slip dress

Summer’s the time of year when fashion gets a little simpler — perhaps a bit sexier even — with a comfortable mix of lightweight fabrics and effortless silhouettes. Nothing captures this relaxed aesthetic quite like the modern slip dress; and we’re breaking down five easy formulas to help you maximize this wardrobe essential and all its summertime sizzle.

5 Ways to Style Your Summer Slip Dress

Slip into something a little more comfortable with these easy takes on an everyday classic.

slip dress

1. Wear it Over a T-Shirt or Tank Top

Remember in the ‘90s when girls would layer spaghetti-strap tanks over basic tees? (If not, reference the movie Clueless for a complete visual aid.) This full-coverage trend has made a triumphant return — but with slip dresses rather than tank tops. Layer yours over a simple white t-shirt, or experiment with mixed hues and vintage concert tees for a little extra personality.

If you’re looking for something more work-appropriate, you can always slip your dress over a ladylike blouse instead.

2. Wear it as a Skirt

Sometimes, a slip dress is everything. Other times, it’s a little overexposed. Opt for the look of separates by layering a statement-making top over a midi- or maxi-length slip. This is an especially good technique for your office rotation, and it allows you play around with different color palettes and prints.

3. Wear it Under a Scarf

slip dress

You know that silk scarf you have in your closet that you’re not really sure how to wear? Fold it once into an upside-down triangle, and then tie it over your slip dress at the waist. This is the perfect way to break up a solid color, and it emphasizes your waistline without the need for a belt.

4. Wear it With a Cardigan

Air-conditioned offices and breezy summer nights can get a bit chilly, so dress for the elements by layering your slip dress with a lightweight cardigan or slouchy sweater. This is a romantic way to elevate a simple piece, and the combination works for a wide variety of occasions.

5. Wear it Solo

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wearing this seasonal favorite solo, as well. Slip on a pair of heels for a date night with your sweetie, or try a pair of ankle boots and a crossbody bag for a casual, everyday approach. This summertime essential will also transition perfectly into the fall and winter months with the help of sweater tights, chunky knits, and thin cotton turtlenecks. Choose a couple of colors for the most versatility. (Black is a must, while a colorful satin option can add just the right amount of eye-catching shine to your rotation.)

How to Accessorize a Slip Dress

The best thing about slip dresses is that they’re made for accessorizing. Keep them as minimal as you wish, or freshen up your style with the following techniques:

  • Create an hourglass shape with a belt.
  • Tie on a neck scarf or bandana for a modern neckline and a hint of color.
  • Wrap a longer scarf around your neck for more coverage at the bust and décolletage, or wear it draped across the hip for a creative twist.
  • Wear it with sneakers for an athleisure approach.
  • Style it with strappy high heels for a dressed-up night on the town.
  • Add a denim vest to keep the look relaxed, or try a longline vest for a professional upgrade.
  • Drape on plenty of necklaces, bracelets, and rings for a boho-chic presentation, or layer your slip beneath a printed kimono.

Are you obsessed with slip dresses, or do you have a different item that tops your list? Share your favorite summertime go-to in the comments section below!