Style Guide: How to Style a Slip Dress

What is a slip dress exactly? A slip dress is one of those timeless wardrobe pieces that will carry you through season after season and always stays in style. That’s because there are several colors, patterns, and dress features to work with that change up the look. Then, by adding the right combination of accessories, layering options, and shoes, you can achieve a different style every time you step out the door.

When deciding how to wear a slip dress and experimenting with various looks, here are a few tips to keep in mind to make the trend work for you.

Start with a Timeless Slip Dress Style

Start with a piece made of quality material (such as a satin or silk slip dress) and an interesting color or pattern to hold its own without too much adornment. If you're into neutrals, start with a black slip dress. From there, styling is easier because you have a good foundation. The Zoe Slip Dress is a consistent favorite. When learning how to style a slip dress, there are three different colors and patterns to choose from, which can help you create multiple looks.

  • Agra - A rich violet hue topped with light blue exotic details that is pretty for spring but rich enough in color for fall. 
  • Devi - A sophisticated animal print that takes neutrals to a new level. The brown and black waves of the tiger print instantly adds intrigue to any outfit. 
  • Bandhani Red - Inspired by the warm red-orange hues of Indian prints and patterns, this unique design is a standout option.

Also, the special features of the slip dress instantly add extra style to a typically minimalistic trend. The front slit with button detailing, draping neckline, and adjustable straps allow the fabric to flow while still flattering the silhouette. Plus, the lightweight fabric and lining keeps the look comfortable without being too sheer. All in all, it’s the perfect piece to wear for any occasion.

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Layer with Different Lengths

Regardless of the length of your slip dress, you can layer with different lengths as well. A cropped jacket or a floor-length duster, anything goes when it comes to creating new looks. So, what to wear with a slip dress like the Zoe design? Here are a few go-to options: 

  • Oversized cardigan - A chunky cardigan in a neutral color, like oatmeal, tan, or off-white, layers well over a minimalistic slip dress. It creates a cozy look as you transition from the warm temperatures of summer into the cooler days of fall. Choose a cardigan that hits about mid-thigh to keep the look proportional. 
  • Jean jacket - A jean jacket can dress down a slip dress ensemble but still keep the look polished. Go for a fitted, slightly cropped version and try out different shades of denim. A darker, indigo hue will pop against the Bandhani Red print, while a lighter shade of blue can play up the springtime vibes of the Agra pattern.
  • Silk duster - Silk on silk material keeps the look cool and effortlessly chic. A black silk duster adds a bit of drama and takes the look from day into nighttime appropriate. It’s the ideal layering piece for when you need to cover your shoulders or want a lightweight option when the sun goes down. 
  • Structured blazer - A well-fitted blazer instantly changes up the aesthetic of a slip dress and makes it weekend ready or even workday appropriate, depending on the dress code. Since one of the great things about a slip dress is how it skims the body shape, make sure your silhouette doesn’t get lost in too much fabric by keeping the blazer to a tailored fit.
  • Bomber jacket - When layered over a slip dress, a bomber jacket offers a streetwear style that feels fresh and modern. It’s a staple for when the weather turns cooler and you want to get more wear out of your slip dress. A leather jacket is a great option for the cooler seasons. With a rainbow of colors to choose from, you may want more than one to take you through the fall and winter. 

Each of these layering pieces give you alternate ways to wear a slip dress and can be used interchangeably to make it fit any situation. Use these wardrobe staples as a starting point when considering how to style a slip dress to fit your fashion persona.

Try Out Different Shoes

The shoes make all the difference no matter what the rest of the outfit looks like, particularly when it comes to dresses. When you start with a timeless piece like a slip dress, you can easily dress it up or down based on the shoes. Take your slip dress style from casual to fancy within seconds all with the simple swapping of shoes.

  • White sneakers - Crisp, white sneakers dress down a slip dress for a fun and sporty vibe. The pairing makes the perfect every day wearwhen meeting up with friends, running errands, or exploring a new city. You can keep your feet comfortable while still looking fashion-forward. 
  • Resort sandals - A great pair of resort sandals can go with nearly your entire summer wardrobe, including a slip dress. They’re simple yet classy and come in a variety of shades. To make it easy to wear with multiple designs, stick to a neutral color that will easily coordinate with whichever slip dress you decide to wear. 
  • Gladiator sandals - Playing up the straps of sandals adds another style element that helps elevate a slip dress to a more dressed up look.  Strappy sandals are perfect to pack for your next exotic getaway and pair nicely with a tailored jacket for an elegant outdoor wedding outfit.
  • Strappy stilettos - Amp up the sexiness factor by wearing your slip dress with your favorite pair of stilettos. A black or neutral tone can go with anything, but if you’re feeling inspired, go for a bold shade of strappy heels to complement the dress. For example, bring out the blue tones of the Agra Zoe Slip Dress by matching with similarly colored stilettos. 
  • Boots - Boots can help take your slip dress style from summer to fall. Ankle boots, knee-highs, and cowboy boots all change the vibe of your look. With the right boots, you can change the look from casual and comfortable to sexy and sophisticated to rustic chic.

Dress Up the Look with Jewelry

As with shoes, jewelry can also instantly dress up a look and there are just as many options, if not more, to choose from. For a fancier style, start with some sparkle. Any metallic jewelry will pop against the rich hues of the Zoe Slip Dress styles or any other solid hues or bold patterns. Play up cooler tones with silver and complement warmer tones with gold or rose gold. 

Delicate chain necklaces, trendy chokers, earring studs, hoops, or chandelier options all offer a unique appeal depending on the occasion and how you wear your hair. Additionally, a jacket brooch, hair piece, or cuff can also add sparkle when deciding on how to work in metallics to complete a look. You can also achieve the same versatility with diamond or gemstone jewelry. 

Leather accessories are another style option, particularly if you want a boho chic aesthetic. One thing to keep in mind is to keep the jewelry central to the same theme. No need for matching sets if that’s not your preference, but make sure the accessories come together in a cohesive way.

Experiment with Color Palettes

When learning how to wear a slip dress, have fun with colors. Pair a patterned jacket with a solid-colored slip dress or vice-versa. Try color blocking or even experiment with contrasting color palettes to add a modern edge to your next outfit. Not all elements of an outfit have to perfectly match, just keep them complementary to the overall color palette. 

Also, consider branching out by mixing and matching different patterns. If your slip dress has a floral print, choose a striped duster in a similar hue. Or when wearing a slip dress with vertical stripes, choose a blazer that has horizontal ones in a similar shade. It’ll add dimension and another element of style to any outfit. There are no right or wrong color combinations. Play around with different ones and decide which looks most flattering on you.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to branch out of your color comfort zone. If neutrals are more your style, add in a pop of color to ease your way into a new trend. Although everyone has their fashion preferences they lean toward most, it doesn’t mean you can’t shake things up now and then and emulate an of-the-moment style.

Slip dresses are an essential part of any wardrobe. You can style one to meet any occasion, fashion trend, and preferred color palette. All it takes is a little fashion inspiration and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. 

It’s a piece you can wear throughout the year with multiple outfit options to create so that it always feels brand new. When you want to update your closet and seek fashion inspiration, look no further than the beautiful simplicity of a slip dress. Looking for more ways to style dresses? Check out our latest blogs What is a Caftan Dress? And How to Wear Dresses in the Winter to learn more!