How to Wear Dresses If You're Not a Girly Girl

A bit of background: I’m not a girly girl. The vast majority of my wardrobe is leather and denim, and my friends would have a collective heart attack if I veered into the world of printed dresses and delicate slips. Sick of feeling like I’m missing out on spring fashion, though, and annoyed by this classic case of trends clashing with personal style, I cornered our resident not-so-girly girl, Fashion Director Natalie Cantell, seeking advice for pulling off a spring dress in a way that still feels like me.

Cantell long ago figured out how to wear a dress without sacrificing her penchant for menswear-influenced pieces. When designers started dressing her for fashion week, she tells me, she quickly had to figure out how to style things in a way that toned them down a bit and made them feel more her. I needed to know what she knows: “How do I wear a dress without feeling like I’m playing dress-up?” I asked.

“I get it!” she says. “For me, dresses are like lipstick. I love it in theory, but it doesn’t feel like it’s meant for me.” But Cantell promises that wearing a dress is not as hard as I’m making it out to be: “There’s plenty you can do to make a dress feel like it belongs on you, especially with a few key pieces on hand,” she advises.

To prove it, Cantell took three new-season dress styles from Topshop and turned them into hero looks for not-so-girly girls everywhere. Layer away!

Looking for other great dresses that’ll carry you through the season? Shop more go-to spring dresses on Topshop now.