The Non-Frumpy Way to Wear a Linen Shift Dress

Why do some women look so chic in a summery linen shift dress (*similar) while others look like they are wearing a sack? What is the trick to looking easy, breezy, and not frumpy-dumpy in this loose style of dress? Today I’m sharing a cute new linen shift dress from Talbots that will give us all the answers.

linen shift dress

What is a Linen Shift Dress?

A linen shift dress is a classic summer sundress that is casual, relaxed, and comfy but also has an air of sophistication. Like all shift dresses, it is short (usually a couple of inches above the knee), has clean, simple lines, and hangs straight down from the shoulders. It typically has a rounded or boat neckline and is usually sleeveless.

Many confuse sheath dresses with shift dresses,  but here’s the critical difference. A sheath dress has a fitted waist, but a shift dress has a relaxed waist. The looser, straight-cut core makes it easy to  “shift” your body in the dress. Shift dresses originated in the 1920s for Flappers who wanted to be free of corsets so they could move and dance.

A shift dress cut is very forgiving, especially when you have a mature figure and are trying to minimize your midlife middle. And, of course, the looser fit keeps you cool in summer, especially when the dress is linen.


linen shift dress


linen shift dress

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Why I Love This Blue Linen Shift Dress

Shift dresses are meant to be minimalistic, but sometimes they are so plain that I find them drab and boring.   Some of the reasons I fell in love with this darling linen shift dress are:

  • The Fit: Many shift dresses are so loose and straight cut they drown you in fabric and hide your shape, making you look matronly. This cute linen shift dress is expertly cut to let you move, but it doesn’t overwhelm you with fabric. It nips in slightly, giving you a relaxed but more flattering shape.
  • The Neckline: As mentioned, boat necklines and rounded necklines are common, but this split neckline takes it one step further by revealing some of your chest and more of your neck, making you look longer and leaner.
  • The Embroidery – The gorgeous embroidery gives this dress an artsy handmade feel. It also has the bonus of drawing the eye up and away if you have a heavy bottom half to your pretty face!
  • The Colors – The bright parrot colors of the embroidery are so festive that I feel like I’m on vacation in Mexico or the Caribbean. This is perfect for your next trip to the beach!
  • It’s Lined– I have a love/hate relationship with linen because I like the look but not the wrinkles. This linen shift dress is lined, so it hangs nicely and wrinkles less easily.

linen shift dress


How to Wear a Linen Shift Dress 

I think the key to confidently wearing a  linen shift dress is to accept the casual nature of the dress, the loose cut, and the very comfortable linen fabric. You need to embrace those things.

I’d stay away from trying to try and dress this up too much by adding a belt, a tee worn underneath, or heels since you will only destroy the laid-back, minimalist mood. I  like to wear this dress as is on its own or, at most, with this perky yellow denim jacket. It’s got the same sporty feeling, and colored jean jackets are trending this summer. A short denim jacket like this cuts in at the waist and creates some nice definition.

linen shift dress

How to Accessorize a Linen Shift Dress – Here’s What I Did.

As for accessories, you can wear fun earrings to enhance the playful feel. As for shoes, I’ve paired this dress with these glam braided metallic thongs, which elevate the look. (Metallic sandals are my favorite type of summer shoe.) With this dress, you could also wear sneakers, ballet flats, or sandals with low kitten heels.


linen shift dress


shift dress

A great straw tote finishes off this beautifully coordinated summer look.
linen shift dress

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Where to Get this Dress?

If you want a dress you’ll wear all summer and feel comfy and happy, check out this darling linen shift dress (*similar)  in the links above!

More style tips about how to wear shift dresses are here.

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One thought on “The Non-Frumpy Way to Wear a Linen Shift Dress

  1. Thank you for showcasing this dress! I loved it and purchased it off
    the website. I hope it fits as well on me as it does you.

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