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  • Writer's pictureJulie Diana

Styling a Shirtdress & Two Hats for Summer

Updated: Jun 21

Hat: Betmar / Belt: Amazon / Dress: Target / Scarf: Amazon / Shoes: Vionic, similar here

In any season, who can resist dreaming of summer?

The sweet scent of honeysuckles, the languor of lazy afternoons, the glowing colors at sunset?

We dream of ease, slowing down, and having leisure time. In short: we dream of play.

Styling a Shirtdress & Two Hats for Summer

This modest outfit was designed for long hours of play. The cotton shirtdress is lightweight yet sturdy. The hats are breathable, and create shade for summer sun protection.

Keep reading to discover 2 versions of the hat, and 3 ways to style the shirtdress.

The styling video

The mini brim hat

Hat: Betmar / Earrings: Etsy

This hat is Betmar's Gossamer Mini in the color 'rattlesnake'. It also comes in speckled black and white, and solid white.

The brim is 3" wide, and the inner circumference is about 23".

The wide-brim hat

Hat: Betmar / Earrings: Amazon Collection

This wider brim version is Betmar's Classic Roll Up. The brim measures 4", and can be flipped up or down.

This wide brim version comes in other colors like blue and lavender. I previously featured the honey beige color in the article "How to Embellish Hats with Millinery Flowers and Hat Bands."

I appreciate that both hats are well constructed of a paper-poly blend. They are each affordable at less than fifty dollars.

I've used this black satin sash to create a band of contrast around the crown.

Black satin sash: Amazon

3 Ways to Wear The Shirtdress

This 100% cotton shirtdress is hardworking. The shoulder seams are reinforced, and the side seam pockets are roomy.

The fabric is smooth and drapes gracefully. I'm impressed with its quality given the low price point.

It's breathable enough for afternoons at the playground and mornings in the sandbox. Keep it in mind for apple-picking, too.

The waist is cut very loose, with two pairs of drawstrings to gather in the fullness. This gives you a few options for creating a shape that works for you.

Here are 3 suggestions.

1. Gather the drawstrings; tie each in a bow

2. Gather the drawstrings; knot them in the back

3. Follow step 2, then add a belt

Belt: Amazon / Navy scarf: Iristide

I've cinched the waist with leather obi belt. This wide navy elastic belt with gold hardware would also look chic.

The dress came with vents on the side seams. I hand stitched them closed. I also closed the bottom of the front button placket.

The dress' low underarm seam reminds me of retro dresses from the 1950s. It also allows for extra ventilation in summer's heat.

The underlayers

Since the cotton fabric is a bit sheer (especially in bright sunlight), wearing a slip is a good idea.

These culotte slip shorts are a staple in my wardobe. They come in four different colors, and the hem length is customizable.

I'm also wearing a lightweight ruffled slip underneath for fullness. You can find breathable cotton one here. (Discover almost two dozen useful, clever underlayers for modest outfits in my articles here and here).

Adapting the outfit for cooler seasons

Duster cardigan: Amazon Essentials / Bracelet watch: Citizen, similar here

To adapt the ensemble for chilly weather, layer on a longline sweater. This navy duster cardigan is a cotton-modal blend. The deep blue color coordinates seamlessly with the dress. The monochromatic effect is lengthening.

For even more warmth, I'm wearing this black sleeveless slip dress underneath the shirtdress. I love that it's reversible, with two neckline heights. You can find a 3/4 sleeve version here.

For a wintry touch on the hat, add a black velvet flower pin.

Wishing you plenty of leisure time, no matter the season.

Thank you for reading!

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