Different Types of Dresses for Women

Dresses are a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. It consists of a bodice with an attached skirt that varies in length and comes with different necklines, sleeves, and silhouettes. Here, we will discuss 15 different styles of dresses for women:

15 Different Styles of Dresses for Women

1.The Little Black Dress

Little Black Dress

The little black dress is considered to be the most legendary of all dresses for women. It is a simple cut, all-black dress that hits the knee or above the knee, and something that can take you from work to a night out. It is classic and timeless and every woman should have at least one in their wardrobe.

Legend has it that Coco Chanel popularized and originated the little black dress as a woman’s wardrobe essential. It is intended to be long-lasting, versatile, and widely accessible. You can pair it with a denim jacket for a casual look, or wear it as is with a pair of heels for a romantic date, you can also wear it with a blazer to present a report at work.

2.The Little White Dress

Little White Dress

And on the opposite side of the spectrum is the little white dress. This usually comes in full lace, offering a feminine and elegant appeal to the wearer. It is fragile, innocent, and usually worn during the day, at brunch, or on a lunch date.

The little white dress sits above the knee or on the knee, is made of lightweight fabric such as eyelet or cotton lace, and comes in a dainty and romantic silhouette and overall look.

3.The A-Line Dress

The A-line dress is characterized by its “A” silhouette. It’s perfect for women who are pear-shaped, which means the top of the body is smaller than the bottom of the body. This is great for women who have wider cores or waistlines, as it accentuates the shoulders or bodice while it hides flaws from the waistline and down to the hips.

The A-line may have a fitted top or bodice and slowly flares out from the waistline, with the widest part of the dress toward the hemline.

4.The Midi Dress

Midi Dress

The Midi dress is also known as the tea-length dress. It falls somewhere above the ankles and below the knees – a middle ground between a maxi dress and a mini dress. It is best worn for occasions where you’re not sure if it’s casual or formal, such as a garden party, tea meet-up, a graduation reception, and other events where there’s no fine line between being a casual and a more serious event.

The tea dress is usually fitted at the top, has a cinched waistline, and a full skirt that falls on the calves. This is a great dress for tall women, but not ideal for petite women as it can shorten the look of the legs, making smaller women look even smaller than she is.

5.The Mini Dress

mini dress

The mini dress is also known as the shift dress. It has a straight cut, boxy silhouette, and falls a few inches above the knee. The dress is most ideal for petite women, as it highlights their frame and elongates their legs.

The mini or shift dress was made popular in the early 60s and is ideal for women who are lean and having a column-esque shape. If you want to emphasize your legs, a mini shift dress is your best bet. They’re best paired with knee-high boots for a mod look or a pair of slingback heels for that elegant appeal.

6.The Maxi Dress

Maxi Dress

The maxi dress is a full-length casual dress typically seen in bohemian style. They are mostly flowy, covers the body from the bodice and down to the floor or just on the ankles.

The maxi dress is perfect for spring and summer as they can get really warm to wear with all that coverage and fabric. Though there are also some maxi dresses that are made of thicker fabrics and are perfect for autumn or winter wear.

7.The High-Low Dress

high low dress

The high-low dress is a type of asymmetrical dress that features a long skirt at the back and a short skirt at the front. This dress showcases the legs without being too exposed and best paired with high heels or platform shoes so the skirt at the back doesn’t drag on the floor.

8.The Sundress

Sundress

The sundress comes out of the closet mostly during the spring and summer seasons, as they are best worn when the weather is a little warm. It is usually loose-fitting, cinched at the waist, and falls above the knee.

The fabrics mostly used in sundresses are soft, light, and breathable, which are perfect for hot summer days. They also typically come in bright colors such as yellow, blue, or prints such as floral.

9.The Shirt Dress

The shirt dress is similar to a men’s shit that’s worn as a dress. It was first introduced by Coco Chanel, who turned a regular men’s staple into a popular piece of clothing for women.

It is defined by having a dress collar and a button-down front, and mostly loose. It is often cinched at the waist with a belt or worn as is in a breezy and nonchalant way. It is casual and mostly worn during the day while darker colors like black or midnight blue can be worn with a blazer for work.

10.The Tube Dress

strapless Charmeuse dress

The true dress is also known a the strapless dress. It is best worn in the summer when the weather is quite hot and exposing your shoulders, neck, and upper chest area provides a cool breeze to your body. It is best worn by petite women or those who want to accentuate their slim and well-defined upper body.

11.The Sheath Dress

Sheath Dress

The sheath dress is a classic silhouette perfect for women who have hourglass figures. It is form-fitting and features a straight cut that’s nipped at the waist and hugs the hips. The skirt is mostly cut in a pencil pattern, which is straight and can also taper at the hem for a curved silhouette.

The length of sheath dresses is mostly short or knee-length and ideal for business attire or a night out. It accentuates the curves of the body without being too revealing.

12.The Bodycon Dress

The body con dress is a tight-fitting dress that’s usually made of stretch material that clings and hugs the body. It accentuates curves and is perfect for a night out or in a nightclub. 

It does highlight curves such as fats in the belly area, which means wearing some kind of shapewear underneath the dress is usually recommended when wearing a bodycon dress unless you don’t have a problem with these parts of the body.

One of the most famous bodycon dresses is the bandage dress by French designer Herve Leger, who used “bandage” construction in different layers to hug the body.

13.The Wrap Dress

wrap dress

The wrap dress is a famous design popularized by Diane Von Furstenberg in the 70s. It features a front closure and wraps around the side of the dress, where a tie is used to hold and close the fabric. 

It is a flattering shape with a V-neckline, often with a 3/4 sleeve, and a skirt that falls on the knee or above the knee.

It creates the illusion of an hourglass figure even when you don’t have it naturally. It’s a dress that looks great on all shapes and bodies, from petite to pear-shaped, to apple-shaped, and hourglass body shapes.

14.The Cocktail Dress

cocktail dress

The cocktail dress is best worn in semi-formal events. It is a safe choice for formal dinners and parties where there is no black-tie dress code. It is usually a blend of formal and casual details, with a length that falls just at the knee. 

Cocktail dresses are best worn in weddings, engagement parties, dinner parties, and other social occasions where the event is not too formal but still a little bit serious.

15.The Evening Dress

evening dress

The evening dress is a full-length formal gown that’s best worn in formal-tie events, ceremonies, awards shows, and even in formal wedding receptions that call for evening dress attire. These are usually made of special fabrics such as silk, satin, lace, sequins, and other luxurious fabrics.

They are often worn with heels and paired with a clutch or purse and jewelry.

Choosing the Best Dress Style for You

In modern times, hard rules on fashion don’t exist anymore. If you are petite and you want to wear a maxi dress, then you can do so and not get ridiculed for it. 

If you are pear-shaped and want to wear a bodycon dress, then you can do so. The key to wearing a great dress is confidence and as long as you know you can carry a particular style of dress, then you can wear whatever dress style you want. As long as the dress fits the occasion and you know you look good wearing it, then you can wear any dress style out there.

Summary

There are dozens of different dress styles for women, but these 15 are the most common. Of course, in other cultures, there are more styles of dresses, such as the cheongsam in China and the kimono in Japan, but the list here are the most common in the Western world and in modern times. 

If you’re starting to build your wardrobe of dresses, these 15 styles are the most essential and can be worn at different events, occasions, and seasons. Next, check out our guide on DIY masquerade Mask. We’ve found some great designs that will pair nicely with a majority of these dress listed above.