Short Sleeve Dress Buying Guide

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Short Sleeve Dress Buying Guide

A short sleeve dress is any dress with some type of sleeve that is short. These dresses come in mini, midi, and maxi lengths in a full range of fabrics that includes elegant silks and satins and casual knits and cottons.


Profiles to Flatter Everyone

Short sleeve dresses come in all lengths and styles, and women of every shape can find dresses to suit their body types. One popular short sleeve dress style for women is the cap sleeve dress, which has sleeves that just barely cover the tops of the arms. A woman with an hourglass figure can show off her curves in a pencil or wiggle dress, while a lean, athletic woman might create the illusion of curves by wearing a sheath or shift with a belt. Wrap dresses flatter pear-shaped women by flattering their curves, and pear-shaped and apple-shaped women look fabulous in dresses with empire waistlines, including maxi dresses with flowing skirts. Full-figured women can choose dresses to accentuate their most attractive features.


Fabrics and Lengths for Any Event

Short sleeve dresses are available for every type of event. A vintage wiggle dress is fun for going out for cocktails, while a short sleeve midi dress or tea dress looks pretty at a more formal summer party. The short sleeve maxi dress looks great for everything from shopping to coffee with the girls. A skater dress or vintage 50s rockabilly dress may be just the thing for a night out pubbing or clubbing, and a pencil dress is a great short sleeve option for the office under a blazer.



Styles to Wear

Fabrics and Colours


Shift or belted shift

Wrap dress

Pencil dress

Neutral to bold, depending on company

High-quality fabrics


Maxi dress



Skater dress


Retro prints

Colour blocks


Wiggle dress

Belted shift

Skater dress


Bright colours

Bold prints

Poolside Lounging

A-line cover-up

Short shift

Lacy crochet in neutral colours

Bright tropical prints


The difference between a wiggle dress and a pencil dress is the wiggle dress has a hem narrower than the hips, which causes the wearer to 'wiggle when she walks'. On cool evenings, a beautiful short sleeve lace shrug adds the perfect finishing touch to a sleeveless dress.


The 'Too Short' Dress as a Tunic

Very short dresses also make great tunics over leggings and jeans. Tunic dresses require less fabric and sometimes feature unusual patterns. The right short sleeve tunic dress also layers nicely over a long sleeve top in the winter.

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