Normally, I Hate Denim Dresses, But These Outfits Changed My Mind

Let me get this off my chest… I'm not the biggest fan of denim. Don't get me wrong. I'm aware of the universal appeal of this textile, as jeans are a perennial staple for so many people. But personally? It's a whole different story. Part of my beef with denim is that jeans are incredibly uncomfortable and can be hard to shop for if you're a curvier woman like me. On top of that, my distaste for denim is derived from the fact that it can be, dare I say, too basic at times. Frankly, I know I'm not alone in my sentiments, and others undoubtedly despise the mere idea of squeezing into rigid denim. Luckily, an alternative way to adopt this textile is jean dresses.

For those who aren't fans of denim, dresses are the easiest way to slowly embrace it. (I'm speaking from personal experience here.) Admittedly, some of the same concerns can come up when dealing with this piece. After all, some jean dresses can look dated. However, I've learned through extensive image research that there's no shortage of examples showcasing how denim dresses can be downright chic. In an effort to convert my fellow denim haters to the cause, I've rounded up 20 jean-dress outfits with styling tips and shopping recommendations. These looks will show you how to style a jean dress, and they may even make you a denim person.

A woman's jean dress outfit with square-neck dress layered over white polo styled with white socks and black Mary Jane flats.

(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

What You'll Need: Denim Minidress + White Polo + Red Crescent Bag + White Socks + Black Mary Janes

Styling Notes: One of the easiest ways to make this style a bit more elegant is through layers. Consider styling a lightweight polo underneath your jean dress with socks and flats—it's a preppy formula that's sure to make this piece feel polished.

A woman's jean dress with a puff-sleeve mini layered over a white turtleneck and styled with a gold chain necklace, brown crossbody bag, and white Mary Janes.

(Image credit: @pia_mbd)

What You'll Need: Denim Puff-Sleeve Dress + White Turtleneck + Gold Chain + Brown Crossbody Bag + White Socks + White Mary Janes

Styling Notes: For colder temperatures, you can follow the same outfit formula with simple swaps. Instead of wearing a light polo underneath your jean dress, swap it out for a turtleneck. You can still wear ballet flats, or you can switch to boots if it's later into the fall.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a button-front denim dress over a pleated turtleneck, wide-leg pants, and silver flats.

(Image credit: @vikilefevre)

What You'll Need: Denim Button-Front Dress + Plissé Top + Matching Pants + Mary Janes Flats

Styling Notes: While it's easy to layer a top underneath this dress, consider re-creating the outfit above if you want to get more creative. Layering a bright plissé set underneath a jean dress with metallic flats will give this item an unexpected twist.

A woman's jean dress outfit with sleeveless midi dress layered over a white T-shirt styled with white and silver sneakers.

(Image credit: @poppyalmond)

What You'll Need: Jean Dress + White T-Shirt + Pendant Necklace + Shoulder Bag + White Sneakers

Styling Notes: For a more effortless take on layering, consider throwing on a basic white tee underneath your jean dress. You can make this pairing feel as cool by finishing the look with a unique pendant necklace, chunky sneakers, and a colorful shoulder bag.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a maxi dress styled with a brown shoulder bag and navy ballet flats.

(Image credit: @mishti.rahman)

What You'll Need: Tailored Jean Dress + Shoulder Bag + Ballet Flats + Sunglasses

Styling Notes: Think jean dresses are too casual? Think again. The key to making this style a bit more buttoned-up is by pairing it with classic items. A tailored dress feels far more polished when paired with a sleek shoulder bag, ballet flats, and sunglasses.

A woman's jean dress outfit with minidress styled with gold jewelry and black Dior Saddle bag.

(Image credit: @coco_floflo)

What You'll Need: Denim Minidress + Gold Hoops + Gold Necklace + Shoulder Bag

Styling Notes: If it's not already clear, let me reiterate: The key to making any jean dress more stylish lies in pairing it with the right accessories. While it helps to wear it with what's trending each season, you can't go wrong with classic staples—e.g., stacked gold jewelry and a shoulder bag.

A woman's jean dress outfit with button-front minidress styled with lace knee-high socks, black pointed pumps, and a black Prada bag.

(Image credit: @maryljean)

What You'll Need: Denim Minidress + Hoop Earrings + Sunglasses + Knee-High Socks + Pointed Pumps + Shoulder Bag

Styling Notes: If you want to experiment with bolder accessories, consider pairing your denim minidress with high-lace stockings. It's an unexpected combination that will keep people on their toes.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a halter dress styled with knee-high socks, sneakers, and yellow shoulder bag.

(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

What You'll Need: Denim Halter Dress + Knee-High Socks + Sneakers + Shoulder Bag

Styling Notes: While being intentional about what you wear with your jean dress helps make it more stylish, it's also imperative to pay attention to the dress's shape. Opting for a version in a trending silhouette will do the majority of the work for you.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a puff-sleeve denim midi styled over a gingham-print dress with black loafers and blue socks.

(Image credit: @hodanyousuf)

What You'll Need: Denim Shirtdress + Gingham-Print Dress + Shoulder Bag + Chunky Oxfords

Styling Notes: While styling a jean dress with unexpected accessories is a straightforward way to make the style stand out, it's not the only way to make a statement. Take a cue from the cute ensemble above by styling a button-down jean dress as a light coat layered over a printed dress. It's the perfect way to make this piece pop.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a strapless dress styled with a matching jean jacket and knee-high denim boots.

(Image credit: @ninasandbech)

What You'll Need: Denim Tube Dress + Belt + Jean Jacket + Denim Boots

Styling Notes: You don't have to incorporate prints in order to make this style stand out—case in point: the ensemble above. By pairing a jean dress with other denim separates, you'll give this "dated" item a different take.

A woman's jean dress outfit with an oversize button-down styled as a dress paired with black loafers and a tan Prada bag.

(Image credit: @samimiro)

What You'll Need: Denim Shirtdress + Loafers + Handbag

Styling Notes: An additional way you can make this type of dress appropriate for corporate settings is by layering other office essentials with it.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a denim minidress layered underneath black blazer and cardigan and styled with brown socks and two-tone loafers.

(Image credit: @daisy___murray)

What You'll Need: Denim Minidress + Blazer + Cardigan + Tote Bag + Loafers

Styling Notes: If you're unsure whether a jean shirtdress is appropriate for a conservative corporate setting, consider adding layers. By throwing your favorite blazer and cardigan over, you can make this item more work-friendly.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a denim pleated minidress styled with a pink shoulder bag and pointed mules.

(Image credit: @devapollon)

What You'll Need: Denim Corset Dress + Pointed Mules + Shoulder Bag

Styling Notes: Let the ensemble above be proof that denim dresses can be daring! Sure, these dresses are sublime for casual occasions, but you can also tap into your inner Carrie Bradshaw by wearing a corset jean dress with pointed mules and a statement shoulder bag for an upcoming date night. It's a dress style that does it all, okay!

A woman's jean dress outfit with midi dress styled with black ankle boots and black shoulder bag.

(Image credit: @alyssainthecity)

What You'll Need: Denim Midi Dress + Shoulder Bag + Knee-High Boots

Styling Notes: While jean dresses are seasonless, there's something to be said about styling this item in a more fall-forward way. Nothing will make you fall in love with this type of dress faster than pairing it with autumn staples such as knee-high boots, a shoulder bag, and even a leather coat.

A woman's jean outfit with a strapless denim dress styled with oversize brown belts, an ombré brown cardigan, and a vintage Dior bag.

(Image credit: @sofiamcoelho)

What You'll Need: Strapless Denim Minidress + Crochet Cardigan + Sunglasses + Vintage Bag + Knee-High Boots

Styling Notes: Another way to transition this dress into the fall is to style it with seasonal items. Pairing a strapless jean dress with a cardigan and knee-high boots will make it perfect for transitional temperatures.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a denim slip styled with a slouchy black bag and black-and-white block-heeled mules.

(Image credit: @aishafarida)

What You'll Need: Denim Slip Dress + Slouchy Black Bag + Open-Toe Mules

Styling Notes: If you can't imagine wearing denim in the middle of summer, it's worth entertaining the idea of the ensemble above. A slip dress made of a jean material is the perfect way to wear this staple in the scorching heat.

A woman's jean dress outfit with white minidress styled with two-tone strappy sandals and woven black bag.

(Image credit: @greceghanem)

What You'll Need: White Denim Minidress + Strappy Sandals + Clutch + Hoop Earrings + Sunglasses

Styling Notes: Don't assume that denim dresses are only for off-duty occasions. Try wearing this style to the office in the summer by pairing a modest jean dress with hoops, sunglasses, a clutch, and sandals.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a maxi denim dress styled with a raffia tote bag and black flip-flops.

(Image credit: @thandimaq)

What You'll Need: Denim Dress + Raffia Handbag + Flip-Flops

Styling Notes: What's the great thing about jean dresses? They're versatile. Yes, they work for your 9-to-5 job, but they can also be worn while out of the office. Simply opt for a flowy silhouette paired with summer staples, such as a raffia bag and flip-flops.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a button-down dress with a scarf, sunglasses, a black crossbody bag, and white sneakers.

(Image credit: @lenafarl)

What You'll Need: Denim Minidress + Scarf + Sunglasses + Crossbody Bag + Sneakers

Styling Notes: If your destination requires you to be a bit more comfortable, consider pairing a shorter jean dress with sneakers, a scarf, sunglasses, and a crossbody. It's a fail-proof formula for looking fashionable on the fly.

A woman's jean dress outfit with a long maxi denim.

(Image credit: @monikh)

What You'll Need: Jean Dress + Dainty Jewelry

Styling Notes: See? There are so many ways to wear jean dresses. Whether you dress it up for a night out or simply wear it around the house (like illustrated above), this staple surely deserves a spot in your closet.

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.