Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (2023)

There are so many different types of dresses and fashion icons to follow. Getting dressed up means different things to different people. Dress styles are affected by the length of the dress, the shape and the cut of the dress. Necklines, fabrics and sleeves affect dress styles as well as traditional clothing and influences from the past.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (1)

Types of Dresses

One of the worlds most well-remembered designers, Coco Chanel, once said: “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress. Dress impeccably and they notice the woman.”

With this comment in mind take a look at the following list of different types of dresses. Remember within each style the neckline, sleeve, collar or length of the dress can add to the design and effect.

Further Reading:

  • Types of Skirts
  • Types of Necklines
  • Types of Pockets
  • Types of Sleeves

Here are 51 best-loved and beautiful types of dresses.

A-line Dress

The A-line dress fits snugly to the hips and then has a flare that gives fullness and the A-line shape. This style is flattering for the pear-shaped figure. The amount of flare can be slight or quite large. When laid on a table an a-line shape looks triangular with the bottom being wider than the top. Slits are not needed in these types of dresses as the wider hem makes it easy to walk in.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (2)

Apron Dress

An apron dress is sleeveless.It is based on an apron style with a bib at the front of the dress. The apron dress resembles the pinafore dress, but often has extra frills and can be worn over another simple dress.

Asymmetrical Dress

There are many variations to these types of dresses. For example, the hem can be at different lengths, or it may have a sleeve on one side and not on the other, creating an asymmetrical look.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (3)

Baby Doll Dress

The bodice of the baby doll dress is fitted and usually under the bust. The skirt falls loosely from the bodice and is gathered. This style is often used for night dresses and was popular in the 90s.


There are many variations to the ballgown.It may follow different styles like the mermaid or princess cut, but it will always be a formal, voluminous dress. It is designed to create an entrance.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (4)

Balloon Dress

The balloon dress has a full skirt and the bottom of the skirt is gathered into a band that is narrower than the skirt.This gives the balloon effect as the fullness of the skirt balloons over the band creating a round, puffy look. It is usually above the knee. If you are sewing these types of dresses, it will take a lot of fabric as it needs to be lined.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (5)

Blazer Dress

The blazer dress is a more formal style because the front fastens to give a double-breasted blazer look. This is a smart-looking dress, suited to all seasons and particularly to the office. Using a belt at the waist gives it some shape. The blazer dress is often cut very short.

Blouson Dress

The blouson dress is soft, floating and the bodice blouses over the skirt. It is modeled on a blouse effect but has a skirt attached.

Boho Dress

Boho dresses are soft, floating types of dresses reminiscent of the hippy era. They are often white or embroidered and can be combined with lace and tassels. This is a pretty feminine look that is loose and easy to wear.

(Video) Plus Size Dressing Made Easy - 2022 Fashion Trends

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (6)

Camisole Dress

This style looks like a slip or petticoat. It has thin singlet straps combined with a round or v neck. Soft fabrics suit this style best and it may be cut on the bias to add a little stretch. Often it has a fairly straight and streamlined silhouette but gathers or pleats may be added for a bit of interest.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (7)

Cocktail Dress

This dress is formal, but not in the ballgown bracket. Ideal for a drinks party or a business event when you want to dress up a bit. The cocktail dress makes use of different sleeves and necklines to attract attention to its style.

Corset Dress

These types of dresses are accentuated by a corset that is laced up and fitted over the dress. It has a peasant-like appearance and is flattering to the waistline. The corset can be a contrast or complementary part of the design. The lacing can be at the back or front of the dress.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (9)

Denim Dress

These are casual types of dresses because they are made in denim. The design of the dress can vary with the addition of collars, sleeves, and a button-up or zipper closure. The denim dress is often a pinafore style, but whatever the choice of style, the fabric is always – denim.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (10)

Empire Waisted Dress

This line creates a flattering effect as the dress is gathered or attached to the bodice just under the bust. It creates a longer line to the body shape. The baby doll style is a type of empire-waisted dress.

Fit and Flare Dress

A fit and flare dress has a fitted bodice flaring out to a flared skirt. It may or may not have a seam at the waist. This is a popular and flattering style for pear shapes.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (11)

Halter Neck Dress

Halter necks flatter slim shoulders and trim arms.They are sleeveless and cut away to the neck where a band or tie holds the dress up.It makes a daring summer look.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (12)

Handkerchief Dress

It is the hem of the handkerchief dress that gives it its style. The hem hangs at different points giving the idea that the skirt of the dress was made out of handkerchiefs. This is an easy style for sewers to create as the skirt is cut in a square.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (13)

Kaftan Dress

The kaftan was originally associated with traditional Turkish, North, and West African clothing.Kaftans are made of bright-colored fabrics and the pattern is made up of one piece of fabric.It is loose and flowing.

The fabric is doubled over and a seam sewn up to an armhole point.A simple neckline is cut out to enable the dress to pull over your head, and there you have a kaftan style of dress. Usually worn to the ankle, this is a lovely dress to throw over a swimming costume or wear on a beach holiday.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (14)
(Video) 9 Pinterest trends that will dominate 2023 (Fashion & Beauty) ǀ Justine Leconte

Kimono Dress

A style of dress based on a traditional Japanese form of clothing.It has long flowing sleeves and is usually a wrap-around design.Modern kimono dresses may just take a couple of elements of this design rather than being a faithful reproduction.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (15)

Lace Dress

Lace dresses can be whimsical and feminine and when done in bold colors are sure to make a statement. Lace is one of the most commonly used wedding and formal fabrics. Most often a lace dress will need to be lined with a flesh colored fabric at the front and back.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (16)

Little Black Dress

No dress list would be complete without the ‘Little Black Dress.’ The little black dress is your standard go-to dress for many different occasions. It can be dressed up or down according to the needs of the event.Karl Lagerfeld said this about the little black dress, “One is never over-dressed or under-dressed with a little black dress!”

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (17)

Long Sleeve Dress

Long-sleeved dresses are a wonderful choice of style for winter. This dress becomes more formal with the addition of different types of sleeves.

Low or Drop Waist Dress

The drop waist dress features the waist just above the hip line instead of the waistline. This is a flattering dress for the high waisted person needing to elongate their body shape.

Mermaid’s Tail Dress

This dress gets its name from the effect of the addition of a frill or wider part at the bottom of the dress. This is the mermaid’s tail. The flared part can fall from the knee or further down the skirt from the calf. This style of dress can be hard to walk in if the flare starts too low down your leg.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (18)

Mini, Midi and Maxi Dresses

These three types of dresses vary according to the length of the dress. Mini being short and above the knee. Midi is mid-calf length and maxi is a full length to the ankles style of dress.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (19)

Off the Shoulder Dress

Dresses that slip off the shoulder are great ways to show off slim shoulders and neat arms. The rest of the dress could be straight, flared, A-line or any style that supports the off the shoulder look.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (20)

One Shoulder Dress

The one-shoulder dress falls under the asymmetrical style with one sleeve or one strap at the shoulder and the other side bare.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (21)

Peasant Dress

The peasant dress is a popular loose dress with long or short loose sleeves.The sleeves are usually raglan sleeves and the top neckline is gathered or elasticized with a drawstring effect. The neckline can sit off the shoulder for a summery look.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (22)

Pencil Dress

The pencil dress is a straight up and down kind of dress.No frills and a very simple style.The dress is pinched in at the waist and the hem just below the knee to create the slim pencil look. If you laid this type of dress out flat, it would look like an inverted triangle with the hem being narrower than the hips. To be able to walk, pencil dresses need to be short or have slits at the side or back.

(Video) I Tested Viral Tik Tok Clothes That Light Up

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (23)

Peplum Dress

The circular peplum frill added at the waist gives this dress a playful look.The frill could emphasize hips and is not necessarily a dress for the larger hip figure. A peplum frill is usually cut in a circle or half circle.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (24)

Pinafore Dress

Also known as the jumper dress, the pinafore dress does not have a collar.The straps of the dress go over the shoulder to meet straps at the back.A shirt or turtle neck sweater is ideal to wear underneath.

Pouffe Sleeve Dress

Usually short, this type of dress has a separated off the shoulder sleeve that is usually gathered top and bottom with elastic. This gives the effect that the sleeves are totally separate and just joined under the arm.

Princess Gown

The princess gown creates a full silhouette as the top is tight and the skirt very full and standing out to give the design a princess look.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (25)

Qipao Dress (Cheongsam)

This is a traditional Chinese dress dating back to the 17th Century.It has a high neck and a straight skirt often with a slit up the side. The slit can be on one or both sides.Traditionally the Qipao dress was made of silk.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (26)

Sari (Saree)

Sari's are a traditional Indian dress that consist of a long piece of fabric draped around the body.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (27)

Sheath Dress

If you want to appear slim and trim in a figure-hugging dress, this is the style for you.The waistline fits snugly and flatters the hourglass figure.A suitable dress for smart office events or an executive evening out.

Shift Dress

Short, simplistic and straight up and down, this is a very popular style.The dress hangs from the shoulders and suits a slender figure.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (28)

Shirt Dress

The shirt dress, as the name implies is like a long shirt. Smart shirt collar and buttons down the front. The hem can be shaped like shirttails.This is a casual, comfortable dress.

Skater dress

The skater dress has a fitted bodice and a very full circular skirt.It is a short style based on the designs used for ice skating. This dress is considered to be a fit and flare type of dress.

Slip Dress

The slip dress is modeled on the old-fashioned petticoat worn.The slip dress can be worn under a sheer garment.It is usually made of soft silky fabrics and can be cut on the bias for added comfort.

Smock Dress

The smock dress is a loose-fitting, comfortable dress.Often the dress part falls from a yoke. It may have short or long sleeves.

Strapless Dress

Strapless, as the name suggests, has no straps.The dress fits snugly around the bust with elastic or some form of boning to give support.The strapless dress is a great summery look or a very elegant evening dress.

(Video) A DAY IN MY DAUGHTER'S LIFE in Alphabetical Order

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (29)


The sundress is a loose-fitting strappy dress designed for summer.The sundress usually has thin spaghetti straps that tie on the shoulders and is tighter around the waist. The skirt is often flowing and made up of beautiful floral fabrics.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (30)

Sweater Dress

The sweater dress is a knitted dress with long sleeves, a perfect dress to combine with tights or boots for winter.

T-shirt Dress

The T-shirt dress has a simple round neck and falls straight down to fit loosely.It rests just above the knee and suits any figure.

Tea Length Dress

A classical, Hollywood drama dress. The skirt is a full circle with a length to the mid-calf.It is semi-formal and a style reminiscent of stars like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Munroe.

Tent dress

The tent dress is a very loose flowing dress. It extends from the shoulders and has an extra-wide hemline.The style looks like a tent when the fabric is held out to reveal the cut of the dress. Tent dresses are usually knee-length and best made in soft flowing fabrics.

Tube Dress

This dress, as the name suggests, is a figure-hugging dress that is strapless and cut in a tube.Tight-fitting, it is a lovely summer style that is best suited to stretch fabric.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (31)

Tutu Dress

The tutu dress resembles a mid or long length ballet dress and the skirt is always made of tulle.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (32)

Wrap Dress

This style crosses over and either ties at the side or the back. It is a flattering style and creates a smooth silhouette when tied and draped over the figure. The type of fabric used for this dress is important. It needs to be able to drape and not be too bulky.

Types of Dresses - A to Z of Dress Styles for 2023 (33)

Yole Dress

The yoke dress can have a yoke fitted at the front or back of the dress or on both sides. The yoke could be a contrast to the overall dress and the rest of the dress hangs loosely from the yoke.

Types of Dresses - In Conclusion

Dressing in today’s world has literally become a form of communication. The types of dresses you wear can portray who you are.Businesswoman, mother, active sportswoman, casual fun-loving outdoor person, busy mom, or all of these in one.With so many styles of dresses to choose from you can be anything you want to be.

(Video) 10 Outfits That Are OUT OF STYLE! *what to wear instead*

4.7/5 - (48 votes)


1. Grammys 2023: Best and worst looks from the red carpet
(Global News)
2. Meghan Trainor - Made You Look (Official Music Video)
(Meghan Trainor)
3. Why everything you buy is worse now
4. Kanye West - All Of The Lights ft. Rihanna, Kid Cudi
(Kanye West)
5. Amazon Fashion Over 40 | Grace Karin
(The Daily with Charlotte Z)
6. "I look bad in everything I wear." dude, no. you're just not dressing for YOUR body type.
(Kaiti Yoo)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Van Hayes

Last Updated: 01/15/2023

Views: 6496

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Van Hayes

Birthday: 1994-06-07

Address: 2004 Kling Rapid, New Destiny, MT 64658-2367

Phone: +512425013758

Job: National Farming Director

Hobby: Reading, Polo, Genealogy, amateur radio, Scouting, Stand-up comedy, Cryptography

Introduction: My name is Van Hayes, I am a thankful, friendly, smiling, calm, powerful, fine, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.