7 Ways to Wear A Shift Dress Without Looking Frumpy

When you want a dress with a little breathing room, but that still looks cute, a shift dress is the answer.

A shift dress is similar to a sheath dress, but here’s the difference. It hangs looser from the shoulder, falls straight down and does not cinch in at the waist the way a sheath does. It’s also roomier at the hips. This makes it more casual and more comfortable, especially if you are having a ” fat day”.

Shift dresses became popular in the 60′s when Twiggy and Jackie O wore them, and continue to be big sellers today. The only problem is, the  same thing we love about shift dresses, namely the lack of waist/hip definition, can also sometimes make you look heavy and matronly.

Here’s what to can do to get around that.


1. Wear A Shift Dress that is Slightly Tailored

Some shift dresses are looser than others. Try to find one that is slightly tailored and skims your curves, so not too tight or too loose.

2. Go for Color or Print

Shift dresses have little shape or detail, so to make this type of dress look more interesting and alive, pick one in a bright color or bold pattern.

3. Wear Flat or Low Shoes or Boots

The younger gals do wear them with high heels, but that makes the dress very short. This is actually one style of dress that look really good with flat shoes or sandals. That’s good news is you have tender 40+ tootsies. A low heel is also nice, especially if it’s more on the chunky side- like a block heel,and in winter a flat boot with opaque tights looks very mod.

4. Don’t Wear a Shift Dress that is Too Short

Shift dresses look great with bare legs but they do tend to be short. You may not feel this is age appropriate, or you may have large thighs. If so you may want to wear opaque stockings in winter or there is an alternative in summer. See next.

Joy-Anna-Wadsworth leggings

Fabulous After 40 reader, Joy, in a shift dress with leggings.

5. Leggings Can Be worn with a Shift Dress

Leggings can be worn with a shift dress and look really cute. They solve all your problems when you love the dress but it is just too short. Black or dark leggings work best.

6. Choose Complementary Jewelry

A shift is a bold shape so don’t go with thin, dainty jewelry. Keep jewelry minimal but go with a bold piece like a cuff or a pendant necklace. Something with a bit of an artistic or modern vibe would go with this mod look.

7. Try Dressing Up Your Shift Dress

If you have an hourglass figure you might try belting a shift dress so your waist doesn’t disappear. Another way to dress it up- a leather motorcycle jacket.

A shift is a classic. It’s very figure flattering and you can’t go wrong and it’s an easy relaxed type of dress when you want to look hip and classy, so try one.

9 Summer Dresses to Make You Look Modern

Cute summer dresses for women over 40 blue maxi dressWho doesn’t love a cute summer dress like this one?

After a winter of mostly pants,  I’m really excited to slip on a light, cheery dress and step out into the sunshine.

I’ve always thought that summer dresses for women over 40 are a great wardrobe staple because they’re easy, comfortable and practical for our casual midlife lifestyle.

I especially love taking them on vacation because they’re easy to pack and simple to dress up or down.

This year’s crop of casual summer dresses for women come in so many styles, colors, shapes and price points, it’s hard to know which one is right for you. So here’s a little guide that highlights the latest trends and what might work best.

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