50+ different types of dresses for women

Do you know all the dress types that are available in shops? Learn about the different types and styles of Dresses for women

Dresses, dresses everywhere, not a name I know. Have you felt this way, looking at all the different types of dresses available in the stores?

There are hundreds of different kinds of dresses – in every style imaginable. Let us check out the most important types of dresses.

different types of dresses

If you want to know the names of different kinds of clothes, check out this post.

Names of Dresses

1. Aline dress

This dress basically follows the Aline silhouette – ie flowy from the shoulders. It can also have a fitted defined waist but the hem is always flared giving the whole silhouette the shape of a capital letter A.

different types of dresses

Who suits an A line dress:  As the A-line silhouette flares out from the waist, it creates a balanced and feminine look. So it is suitable for most body shapes. A-line dresses are especially flattering for women with pear-shaped figures.

2. Tent dress

Tent dress is a shapeless tent-like full dress, that hangs loosely from the shoulders; it has a baggy silhouette and is usually worn short. The airy billowy dress is a favorite as a summer wear.

styles of dresses

Who suits a tent dress: As this dress does not have a waistline, it is especially flattering for women with apple-shaped figures, as they help to hide a thicker waist. They are also a good choice for women with pear-shaped figures.

3. Yoke dress

This is a type of dress with a shaped top portion of the bodice which is separate from the bodice. The yoked dress can have a front yoke or back yoke or both.

types of dresses

Who suits a yoke dress: As this type of dress draws attention to the shoulders and bust, it is a good choice for women with pear-shaped figures.

4. Empire line dress

This is a  high waist dress that has a fitting bodice till just under the bust and then a flowy silhouette

different types of dresses

Who suits an empire line dress: An empire line dress can be flattering on plus-sized figures. It can create a long line so it can create an illusion of height for short figures. Choose an empire line dress in a solid color or with a vertical print to further elongate the silhouette.

5. Shift dress

This is a short sleeveless dress  that skims the body without a fitted waist.

different styles of dresses

Who suits a shift dress: Shift dresses can be flattering for women with a rectangle-shaped body (“athletic” or “straight” body shape). It is also a flattering style for Plus-sized figures, Pear shaped body shapes and even apple shapes.

6. Dirndl dress

This is a European traditional dress originally worn by peasants there;The dress is made of a bodice, an accompanying dirndl blouse, a wide high-waisted skirt, and an apron.

styles of dresses

7. Sheath dress

A close fitting dress usually ending near the knee. Usually there will be a slit in the back so that you can walk comfortably.

ladies dresses styles

Who suits a sheath dress: A sheath dress is a good choice for some one with an hourglass figure. It can also be good on rectangle shaped body.

8. Low or drop waist dress

This is a loose fitting dress with the skirt seam being somewhere near the hip rather than at the waist length.

many styles of dresses for females

Who suits a high low dress: Drop waist dresses are a good choice for women who are pregnant or have recently had a baby. The low waistline can help to camouflage the stomach and create a more flattering silhouette. Shorter individuals can benefit from high-low dresses because the shorter front hemline can create the illusion of longer legs, making them appear taller.

9. Tunic dress

This is a loose fitting dress ending near the hips  or near the knee , usually with slits on the side seams. Shorter tunics can work as mini-dresses, while longer ones can be styled with leggings or tights.

dress styles for ladies

Who suits a Tunic dress: Tunic dresses can be adapted to suit various body types. Flowy and loose Tunic dresses can be particularly flattering for apple-shaped figures, who wants to conceal their big tummy.

10. Princess seam dress

This is a dress with a princess seam down the bodice.

Who suits a princess seam dress: Princess seams can create a streamlined look for all bodyshapes and accentuates the curves of the body. The vertical seams help to create the illusion of a longer and leaner silhouette.

11. Blouson dress

This is a dress with a fitted/clinched waist which will cause the top portion to have a billowing effect. It has a loose, blousy bodice that gathers at the waist.

Who should wear a blouson dress: Blouson dresses can add some definition to rectangle-shaped bodies by cinching at the waist and creating the illusion of curves. Blouson dresses can be flattering for taller individuals as they provide a relaxed, flowing silhouette that complements height.

12. Shirt waist dress

This kind of dress resembles a shirt in the top portion, with a collar and an open front button placket.

women dress types

13. Wrap around dress

This is a style of dress with an Asymmetrical closing. This  dress usually has one side wrapped over the other side and usually has a tie which closes the front opening.

women dress types

Who can look good with a wrap around dress : Wrap dresses can work well for apple-shaped figures and inverted triangle figures by emphasizing the smallest part of the waist. They can add definition to rectangle-shaped bodies by cinching at the waist and creating curves.

14. Peasant Dress

This is a dress originally worn by the peasants in Europe, with raglan sleeves or very loose sleeves.

15. Baby doll dress

A baby doll dress refers to a short sweet dress with a fitted bodice ( at times a bralette) and a loose gathered skirt. This is usually is used as a nightgown. A dress with gathers above the waist and long sleeves is also referred to as a baby doll dress. Check out the tutorial to make a baby doll dress.

different style dresses

16. Body con dress

This refers to a tight fitting body hugging dress made of a stretchy fabric. It usually ends near or above the knee.

latest dress styles

17. Cocktail dress

This is a short dressy dress meant for attending semi-formal functions. It is a must-have for events with a cocktail dress code.

ladies dresses styles

18. Debutante dress

This is a white gown typically worn by debutantes on their first ball. The white formal full length gown is usually accompanied by white kid gloves.

latest dress styles

19. Skater dress

This is a dress that has a fitted bodice and a very flared circular skirt. They have an Aline silhouette with a very defined waist.

different dress styles

20. Camisole dress

This dress resembles the camisole worn as a slip or nightgown. A camisole dress is a longer version of this and is usually worn over tops.

different dress styles

21. Pinafore dress /Jumber dress

This is a collarless, sleeveless low cut dress which is worn over tops / blouses.

different dress styles

22. Granny dress

A granny dress is a loose fitting dress with long sleeves. This dress usually has ruffles or flounces and a high collar.

different style dresses for females

23. Harem dress

This is a full length dress with a flared cut narrowing down to a narrower hem. It is usually made in a flowy fabric.

different types of dresses

24. Trumpet dress / Mermaid dress

A  trumpet dress has a fitted bodice till the knee or just below the knee  where it flares to the hem.

 styles of dresses for girls

Women with curvy figures can look good in this dress.

25. Maxi dress

This is an informal full length / ankle length dress usually made with a flowy fabric.

different type of dresses

26. Apron dress

Apron dress is a sleeveless dress with a bib and a skirt attached to it just like an apron.

different style dresses

27. Sweater dress

A sweater dress is a long sweater that can be worn on its own as a dress. It is usually knee length.

different type of dresses

28. Swing dress

A swing dress has a fitted top portion near the bust and then flaring to a knee or above knee length hem.

variety of dresses

29. Tutu dress

Tutu dress is a tutu (gathered skirt made with tulle fabric ) with a bodice attached.

type of dress styles

30. Sun Dress

A sundress refers to any dress which is casual and suitable for the summer. They are usually made in flowy lightweight breathable fabrics.

kinds of dresses

31. Little Black Dress

This refers to a short dress made in black.Usually this is a fitting dress which is short. Read more on an LBD here.

girls dress types

32. Coat dress

A coat dress resembles an overcoat with lapels and openings.

types and styles of dresses

33. Corset dress

This is a dress that is fitted around the bust using a corset . The corset shapes the body with lacing.

different types of dresses

34. Balloon Dress 

A balloon  dress refers to a dress with a hemline turned inwards so that the bottom edge looks like a blown up balloon.

35. Bouffant dress

This is a full length gown with lots of ruffles.

lady style dresses

36. Paneled dress

This is a dress which is fitted in the top portion and then flares gradually towards the hem. This effect is usually achieved with panels.

kinds of dresses

37. Handkerchief hem Dress

This type of dresses have an asymmetrical hem which looks as if a handkerchief is held from the middle.

different kinds of dresses

38. Gathered dress

This is a dress with a gathered waist.

all kinds of dresses

39. Kaftan Dress 

Kaftan is a loose fitting dress with billowing side seams; it is sewn as one with bodice and sleeves and usually ends near the  ankles or feet. Check out the pattern and sewing tutorial to make a Kaftan.

kaftan dress

40. Pillowcase dress

This refers to a dress made for kids with fabric from a single pretty printed pillowcase and some fabric straps to tie them to the neck. 

41. Slip Dress 

A dress which simply looks like a slip you wear inside as an undergarment. A slip dress is usually worn as an overgarment .

different types of dresses

42. Shirt dress

This is a longer version of the shirt with collar and an opening in the front (full or partial).

many styles of dresses

43. Ball gown

Ball gown is a formal full skirted gown.

different types of dresses

44. Party dress 

This is a generic name for a dress worn for different kinds of parties. Basically it is an elaborately made dress. 

variety of dresses

45. Off Shoulder Dress

A dress without straps or shoulder joining seams and sleeve caps; the shoulder is laid bare with the sleeves and the bodice cut off at the shoulders. When this kind of dress has a shoulder seam with only the top of the sleeves cut off, it is called a cold shoulder dress.

different types of dresses

46. One shoulder dress

A dress with straps or shoulder joining seams only on one shoulder; the shoulder is laid bare on one side.

all different types of dresses

47. Strapless Dress

This refers to a dress without straps holding the dress together at the shoulders. It is a form fitting style of dress.

different dress designs

48. Halterneck Dress

A dress that features a halterneck. 

kind of dresses


49. Draped Dress

A Dress with additional fullness pleated gathered or held to one side or both sides. 

types of dresses in fashion

50. Xray Dress

This is a see through dress made with sheer/transparent fabrics like lace chiffon organza etc. It is usually worn with a slip underneath or strategically placed fabric lining/ embroidery/fabric patches or body stockings underneath to cover modesty.

51. Fit and flare dress

A dress with a fitting bodice and a skirt that flares out from the waist or hips.

52. Cape Dress

This is a dress that incorporates a cape as part of the dress. 

different type of dresses

53. Two color Dress

This dress has different colors for the top and bottom – the bodice will be in one color and the skirt will be in another color

Extra questions

What is the name of the loose fit dress worn in Hawaai?


Name of some loose fitting dress styles

Kaftan dress, Shift fress, tent dress, smock dress, shirt dress, empire line dress, poncho dress, t-shirt dress are all loose dress styles.

Name of some tight fitting dress styles

Bodycon dress, bandage dress, sheath dress, Pencil dress, princess line dress, wrap dress, corset dress are different types of tightt fitting dresses.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

17 thoughts on “50+ different types of dresses for women”

  1. Hello,

    I’m trying to find a dress or pattern which has a bodice attached to the skirt by a lining giving the appearance of a two-piece.

    Your help and advise will be much-appreciated.


  2. I enjoyed browsing the dress types and other pages to get inspirations for my next dress project. I’ve been sewing my own clothes since I was a kid, but I never learned how to design the patterns from scratch so I’m always trying to adapt store patterns to a design I envisioned. It can be pretty frustrating!
    Do you know if I could find a sort of ‘master pattern’ for dresses, that would have all the common bodice, sleeve, skirt styles that can mix and match to build any basic dress style? I don’t know if it exists but it would be so useful! I could easily make minor tweaks to accomplish my vision, instead of trying to reinvent a pattern that only matches half my design. Thanks!


    • The books, ‘Dress Pattern Designing’, and ‘More Dress Pattern Designing’, by Natilie Bray will take you through creating blocks (for basic cut and fit) and then creating the detail to adapt the blocks to styles and add the accoutrements required. In essence, making your own patterns to fit you, rather than adapting a commercial item.


  3. That is not what I think of an A-line dress. It should be fitted on top around the bust and then gradually flares out but not to the point of a tent or swing dress There is no waist band.

  4. Hi, I’m a (semi)retired seamstress, and I’ve always seen “fit and flare” (number 36) most often referring to the classic bombshell dress from the fifties – think Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like it Hot” standing over the air grate with the skirt of her dress waving up around her hips. Folkwear Patterns actually made a pattern named “Fifties Fit and Flare”, with both the long sleeved and halter version (like Marilyn’s) included. I used to work with Kate, the originator of Folkwear, at Lark Books, when Folkwear patterns were sold by Lark. (I still have my “Fifties Fit and Flare” pattern, which was actually given to me by Lark as a gift – one day I’ll use it – it takes a LOT of fabric, compared with most dress patterns!) I can testify that she is a pre-eminent scholar and historian of fashion.
    Here’s a link to a picture of the cover shot of “Fifties Fit and Flare”: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/69/2c/2f/692c2f9a3441dfed4a95cfe6a6b9caa3.jpg
    The pattern is no longer available from Folkwear’s catalog, for some reason. You can find used copies on Etsy and other locations, if you want to make one. I highly recommend Folkwear, though, for all kinds of historical and vintage clothing patterns. My favorite vintage pattern is “the Glamour Girl” – 30s – 40s styled dress. So cool looking, even today! I have a burning desire to make the “Model T Duster Coat” too, one of these days.

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