I’m kinda having a moment with shirred or smocked dresses. I don’t know what took me so long to add one to my closet but I’m obsessed now and there’s no turning back. What are shirred dresses, you ask? It’s when lines of elastic thread are sewn into fabric, pulling it together to create a stretchy panel. I’m not really sure what the difference is between shirred and smocked but from what I can tell, they are pretty similar. The point is – these dresses have stretchy panels that simultaneously adjust to your shape and hold things together. And they are super comfy.
I’m loving these style dresses right now because I’m postpartum and my size is constantly changes. And my boobs are constantly getting bigger and smaller due to breastfeeding – #joysofmotherhood. Which means it’s really difficult to find clothes that will fit me now and later on. The shirring on these dresses allows my to shrink and expand comfortably! And they are also nursing friendly because the shirred panels pull down really easily allowing me to whip out the boob!
BUT these style dresses aren’t just for pregnant/nursing mamas. They are really flattering on ANY shape and size. So I decided to share where I’ve picked up some of my favorite shirred dresses recently, PLUS where you can pick up some more affordable options.
The Best Shirred Dresses at All Price Points
Damaris Bailey is a clothing line designed and handmade in Los Angeles, California that specializes in romantic pieces for the modern woman. A lot of the pieces in the current collection have shirred panels and give me all the Jane Austen vibes. I just picked up the Celia dress in linen and it’s GORGEOUS! I wish I had known about this brand when I was pregnant because the stretchy bust panels and the voluminous skirts make them perfect for pregnancy. I actually first discovered this brand after seeing Jenny wear pieces from the collection while she was pregnant.
These are pricier dresses but they are ethically hand made-to-order so you can feel good about supporting a small, female founded business. Plus the quality is great so this is a piece you should be able to wear for years.
I’m sure you’ve seen Instagram “It Girls” wearing dresses from Sleeper on your feed. This is a popular brand for linen “sleep” dresses with puffy sleeves, smocked bodices, and flowey skirts. These dresses are perfect for casual summer days where you want to transition from lounging around inside to lounging around outside. They are dresses that you can sleep in but also wear out during the day.
Hill House is another brand that makes “nap dresses” with shirred bodices that are perfect for lounging around. I think these are technically nightgowns but since we are all spending so much time at home, it’s nice to have pieces that we can sleep in but also wear around during the day without feeling like a bum. I ordered the Ellie Nap Dress a few weeks ago and sadly, the ship date got pushed back to August. So if you aren’t in a hurry, you can pre-order a Nap Dress and you’ll get it late August.
Sézane and August The Label
I recently picked up two beautiful smocked dresses from Sézane and August The Label (available here). These are brands that carry a lot of different style dresses and they just happed to have these smocked pieces. But I love both these dresses! The bust is nice and stretchy and the skirts are nice a voluminous. It’s the perfect combo for my postpartum body where my boobs are always changing sizes and my belly is still round from carrying a baby for 9 months.
Affordable Shirred Dress Options
The above brands and styles are a bit pricey but there are a ton of more affordable options out there from fast fashion brands like H&M and ASOS. Right now I’m really loving this floral print dress from Mango. I also really love the Free People Oasis Midi Dress which goes in and out of stock. It’s usually re-released every year so keep your eye out for it! That Free People dress looks similar to the Doen Bijou Dress that I LOVE but is out of stock and pricey. This floral, smocked dress is also sooo pretty!
I have noticed that the shirred/smocked dress style is very popular at the moment so a lot of these styles are selling out fast!
You can also find a lot of shirred/smocked dresses at Shopbop*! Shopbop is great because they sell a curated variety of brands and designers at all price points. They have a lot of smocked dresses available right now. And if you aren’t ready to commit to a smocked dress – you could try a smocked top!
*I partner with Shopbop on a gifting basis but all opinions are my own!