The Best Summer Linen Shirtdresses: A Try-On

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The linen shirtdress is a summer classic. Whether it’s a mini, midi or maxi length, the linen shirtdress conveys a relaxed, yet pulled-together vibe. Some versions of the shirtdress look like chic vacation-wear — just the kind of dress to throw on over your favorite bikini on the way to Sunday brunch at a restaurant with an ocean view. Some versions of the shirtdress look sharper and more office-ready.

Linen Is Queen: 7 White Shirtdresses For Summer

Right now, tons of different brands have some version of this classic dress, so I rounded up candidates to try on and find my favorites. Spoiler Alert: There are some great options out there right now!

Shop My Linen Shirtdress Try-On

1. Quince Linen Maxi Shirtdress: My Favorite

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When I first tried on this linen dress from Quince, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I actually liked the maxi length, the natural color of the linen fabric, and the quality and feel of the material. Particularly for the price point, this dress is of high quality. But what about the design? With the sleeves down, I felt like I looked like Scrooge being awakened the night before Christmas for a visit from the ghost of Christmas Future. With the sleeves rolled up, though? More Gisele on the beach and less Scrooge. Especially with chic and simple tan sandals and plenty of jewelry, I think this is a closet staple, and I’m going to be keeping this one in a size large.


2. J.Crew Linen Shirtdress: The Softest

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The quality of the linen used in the J.Crew Baird McNutt Irish linen shirtdress is evident on the first touch. Linen can feel a bit rough at times, but this dress is really soft. The shorter hemline on this dress caught my eye, and I do like this on me because it shows more leg. I tried belting this dress, but I actually don’t think it looks as good with a belt because the material around the waist bunched up on me in an unflattering way. I also love the rolled short sleeves and the natural color of the fabric. This one is a winner. I’m wearing a size large in this dress.  


3. Maeve Linen Shirt Dress: For Tall Friends

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This Maeve dress looks absolutely stunning on the model on the Anthropologie website. On me? Not so much. This dress just overwhelms my figure. However, it is of wonderful quality — fully lined and, therefore, not transparent at all in spite of its bright white color. The buttons down the front of the dress allow you to show as much or as little leg as you want, and the billowy sleeves add drama to a simple design. I think this dress is a “must try” for women taller than me (I’m 5’5”). Unfortunately, this dress didn’t work for me, but I think it would look beautiful on others. I’m wearing a size L above, and the dress is available in size XXS-3X.


4. & Other Stories Belted Shirtdress: Crisp & Clean

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& Other Stories makes the dreamiest dresses. This belted shirtdress has a sharper look to it than some of my other picks. With its pointed collar and bright white fabric, the effect is clean and crisp rather than beachy and relaxed. I will note that the fabric is just a little bit transparent, and if you wanted to wear this in a professional context, you’d want to wear a slip underneath. The hemline is longer than I had expected based on the product photo, but I didn’t mind where the dress hit me. Here, I’m wearing a size 12, which fits nicely, except it pulls a bit in the bust. Sadly, & Other Stories is not size-inclusive, and size 12 is the largest size available — the brand sorely needs to update its offerings.


5. Quince Button Front Dress: Cute For Casual Friday

dress | heels (similar)

Scrolling through the Quince website, I squinted hard at this short-sleeve button-front dress. I kept clicking back and forth at the photos, trying to decide if I wanted to try this one on. The sharp collars, V-neck design, and buttons down the front of the dress made this option more business casual and less “weekend in the Hamptons.” Since I wanted to try the maxi dress from Quince (above) I thought I might as well give this dress a chance as well.

I was pleasantly surprised. Again, the quality of Quince’s linen fabric is lovely, soft, and substantial. Although the design is lovely, the dress just doesn’t add anything new or special to my wardrobe, so, for me, this one is not a keeper, but I do think others may love this style.

6. Frank & Eileen Linen Shirtdress: Long & Luxe

dress | heels (similar)

The quality of the linen used for this Frank & Eileen Rory Maxi Shirtdress is lovely. The fabric is soft, and the natural texture of the linen is visible up close. I don’t mind the maxi length of the dress, but I feel like my body type really needs some definition at the waist. For my body type, I don’t think this dress is for me. If you’re a big Frank & Eileen fan in general, you might love this dress. This is definitely the type of dress that read “vacation in the Hamptons” if that’s your vibe.


7. The Drop Linen Shirtdress: My Least Favorite

 dress | heels (similar)

I’ve picked up some really outstanding items from The Drop. Unfortunately, this Fiona Relaxed Midi Shirtdress wasn’t outstanding on me. The linen is of good quality — particularly given the price point. However, the fabric isn’t as soft as Quince’s linen, which is available at similar price point. Moreover, the bright white fabric is somewhat transparent. The pockets placed on the hips look odd and add bulk in a place I don’t want bulk. I tried on a size large but I won’t be keeping this one.


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In the end, linen is queen, and I’ll be keeping my Quince dress on hand for days when you can practically see the heat rising off of the pavement. Which linen dresses will you be staying cool in this summer?

Xo,

Anne

I tried on white linen shirtdresses from J.Crew, Quince, Maeve & more. I found a sure favorite + summer outfit options for the office or the beach.