7 Spring Dress Styles That Are Perfect For All Your Upcoming Events

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. I only highlight and share products that I use and truly love. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Empty Nest Blessed!

Weddings, baptisms, bridal showers, Easter Sunday, bridal and baby showers…what do they all have in common? You need something special to wear! I have good news for you! You can finally put an end to the what-will-I-wear dilemma because today, I’ve partnered with Nordstrom to gather all of the best spring dress styles in one spot just for you!

As always, click on any pink text link or image you see for more information.

Nordstrom Made Brands for Spring Dress Styles

Y’all know I’m a Nordy girl through and through! Nordstrom carries hundreds of brands across multiple verticals, but when I discovered Nordstrom Made Brands, I felt like I’d found a well-kept secret! Their in-house brands are well-made, well-priced, and always on-trend. (To explore all of them, click HERE.)

When it came to shopping for spring dresses, of course, I headed straight to the Nordstrom Made Brands page! I ordered five, kept three, and loved them all! Think dresses by brands like Chelsea 28, Halogen, and Rachel Parcell.

And of course, since you’re shopping at Nordstrom, you know you’ll always get free shipping and returns along with the option to order online and pick up curbside or in-store. Not only that, but you know Nordstrom’s Nordy Club is among the best loyalty programs with the ability to earn points toward Nordstrom Notes, which you can then use like cash on future purchases.

Which Spring Dress Style is Right for Your Event?

It can be confusing to figure out what to wear to a special event! You need to consider things like the venue, the formality of the invitation, the weather, and sometimes even what everyone else plans to wear! As you consider, remember that most dress code “rules” are more like guidelines—with a few exceptions, like avoiding wearing white to a wedding.

So let me be your guide! I’m running down the top spring dress styles you’ll see out there this season and telling you what occasion they might be suitable for, how to style them, and more!

1. Spring Dress Styles: The Shirt Dress

woman over 50 posing in front of a a black wrought iron rail wearing caslon Utility Short Sleeve Shirtdress from nordstrom

Utility Short Sleeve Shirtdress (Also in navy.)

The shirt dress is a true classic, and it pretty much looks great on everyone! Typically (but not always) styled with buttons down the front and a tie waist, it’s figure-flattering and oh-so-versatile! Look for details like a shirttail hem and detailing like cuffed sleeves to make it special.

Where to Wear the Shirt Dress

The traditional shirt dress is reminiscent of a professional, button-down shirt, so it’s always appropriate in a professional setting. Also, typically, shirtdresses are a solid color, but this year, we see more patterns and prints! We’re also seeing loose, drapey shirt dresses with no waistband and even some with a distinctly dressy flair.

How to Wear the Shirt Dress

No matter what style of shirtdress you’re wearing, traditional But feel free to change up your shoes and wear them casually as well! Try on-trend ruched strap flat sandals, slingback kitten-heeled pumps, or even a pair of sneakers.

2. Spring Dress Styles: T-Shirt Dress

woman over 50 standing against white wall wearing Caslon® A-Line T-Shirt Cotton Maxi Dress from Nordstrom with navy wedges and holding a navy quilted patterned jacket

A-Line T-Shirt Dress | Quilted Puff Sleeve Jacket

The t-shirt dress is an easy spring and summer style! It’s casual, easy to throw on, and it will keep you cool as temperatures rise. While there are plenty of traditional t-shirt dresses out there, this spring, you’ll see lots that are midi length, some with an A-line shape (like the one I’m wearing above), some with side leg slits.

Where to Wear the T-Shirt Dress

The t-shirt dress is casual, so it’s inappropriate for a wedding, shower, or luncheon. However, it’s great for a backyard barbeque, running errands, or a casual date night.

How to Wear the T-Shirt Dress

Pair the t-shirt dress with wedges as I did above or with flat sandals, slides, or sneakers for running errands. Since t-shirt dresses are typically solid colors, you might want to pick a neutral color like THIS one if you want to play with a pop of color in your shoe choice.

3. Spring Dress Styles: Wrap or Faux-Wrap Dress

Another classic dress style that is going strong this year is the wrap dress! You can also find it in a “faux” wrap style with a cross front. With a flattering v-neck and an adjustable waistline, the wrap dress is a big favorite in so many closets!

Where to Wear the Wrap Dress

This dress is usually best for dressier occasions. Since it has a wrap or faux wrap cross front, it might not be the best choice for running errands or grabbing groceries! 😂 It would be perfect for date night, a cocktail, or an evening wedding. It typically has a slightly sexy vibe, and a wrap dress can also add a little peekaboo of the leg, upping the va-va-voom factor! I love THIS pretty maxi-length faux wrap camisole dress!

How to Wear the Wrap Dress

Style the wrap or faux wrap dress with shoes that show a little skin! Think breezy wedge sandals, heeled ankle strap sandals, or open-toe slingback sandals in a neutral metallic.

4. Spring Dress Styles: Smocked Dress

woman over 50 posing outside on a staircase wearing Moonlight Dress from NORDSTROM

Moonlight Dress (Also in light gray and animal print!)

With the resurgence of the popular lounge dress style last year, smocked-top dresses are having a moment! The smocked bodice style is decidedly feminine and youthful. In fact, when you wear it, you have to be careful not to look too young. (I’ve found that opting for a darker color or a print helps with this.)

Other places you may see smocking on a dress are the back of the bodice or on the cuffs of the sleeves. Smocking is also used with convertible off-the-shoulder dresses. (Convertible, because the smocking allows you to style the dress either off-the-shoulder or on-the-shoulder, with a boat-neck.

Where to Wear the Smocked Dress

This smocked bodice dress is usually casual. It’s perfect for an afternoon tea, garden party, backyard barbeque, casual lunch with your girlfriends, or running errands. An off-the-shoulder dress or one where the smocking is at the cuffs or in the back may be dressier.

How to Wear the Smocked Dress

With the smocked-bodice nap dress style, you’ll want to keep things simple when it comes to your shoes. Consider flat sandals, simple slides, or pretty flip-flops. With dressier dresses where the smocking is off the shoulder or on the cuffs, dress up your look with airy heeled sandals.

5. Spring Dress Styles: Ruched Dress

Ruching is a technique used to gather and create volume, texture, and interest in skirts, sleeves, and bodices by gathering and pleating excess fabric. It’s often used at the waist or the bust, but sometimes it’s used on the side. Typically, ruching breaks up the fabric on a dress and creates a focal point.

Where to Wear the Ruched Dress

Ruching isn’t typically used on casual dresses, although you will see it on a lot of swimsuits! There are print dresses and cocktail dresses with ruching, sheath dresses with ruching that would be perfect for a professional setting, and some sweet, floral dresses with ruching that would be beautiful for a wedding or shower.

How to Wear the Ruched Dress

You’re going to want to wear heels with most ruched dresses. For a more professional look, opt for THESE slingback pumps. For a dressier or cocktail look, consider open-toed strappy sandals.

6. Spring Dress Styles: Slit Skirt Dress

Dresses with slit skirts are everywhere this year!

Where to Wear the Slit Skirt Dress

In the past, slit skirt dresses would probably have been too sexy to wear to a daytime wedding, family barbeque, or luncheon! But this year, the rules have changed somewhat! We’re seeing leg slits combined with ruffles on sweet floral dresses, t-shirt dresses, and even wrap dresses, and faux wrap dresses are featuring the trend.

How to Wear the Slit Skirt Dress

In general, the more open-toed the shoe is, the more of a sexy vibe it will give off. But since the rules have changed somewhat this year, a feminine floral dress with a slit skirt might look lovely with an open-toed heel. If you’re wearing a t-shirt dress with a slit skirt, you could keep it casual with flat sandals or dress it up a little with wedges or a block heel sandal.

7. Spring Dress Styles: Floral Dress

woman over 50 wearing Chelsea28 Floral Puff Sleeve Midi Dress from Nordstrom leaning against a brick wall

Floral Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

The floral dress is the quintessential spring dress! It’s beautiful and feminine. This year, you’ll see lots of midi dresses in floral prints. Aso, look for trends like sheer sleeves, the slit skirt, smocking, and ruching to show up in floral dresses. Also, watch for embellishments like ruffles, tiered skirts, puff sleeves, and pearl buttons. (The dress I’m wearing above has both of those last two!)

Where to Wear the Floral Dress

Floral dresses are perfect for daytime weddings, bridal and baby showers, and luncheons, as well as special occasions like Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day brunch.

How to Wear the Floral Dress

The shoes you wear with your floral dress will depend on how dressy the dress is! I would opt for sandals or delicate flip-flops over sneakers for a casual look, and for a dressier version, I would probably choose airy strappy heels rather than heavier block-heeled sandals.

I hope you got some great ideas today for your next special event! Spring is upon us, and with it, all of the joyful events that come with it! Take another look at the Nordstrom Made dresses and shoes I shared with you in this post by checking out the images below. For more information or to shop, click on any of them.

Let me know your favorite style in the comments, okay?

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Suzy Mighell

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One Comment

  1. Suzy! As always, a super fun and informative (well researched!!!) post! Love all the dresses and shoe choices! Thank you so much for helping out this (me) wardrobe challenged person! 😉

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