

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  • Belen
    April 23, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Love the one Diane Kruger is wearing. All the others seem too loose for me. With the super strong winds we have in my area on a daily basis, I would put on quite the show in any of those numbers, ha!

  • tata
    April 23, 2014 at 9:43 am

    t shirt dresses seem so comfortable! but i’ve always been scared to wear them since they seem so thin and have no lining. when you wear them, do you wear anything under it?

    • Katherine
      April 24, 2014 at 10:38 am

      Hi Tata, a rule for me when buying these dresses is that I shouldn’t have to wear any layers under like a slip. That’s why I haven’t been able to find a good white one until now. I’d recommend dark colors if you’re worried about the sheerness 🙂

    April 23, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I love tshirt dresses, especialy I love in tropic climate. I just dress it up with belt n heel for office :))

  • Pret A Porter P
    April 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    ATM-ing never looked so cool!

  • Anna
    April 23, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve got a striped Theory “tee” shirt dress that I absolutely adore. I put tee in quotes because it’s a thicker fabric than cotton (hides bumps and underwear lines) but it’s also very light and breathable. I don’t need it yet in the DC area, but you should certainly keep Theory in mind when looking for options.

    Thing is, I believe that our basics should be more expensive than our special pieces. $250 for a cocktail dress is OK, but how many times would you wear it? If you’d spend $250 on a basic every day dress and use it frequently, wouldn’t this be a better use of your money?

    • Katherine
      April 24, 2014 at 10:38 am

      That’s a great point about the basiscs and something that I think about….thanks for your feedback on your own Theory dress, it sounds like it was a good buy for you Anna!

  • Olyvia
    April 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I love the ease of the t-shirt dress! It defintely gives sort of a relaxing beachwear effect! But I too have a fear of them clinging too much to the body or too thin fabric showing off the panty lines and tummy pouches. But if I see one with a thick enough jersey fabric and doesn’t ride up when sitting, I’ll give it a try!

  • Maria
    April 24, 2014 at 8:44 am

    If the Theory dress is exactly what you’re looking for and will be a staple in your summer wardrobe, I say get it! You get what you pay for, sometimes, and I totally agree that many t-shirt dresses are too see through. Perhaps wait for a sale or promo so it can be discounted?

    Kate’s dress is TDF. The color is gorgeous. So me.. Now all I need are her legs……. 🙂

  • Jennifer
    April 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I absolutely love the t shirt dress!

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