black t shirt dress outfit ideas

20 Best Black T-shirt Dress Outfit Ideas + Style Tips

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A black t-shirt dress is a wardrobe staple, an instant confidence creator, and an easy, go-to piece. 

There are so many ways to style your black t-shirt dress casually, for work, and even for a night out. And also for all seasons. 

In this post, learn how to choose the best black t-shirt dress for your body type. See 20 simple ways to style a black t-shirt dress and make a style statement. Get inspired to wear your t-shirt dress in warmer weather and in the cooler months of the Fall and Winter seasons. And see different ways to style your black dress for a casual occasion, work, and even date night. 

But first, the t-shirt dress you start with makes a difference. Choose a knee-length dress that’s super versatile and can be dressed up or down. Pick a style that flatters your body type for a great fit. 

Black t-shirt dresses by body type

When you think of a black t-shirt dress, you probably picture a cotton dress shaped like a long and oversized black tee. And while that straight style of dress may work for some body types, if you’re struggling to find a t-shirt dress that you like on your body, considering your body type can help you choose a style that you feel good in. 

If you’re not familiar with body types and want to learn how to discover your type, read, How to Look Good in Your Clothes by Dressing for Your Body Type.

Let’s go through the best t-shirt dress styles by body type. 

Inverted triangle body type. When you’re larger up top and smaller on the bottom, choose a fit-and-flare or empire waist style with a simple and unfussy v-neck or scoop neck top. The neckline will draw the eye up to your face. Stay away from puff sleeves and ruffles up top. Dresses with tiered skirts also work for you to balance out your larger upper half. 

Rectangular body type. As someone who is straight up and down, choose a ruched waist or fit-and-flare t-shirt dress that creates curves at your waistline. You can also wear empire waists and dresses with tiers and flutter sleeves. 

Triangle body type. When you’re larger on the bottom than up top, choose an a-line or swingy t-shirt dress or a drawstring waist dress that is roomier on the bottom and accommodates your lower half. Or a tie-waist, wrap-style dress that allows you to adjust the waistline. An empire waist dress also works for you.  

Oval body type. For your curvy figure, choose a wrap-style, a ruched waist, or an empire waist t-shirt dress with simple sleeves without puffs or flutters, and a skirt free of tiers or ruffles. 

Hourglass body type. As an hourglass with a proportionate upper and lower half and defined waistline, choose a body-skimming dress that highlights your curves and shows off your defined waist. Try a ruched waist or tie waist dress.

Here’s a collection of t-shirt dresses that work by body type. Below the images, you’ll find the dress style and body type suggestions for each dress. 

CLICK THE IMAGES TO SHOP DRESSES BY BODY TYPE
(See Body Type Recommendations Below Each Image )

Empire Waist (Inverted Triangle, Oval, Rectangle, Triangle)

Simple Sleeve Tiered V-neck (Inverted Triangle)

Flutter Sleeve Tiered V-neck (Rectangle)

Ruched Waist (Rectangle, Oval, Hourglass)

Swing (Triangle)

Adjustable Waist (Triangle)

Tie Waist (Oval, Triangle, Hourglass

In this post, you’ll see me wearing a crew neck a-line t-shirt dress with a skirt that has a bit of a swing to it. As a triangle body shape who is 5’6”, 165 pounds with a small 36-B bust, and size 12 jeans, I have trouble wearing dresses that are cut very straight up and down since they will be too tight on the bottom. A dress with an a-line skirt accommodates my lower half. You’ll see me adding a belt to it to define my waistline.  

What accessories to wear with a black shirt dress?

If you’re wondering what accessories to wear with your black shirt dress, add a black or brown belt to define your waist. A brown belt adds a second color to your look for visual interest. For shoes, go with black or brown shoes. Or choose sandals in bright colors or metallics that are very trendy right now. To see the latest sandal trends, check out my post, 2023 Sandal Trends: The 36 Top Stylish Sandals for Over 40.

Ready to take a look at black dress outfits? Let’s start by looking at casual outfit ideas for summer and spring. 

How to wear your black t-shirt dress in Summer and Spring

Black received a nod from the runways for summer. And it’s a color that is not off-limits in the warmer months by any stretch of the imagination. Let’s see some warmer weather black t-shirt dress outfit ideas. 

1. With a gray sweatshirt + black belt bag + white sneakers + baseball hat

Here’s a super easy way to wear a black t-shirt dress on vacation or on a Saturday of errands. Tie a gray sweatshirt around your waist, throw on a baseball cap, put on your white sneakers, throw on your belt bag and you’re set.

With a gray sweatshirt + black belt bag + white sneakers + baseball hat

Similar dress | Sweatshirt | Belt bag | Sneakers | Hat (old)

This look leaves your hands free for wrangling kids, dogs, a farmers market, or a grocery store haul. 

2. With a chambray shirt + brown leather belt bag + brown slides

Wear a pop of color over top your dress by layering a blue chambray shirt over it. Choose brown accessories with brown slides and a brown belt or crossbody bag to add a third color and up the visual interest of the outfit.

With a chambray shirt + brown leather belt bag + chambray shirt + brown slides

Similar dress | Chambray shirt | Slides | Belt bag (sold out)

I’m wearing a more fitted button-down shirt since layering an oversized shirt over my looser dress will create a frumpy look. If you’re wearing a body-hugging t-shirt dress, an oversized shirt would work. If you prefer a white shirt to chambray, a classic oversized button-up white shirt is very on trend right now.  

3. With a black belt + black loafers + black purse

Wearing black loafers and a black belt dresses up a simple t-shirt dress so you can wear it to work. The patent leather of these loafers adds even more visual interest to this look.

With a black belt + black loafers + black purse

Similar dress | Similar belt | Loafers | Bag

4. With a denim jacket + black belt + black loafers + black purse

Add a denim jacket over top of your belted dress and your look is elevated casual. 

With a denim jacket + black belt + black loafers + black purse

Similar dress | Denim jacket | Similar belt | Loafers | Bag

5. With a brown belt + brown leather flip-flops + brown leather shoulder bag

You can certainly wear your t-shirt dress without a belt for a super casual look. But adding a belt helps to define your waistline. It elevates a simple look of leather flip-flops and a shoulder bag. I love how wearing brown accessories adds a second color to this look that makes it even more interesting. 

With a brown belt + brown leather flip-flops + brown leather shoulder bag

Similar dress | Belt | Flip-Flops | Bag

6. With a denim jacket + brown braided belt + white sneakers + a black belt bag

Remember braided belts? They’re back in the stores. I found this simple dark brown braided belt at Old Navy and kind of love it with this black dress, a relaxed-fit jean jacket, white sneakers, and my black belt bag. 

With a denim jacket + brown braided belt + white sneakers + a black belt bag

Similar dress | Denim jacket | Belt | Belt Bag | White sneakers

7. With a Breton stripe sweater + black belt + black loafers + a black bag

Cream and black Breton stripes are so good-looking paired with a black dress. Throw a sweater over your shoulders so you have it when you need it. Black loafers, a black belt, and a black bag complete this look. 

With a Breton stripe sweater + black belt + black loafers + a black bag

Similar dress | Similar sweater | Similar belt | Loafers | Bag

8. With a denim jacket + black Adidas tennis shoes

This minimalist, simple look is one of the easiest ways to wear your little black dress. It’s perfect for running around town. Throw on your denim jacket and black Adidas tennis shoes for an easy day of sightseeing, errands, or a casual lunch. 

With a denim jacket + black Adidas tennis shoes

Similar dress | Denim jacket | Adidas

9. With a black zipper hooded sweatshirt + black Adidas tennis shoes

There are times you need to get dressed easily and fast. And if you only have time to make a minimal effort, a black zipper sweatshirt with some cool and trendy black sneakers still looks sharp. 

With a black zipper sweatshirt + black Adidas tennis shoes

Similar dress | Sweatshirt | Adidas

10. With a white blazer + black slides + black bag

Black and white are always chic together. Pairing your white blazer with your black dress is always a great way to wear it. Add some black slides and a black structured bag and you have an outfit you can easily wear to the office. Add a black belt to dress up this look even more.

With a white blazer + black slides + black bag

Similar dress | White blazer | Similar slides | Tote bag

11. With a trench coat + black belt + black loafers + black tote bag

When I worked on a college campus, I always struggled to figure out the best way to keep my feet fully covered on rainy summer days since I had a mile walk from my car to my office. Sometimes I wore my black Adidas tennis shoes. And loafers were another great option.

With a trench coat + black belt + black loafers + black tote bag

Similar dress | Similar belt | Trench coat | Loafers | Bag

A trench coat adds instant polish to your look. Belt your dress to elevate your look even more.

12. With a black blazer + black belt + black pointy-toe flats + black bag

Don’t count your black t-shirt dress out on dressier days. Add a belt, a black double-breasted blazer, black pointy-toe flats, and a black bag and you have a super sharp outfit. 

With a black blazer + black belt + black pointy-toe flats + black bag

Similar dress | Blazer | Belt | Flats | Bag

13. With a black blazer + black belt + black cap-toe flats + black bag

Black cap-toe flats are another great option since the cap-toe draws the eye to the end of the foot, elongating your legs. These Chanel-inspired ballet flats are classics that elevate any look. 

With a black blazer + black belt + black cap-toe flats + black bag

Similar dress | Blazer | Belt | Flats | Bag

How to wear your black t-shirt dress in Fall and Winter

Don’t count your black t-shirt dress out for cooler weather. You can always wear layers underneath like biker shorts and a tank top to hold in your body heat. Or black tights for additional warmth.

Let’s look at some cool weather black t-shirt outfit ideas. 

14. With a plaid flannel shirt + black Adidas tennis shoes

On a Fall day grab your plaid flannel shirt and wrap it around your waist. Adidas tennis shoes will have you ready to sit at a ballfield with your kids. Or to head to a Fall festival or farmers market.

With a plaid flannel shirt + black Adidas tennis shoes

Similar dress | Plaid flannel shirt (old) | Adidas

15. With a quilted green jacket + brown belt + knee high boots

If you want a super sharp color combination, pair your black t-shirt dress with a brown belt and knee-high boots. And grab an olive utility jacket or quilted barn jacket, like I’m wearing here.

With a quilted green jacket + brown belt + knee high boots

Similar dress | Similar quilted jacket | Belt | Boots (old)

This color combination is stunning for fall. 

16. With a brown leather jacket + black strappy sandals + a black bag

If you’re looking for a date night look, grab your black strappy heels and a black or brown leather jacket, add a black bag and you have a look that’s edgy and easy for a night on the town.

With a brown leather jacket + black strappy sandals + a black bag

Similar dress | Leather jacket (sold out) | Similar sandals | Bag

17. With a camel duster cardigan + a black belt + cap toe flats + nude bag

My favorite thing about wearing a duster cardigan is how cozy it is. It’s like being wrapped in a blanket all day. And camel brings in a different color that always looks sharp with black. Belt the dress and push up your sleeves to define your waistline since a longer duster cardigan provides no waist definition.

With a camel duster cardigan + a black belt + cap toe flats + nude bag

Similar dress | Similar cardigan | Ballet Flats | Similar belt

Those Chanel-inspired cap-toe flats are the perfect shoe, bringing in both colors. Add a nude shoulder bag or crossbody bag.  

18. With a denim jacket + a brown belt + ankle boots + a black tote bag

A denim jacket is a great Fall completer piece. A brown belt and rolling up the jacket sleeves help to define the waistline. Choose ankle boots that match your skin tone to extend the leg line and lengthen the look of your legs. A black tote bag makes this a casual work-ready look. Notice that I’m not matching my boots to my belt or my bag and it works here. The black bag ties into the black of the dress. The brown belt matches the heel of the taupe boot, which helps it to make sense here. 

With a denim jacket + a brown belt + ankle boots + a black tote bag

Similar dress | Denim jacket | Belt | Ankle boots (sold out) | Bag

19. With a quilted green jacket + brown belt + ankle boots + a black tote bag

Here’s another way to wear an olive green jacket. I’m using the same accessories front the last look, with the brown belt and taupe ankle boots. 

With a quilted green jacket + brown belt + ankle boots + a black tote bag

Similar dress | Similar jacket | Belt | Ankle boots (sold out) | Bag

20. With a duster cardigan + black belt + black pointy-toe flats + black tote bag

Here’s another look with that duster cardigan. This time I’m wearing a thin black belt and black leather pointy-toe flats. A black tote bag makes this a work-ready look. 

With a duster cardigan + black belt + black pointy-toe flats + black tote bag

Similar dress | Similar cardigan | Belt | Bag | Flats (old)

There are so many ways to wear your black t-shirt dress. Experiment and have fun with it. Wear it in any way that feels most like you. XO, Marya

black t shirt dress outfit ideas

Hi, Friend. I'm Marya. I'm so glad you're here!

I’m here to help women feel good inside and out through approachable everyday style inspiration and encouragement for midlife. Once upon a time, I worked as a therapist and coach. Now, I’m a holistic style blogger studying style coaching! Be So You celebrates leaning into who we were meant to be! 

Read about my  journey to self-discovery at 40. Follow me on Instagram here and Pinterest here. Send me a quick question through my contact page here.  

Fit Note: I’m midsized at 5’6″, 160 pounds, with size 12 jeans.

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