Why do some women look so chic in a summery linen shift dress, while others look like they are wearing a sack? What is the trick to projecting an easy-breezy, not frumpy-dumpy vibe in this style of dress? Today I’m sharing a cute new linen shift dress from Talbots that will give us all the answers. (plus it’s on sale at 30% off!)
What is a Linen Shift Dress?
A linen shift dress is a classic summer sundress that is casual, relaxed, and comfy, but it 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 people confuse sheath dresses with shift dresses, but here’s the key difference. A sheath dress has a fitted waist, but a shift dress has a relaxed waist. The looser, straight-cut waist makes it easy to “shift” your body around 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.
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 added 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 a 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 so much. This linen shift dress is lined so it hangs nicely and seems to wrinkle less easily.
How to Wear a Linen Shift Dress
I think the key to wearing a linen shift dress with confidence is to accept the very casual nature of the dress, the loose cut, and the very relaxed 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 or 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 really trending this summer.
How to Accessorize a Linen Shift dress – Here’s What I Did
As for accessories, you can wear some fun earrings to enhance the playful feel. Have a look at my coral raffia earrings in the first photo at the top, along with the colorful, beaded bracelets I’ve added. As for shoes, I’ve paired this dress with these glam braided metallic thongs which really elevate the look. (Metallic sandals are my favorite type of summer shoe.) You could also wear sneakers, ballet flats, or sandals with low kitten heels with this dress.
A great straw tote finishes off this beautifully coordinated summer look.
shop the look
Where to Get this Dress?
This darling dress is now 30% off at Talbots, so if you want a dress that you’ll wear all summer and feel comfy and happy in, check out this darling linen shift dress in the links above!
More style tips about how to wear shift dresses here.