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PureWow’s Shopping Editors Weigh-In on Their Favorite Linen Shirtdresses for Summer

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There’s nothing I love more than the ushering in of all things linen. With summer approaching, I’ve made it my mission to begin collecting all the linen pants and linen shirts my closet can hold. I’m someone who runs hot, so I refuse to risk wearing anything but cool, breathable and comfortable linen unless I want to be met with my own sweat chronicles (no thank you). This year, I’m all about linen dresses. Think of your favorite cotton sundress, but it’s now made with 100 percent European flax linen and it’s ten times cooler. (The dream, no?) With lots of styles to peruse from brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, H&M and J.Crew, I tapped my partner-in-crime, PureWow’s other shopping editor, for help selecting our top picks of one classic silhouette in particular—the timeless shirtdress. Here are 13 of our favorite linen shirtdresses to wear all summer long, from traditional frocks with button-down fronts and belted waists to a more modern T-shirt vibe that’s totally relaxed.

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Zara

There are tons of Zara pieces for spring and summer dropping every week, and I’ll never say no to the brand’s selection of shirtdresses. The Spanish-based retailer always has items that catch my eye, like this blue and white striped midi shirtdress made from a blend of European-grown linen and viscose. In other words, the fabric will have all the qualities we love about linen—it’s  breathable, cooling, lightweight—but it won’t have a hint of scratch or roughness thanks to the viscose fibers. The button closures stop halfway above the knee, making this feel modest yet oh-so sexy, and that belt embellishment will make your waist look snatched.

$70 at Zara

Everlane

Assistant Commerce Editor Natalie LaBarbera has her sights set on this lightweight, oversize button-down from Everlane. She tells me, “I’ve tried a few of the brand’s linen styles and the quality and design have been amazing, so I have no doubts about this one. Also, it has pockets and I like that the buttons are functional so I could even wear it open as a cover-up, too.” Because of its spacious fit, some buyers say it runs slightly large.

$98 at Everlane

Madewell

No lie: This unique shirtdress made me do a double take…the good kind. It’s modern, fresh and chic as can be with its asymmetrical design and tunic proportions. Best of all? The versatility is next level, going from an asymmetrical front one minute to a traditional straight closure the next by simply changing the way you fasten it. Sounds to me like you’ve got yourself two looks in one, ladies.

$90 at Madewell

Abercrombie & Fitch

Sometimes less is more, especially on days you struggle to find an outfit. Abercrombie & Fitch’s T-shirt dress is meant for minimalist dressers who prioritize simple, understated and comfortable dresses that you can wear all day long like your favorite lived-in T-shirt. “The quality of this dress is amazing,” writes new mom and Abercrombie & Fitch reviewer Grace. “It looks so luxurious for an amazing price, [and] the fit is super flattering. I’m a few months postpartum so I ordered an XL, [but] I ended up exchanging for a L and love it so much.” Plus, the short sleeves will conceal your upper arms without clinging to them, thanks to the easy, relaxed silhouette.

$70 at Abercrombie & Fitch

Banana Republic Factory

Sophisticated (check!), timeless (check!) and half-off (check!). When I picture the quintessential shirtdress, this comes to mind. A midi, A-line silhouette with a striking pointed collar, short, cuffed sleeves and belted waist. What more can a gal want? One more thing: pockets. Sounds like I’ll take it in all the colors, please and thank you (especially the vacation-ready pink and white stripes).

$130; $65 at Banana Republic

J.Crew

Here’s a mini shirtdress I found that’s all legs and class from PureWow-beloved brand J.Crew. The best-selling linen style comes with a removable belt that cinches in your waist and it has billowy short sleeves that are cuffed for an elevated, relaxed vibe that’ll look great at weekend BBQ cookout or a Saturday stroll in the city. Neither the dark nor light shades are see-through, per reviewers, though the white version is lined as a precaution.

$90 at J.Crew

Ann Taylor

This midi is a sleek option you can wear to work and dinner, no problem. It’s crafted from a linen blend that’s airy and lightweight, which will be a lifesaver come warmer days, and it has cap sleeves with epaulettes to give some structure and edge. “I tried this on in-store and needed to size up, as the waist is fitted,” says one customer, “[so I] ordered one size up, and it’s perfect. [It’s] classic, clean, and sophisticated—I can’t wait to wear it to brunch.”

$90 at Ann Taylor

H&M

I’m planning my next vacation around this belted shirtdress from H&M, ideally to somewhere warm, coastal and known for gelato. From the short length to the loose-yet-tailored fit and pleated detailing, I can tell a lot of thought went into making this dress. It’s a “nice dress—simple but chic ‘90s cut [made with] good fabric,” notes an H&M buyer. The braided belt with its wooden buckle creates a nice contrast against the soft neutral, though the same reviewer says that you can change it out. “I’ll probably swap out the belt to use with another fit, [but] the belt is decent, [and] it has stretch.”

$35 at H&M

Frank & Eileen

If you’ve ever wanted to recreate Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic Big-shirt moment but have struggled to find a shirt long enough to cover your hoo-ha, now’s your chance. Frank & Eileen’s best-selling classic shirtdress has a relaxed fit that’ll give you that I-stole-this-from-my-boyfriend air minus the ill-fitting mess (and smell) of wearing his dirty laundry. It’s the type of mini dress you can *actually* bend down in and not have to tug at the hems. Wear it to a dinner date with a statement belt to break up the silhouette and cinch your waist, then cycle it back into the weekend rotation with a pair of wide-leg jeans.

$298 at Frank & Eileen

Saks Fifth Avenue

This Saks Fifth Avenue midi shirtdress—exclusively sold at Saks Off Fifth—is 100 percent linen, 100 percent comfortable and ideal for days when you don’t want any fabric clinging to your body. The straight silhouette looks great belted or left as-is when you’re relaxing at the beach in the Hamptons. It has functional front patch pockets, side slits to break up the hem and a buttons down the front that you can leave undone and style over a bathing suit for a darling cover-up.

$60 at Saks Off Fifth

Tuckernuck

“Love, love this dress,” raves Tuckernuck customer Beth M. “I’m a minimalist and this dress is so classic. It’ll be great dressed up or down at the beach.” This easy, classic frock is a luxe addition to your linen collection. If you look closely, you’ll notice that there are elegant buttons on the placket; a small detail that elevates the feel of this shift dress entirely, along with the long, billowy sleeves, curved hems and notched neckline, of course. Just note that some buyers say it’s quite boxy and runs large. “While I was expecting it to be oversize…it’s REALLY oversized,” says Leanne W., another Tuckernuck reviewer who found the linen to have a lovely quality and appreciated the pockets.

$148 at Tuckernuck

Anthropologie

Print-minded fashionistas will adore this belted maxi shirtdress from Maeve. It has all the features I love in a shirtdress, such as the breast pocket, belted waist, button closures and collar, but in a gorgeous maxi length that feels luxe and semi-formal, not to mention three fits (standard, petite and plus). “It is high-quality, comfortable and so soft,” notes an Anthropologie shopper. I especially like that you can change up the buttons, making a high slit one minute for a leggy moment and a modest maxi dress the next. My only qualm is that the linen blend is purportedly heavy, so it might be too thick for some people who live in warm or humid climates.

$188 at Anthropologie

Old Navy

One reviewer raves of this $40 no-brainer, “I have been on the hunt for a dress like this in linen for the summer…It fits loose enough to conceal my hip dips yet has a nice shape to show off that I do have a waist, [and] the arms are large enough to fit my arms and not look like I have sausage arms.” Made with a linen and rayon blend, this easy, breezy dress is designed to sit just above your knees and gives off the look of rolled-up sleeves without any of the bunching. There are pleats at the back, adding structure and texture to the design to break up the monotony of the shift silhouette. “It is a bit see-through when held up to the light, which is why I will wear some sort of shorts underneath,” the shopper adds.

$40 at Old Navy

The 12 Best Linen Shorts to Keep in Your Rotation This Summer

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