25 Popular Dress Styles for Women (Clearly Explained!)

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Dress Styles for Women and Dress Style Names

Dress Styles for Women

It can be so confusing buying dresses online!

Why are dress styles for women so complicated?

There are maxi dresses and midi dresses.

Skater dresses and fit and flare dresses.

Babydoll dresses and mini dresses. What is the difference?!

This dress style guide covers the following:

  • 25 popular dress styles and dress types for women
  • Best style dress for curvy women
  • Best dress style for big busted women
  • Flattering dress styles for older women
  • Explanation of 25 dress types

25 Popular Dress Styles for Women 

Here is a list of the 25 most popular dress style names for women. Hopefully, this clarifies a few things for you!

1. A-Line Dress

HOMEYEE sleeveless A-line cocktail dress in white with floral print for pear shaped figure
A-Line Dress

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An A-Line dress is fitted at the hips and flares out, resulting in an "A" shape. This style of dress looks great on women with a pear-shaped figure.

RELATED: Best Dresses for Pear Shape

2. Ballgown Dress

Princess and Ballgown Wedding Dress by Likedpage under $100
Ballgown Wedding Dress

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A ballgown dress is similar to a princess-style dress in that it has a fitted bodice and a very full skirt. You'll usually own see this style of dress for weddings.

RELATED: Cinderella Costume for Adults

3. Bodycon Dress

LAGSHIAN Sexy Bodycon Tank Sleevless Basici Midi Club Dress
Bodycon Dress

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A bodycon dress is tight-fitting and typically made of stretchy material. This is a popular style for clubbing and for women who want to show off EVERY curve.

4. Boho Dress

White Lace Boho Dress on Amazon with Sleeves by Bdcoco
Boho Dress

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A boho dress is usually white or cream and loose-fitting. Boho dresses have a romantic look and often have lace features.

RELATED: Best Boho Dresses on Amazon

5. Cocktail Dress

MEROKEETY Women's Sleeveless Lace Floral Elegant Cocktail Dress Crew Neck Knee Length for Party
Cocktail Dress

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A cocktail dress can have MANY different styles. "Cocktail attire" is common for business events or classy parties. Cocktail dresses are less formal than formal dresses because they are usually knee-length or ankle-length. 

6. Fit and Flare Dress

Calvin Klein Round Neck Fit and Flare Cockail Dress
Fit and Flare Dress

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A fit-and-flare dress has a fitted bodice and a flared-out skirt. A fit-and-flare dress tends to have a slightly fuller skirt than an A-line dress. This style of dress also looks great on pear-shaped women.

7. Halter Neck Dress

PRETTYGARDEN Red Polka Dot Halter Dress with Maxi Length and Belt
Halter Dress

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A halter neck dress is sleeveless and has a band or tie to hold the dress up around the neck.

This style dress looks great if you have great arms that you want to show off.

8. High-Low Dress

Sarin Matthews Off the Shoulder High-Low Skater Cocktail Dress in Black
High-Low Dress

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A high-low dress is shorter in the front and longer in the back.

9. Kaftan Dress

Miss Lavish Kaftan Kimono Maxi Dress in Plus Size for Swimsuit Cover Up
Kaftan Dress

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A Kaftan dress is brightly colored, loose-fitting, ankle-length, and usually worn over a swimsuit. 

This style of dress looks great on older women.

10. Lace Dress

VEIISAR Womens Fashion Sleeveless Lace Fit Flare Elegant Cocktail Party Dress
Lace Dress

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A lace dress is just how it sounds. It is a lace dress!

11. Maxi Dress

VIISHOW Women's Short Sleeve Loose Plain Maxi Dresses Casual Long Dresses with Pockets
Maxi Dress

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A maxi dress is a full-length dress that hits right at the ankles. It's a popular style for summer dresses.

Amazon has a lot of GREAT plus size maxi dresses that women love.

12. Mermaid Silhouette Dress

LALAGEN Floral Lace Long Sleeve Off the Shoulder Mermaid Dress for Weddings and Formal Events for Curvy Women
Mermaid Dress

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A mermaid dress flares out around the knee and looks great on women with a curvy figures. It's also a common wedding dress style.

13. Midi Dress

View on Amazon

A midi dress is a mid-calf length. There are casual midi dresses and semi-formal midi dresses.

RLEATED: Best Midi Dress on Amazon (Simier Fairy Dress)

14. Mini Dress

cute casual summer dresses 2021 by ECOWISH
Mini Dress

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A mini dress is short and hits above the knee. It's a popular style for summer and beach vacation outfits.

A mini dress looks great on women with great legs to show off!

15. Off the Shoulder Dress

Womens Off The Shoulder Ruffle Party Dresses Side Split Beach Maxi Dress by THANTH in navy blue
Off the Shoulder Dress

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An off the shoulder dress is just that...off the shoulders! Off the shoulder dresses may be long (at the ankles) or knee-length.

16. Pencil Dress

MUXXN Retro 1950s Sleeveless Slim Business or Going Out Pencil Dress in Yellow
Pencil Dress

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A pencil dress is slim (like a pencil!) and usually hits at or below the knee. This is a popular style for work or going out, depending on the color. 

RELATED: Best Work Dresses with Pockets

17. Peplum Dress

Moyabo Tie Neck Vintage Bodycon Peplum Business Formal Work Pencil Dress in Green with Long Sleeves
Peplum Dress

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A peplum dress has an extra "frill" added at the waist for a distinctive look. This dress style looks great on pear-shaped and curvy women or thin women.

18. Pinafore Dress

Allegra K Adjustable Strap Above the Knee Pinafore Dress with Suspenders, Pockets, and Checkered Print in Yellow
Pinafore Dress

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A pinafore dress is usually worn over a white t-shirt or a turtleneck. It has thick shoulder straps and hits at or above the knee.

19. Sheath Dress

PRETTYGARDEN Crewneck Sheatlh Dress with Short Sleeves and Pockets for Business Casual Dress with Stripes
Sheath Dress

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A sheath dress looks great on slim women. It hugs the figure without being too tight.

20. Shift Dress

Tommy Hilfiger Classic Scuba Black and White Shift Dress with Pockets for Work
Shift Dress

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A shift dress is relatively loose fitting (in contrast to a pencil dress) with a straight up-and-down silhouette. This style is great for work if you are slim.

This is also a great dress style for women with narrow hips.

21. Strapless Dress

Strapless Blue Maxi Dress on Amazon with Floral Print by ZESICA
Strapless Dress

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A strapless dress has no sleeves or straps. 

22. Sundress

Red KILIG Women's Summer Floral Dress Spaghetti Strap Button Down Sundress with Pockets

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A sundress is usually loose-fitting with spaghetti straps and a floral print or bright solid color. Sundresses are perfect for summer.

RELATED: Best Summer Dresses with Pockets

23. Sweater Dress

v28 Cowl Neck Knit Sweater Dress with Turtleneck in Red with Boots
Sweater Dress

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A sweater dress is knitted and is usually knee-length. Pair with tights and boots for a cute fall or winter outfit.

24. Tea Length Dress

blue and white striped dress with pockets by Levaca on Amazon
Tea Length Dress

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A tea-length dress hits at the calves. It's a great length for wedding guest dresses (especially mother-of-the-bride dresses) and classy-looking outfits.

25. Wrap Dress

ECOWISH Boho Wrap V Neck Dress with Red and White Flowers for Beach and Date Night
Wrap Dress

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A wrap dress has a piece of fabric that ties at the waist. This style is great for creating the illusion of hips and curves.

Dress Styles Names – List of the 25 Dress Styles

Want a downloadable excel file with a list of all the dress style names?

Click the link below to download an excel spreadsheet.

Dress Style Names by Very Easy Makeup

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Dress Styles for Women and Dress Style Names by Very Easy Makeup
Dress Styles for Women and Dress Style Names by Very Easy Makeup

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