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6 Jean (Denim) Dress Styles for that Casual Dress Style

Though you might know them as denim dresses, jeans dress styles are everywhere on the fashion scene. The fabric used to make jeans is just so synonymous with the word jeans itself, many people use the two words interchangeably. And many people have learned that denim can be worn on all parts of the body, not just on the hips and legs. So, how many different jeans dress styles have you owned…and how much don’t you know about jeans dress styles in general? When it comes to creating a fun, casual, stylish look, jeans dresses are a perfect fashion tool to keep in your closet.

Woman wearing denim dress

Jean/Denim Dress Styles

Jeans dress styles are dresses that are made from denim, the fabric that is most commonly associated with blue jeans. Denim isn’t always blue, though blue denin has certainly become iconic. Denim fabric is so highly associated with the color blue, it’s always a surprise when denim shows up in another color. However, it is possible to dye denim in any color and it can be made in any pattern, too, from floral dress patterns to stripes to polka dots. Black jeans, white jeans, blue jean designs in different shades of blue, anything is possible with denim. That goes for denim dresses, too.

How many types of jeans dress styles are there? Well, how many types of dresses are there? Virtually any type of dress can be made into a jeans dress. It’s simply a matter of using denim fabric to make the dress. That means that jeans dresses can be made in any length, from micro mini dress designs to long maxi length dress styles. However, some jeans dress styles are more commonly seen than others.

The type of jeans you wear says nothing about the type of jean dress you wear. Whether you like a skinny jean, a baggy jean, boyfriend jean styles, straight jeans, mom jeans, wide leg jeans or bootcut jean styles, the jean dress style you pick is totally different in design if not in fabric. Jean dresses are popular with top designers like Alexa Chung and social media celebrities like Kendall Jenner. Find your denim style with dresses. The more you explore the different styles, the more great outfit ideas you’re going to get.

1. Baby doll dresses

Allegra K Women's Denim Belted Flared Above Knee A-line Shirt Dress X-Large Blue

Associated with casual, cute style, baby doll dresses are notable for their high, empire waistlines that sit just under the bustline, several inches above the natural waist. Baby doll dresses are A line dresses that flare out on the body, which obscures the figure beneath the dress. This creates a loose-fitting, comfortable style that looks great in denim.

2. Denim Mini dresses

chouyatou Women's Cap Sleeve Bodycon 1/2 Button Placket Mini Denim Pencil Dress (X-Small, Dark Blue)

The casual charm of blue jeans and the sexy appeal of a mini dress is a perfect combination. Mini dresses are frequently made in denim to create a great casual look that’s fun and flirty. Mini dresses end several inches above the knee to expose some of the thigh. Since mini dresses first caught on in the 1960s, they’ve become a huge part of women’s fashion.

3. Pinafore dresses

Yeokou Women's Midi Length Long Denim Jeans Jumpers Overall Pinafore Dress Skirt (Large, DarkBlue002)

Pinafore dresses, or apron dresses, look great in denim. Because the apron style of the dress somewhat resembles the top half of bib overalls, pinafore dresses are a favorite candidate for denim fabric that turns them into jeans dresses. Sometimes, denim pinafore dresses even have a chest pocket like a pair of bib overalls.

4. Sheath Denim dresses

Calvin Klein Women's Sleeveless Scuba Crepe Sheath Dress, Denim Blue, 8 Petite

The figure-shugging sheath dress is a straight style of dress that is made to fit close around the body. It’s a classic silhouette. The straight-hanging, short sheath dress is a perfect candidate for being made in denim fabric. In classic denim, sheath dress styles create a great smart casual look.

5. Shift dresses

Women's Vintage Short Sleeve Blue Jean Shirt Dress Button Up Shift Denim Dress (L, Dark Blue/Maxi Dress)

The shift dress is a straight dress that hangs straight down on the body, neither cinching nor flaring. This dress has no definition so it creates a somewhat loose, comfortable fit that works well in denim material. It’s not a wide fit so it flatters the figure without showing it off.

6. Shirt dresses

Women Denim Shirt Dresses Short Sleeve Distressed Jean Dress Button Down Casual Tunic Tops Blue L

Because jeans are associated with casual comfort, you will often see denim used to create shirt dress styles. That includes T shirt dress styles as well. Denim shirt dress looks are made to look like long, button-up shirts. These dresses can be worn in a straight style or belted at the waist to provide more definition for the figure. T shirt dress designs are meant to fit somewhat loose. In any design, shirt dresses are a casual, fun look that pair well with many different shoe styles.

Exploring Denim Dress Styles

Because denim is a type of fabric that can be used to create any style of dress whatsoever, focus on finding the right style for you rather than on trying to name every single style of dress you can find made in denim material.

Woman wearing jeans dress


Jeans dress styles are made with any type of sleeves you want, from totally sleeveless styles to straps to cap sleeves, short sleeves and long sleeves. That includes various sleeve designs, such as bell sleeves, mutton sleeves, poet sleeves and any other possible style.


Dresses made with denim can have any style of neckline as well, from deep V neck to high necks to scoop necks and crew length, along with anything else you can imagine. Denim is a highly versatile material that is sturdy, machine washable and great for making dresses because it doesn’t wear out easily and it looks good.


Versatile, tough denim can be used to make any length or style of dress. There’s really no limit on the type of dress skirts you can make in this material, with the possible exception of pleated looks. Denim typically does not hold pleats as well as other types of thinner material.

What Can’t Jeans Dresses Do?

While most types of dresses can easily be made in denim and they can even be made in any color or pattern you want, there are definitely some styles that just cannot work in denim. Slip dresses, for example, are made in satin or silk fabric that is part of the style of the dress. It’s the material that helps create the lightweight, clingy style of slip dresses that defines this design.

Other types of dresses that can’t be made in denim fabric and still maintain their style include ball gowns, bandage dresses and sweater dresses, to name a few. Ball gowns are the most formal of formal dresses and denim fabric just cannot be worn in formal wear. Many fashion boundaries have been broken over the years, but this is one that holds firm. Denim just isn’t a formal material.

Sweater dresses are always made in a knit, which denim is not. Bandage dress designs are made to look like bandages wrapped around the body in very tight, figure-hugging styles. Denim fabric cannot be used to mimic this style simply because of how the dress is made. Most other types of dresses, however, can easily be made in denim fabric.


Denim fabric truly did change fashion n a number of ways. Since it first appeared in blue jeans in the 1800s, denim has found its way into every single corner of fashion. It is used to make footwear, jewelry, belts, purses, dresses, tops, shirts and clothing items of all types. You probably don’t even know how many items with denim you have in your closet right now. This is truly a super fabric that has been popular in fashion for over a century. But what makes it so special?

Though the exact origins of denim fabric have been lost to the sands of time, it is agreed that the material original comes from the fashion-forward nation of France. The word “denim” comes from “serge de Nimes,” the original French name of the material. How was denim created? It’s a bit of a funny story. Italian textile makers were attempting to recreate a popular French fabric.

They screwed it up. Rather than creating the French fabric, they made a brand-new one: denim. In a twist of fate, there was just one dye available for the fabric. It was an indigo dye that gave the new material a bluish color. In this mixed up mess of mistakes, denim was created. It was the first step in a massive fashion revolution.

Today, denim is one of the most recognizable and one of the most worn fabrics around the world. It began its life as workwear, used to make pants for the miners in the western U.S. They did a tough job every day and they put a lot of work hours on their clothing. Pants made with durable denim that were reinforced with metal rivets, jeans, became the go-to work pants of choice for these hard workers, much to the delight of jeans retailer Levi Strauss, who worked with a tailor to create the now-iconic design of denim jeans.

Ranchers, cowboys and many other westerners began wearing jeans soon after they were created. Within decades, jeans had made their way all over the U.S. Today, more than a century later, denim has made its way into every single piece of fashion imaginable. Believe it or not, you can even find jean bras and jean underwear.

So of course, dresses are no exception. No longer just for workwear, denim has definitely become high fashion. There are lots of different types of jeans dresses you can wear to show off your own personal fashion sense.


Finding the right denim dress and then finding ways to style it can be tricky. What about caring for your denim clothing? If you’ve still got questions, no problem. We’ve got all the answers to the most common questions about different types of denim questions.

Can you wear a dress and jeans at the same time?

Wearing jeans under dresses is nothing new in the fashion world. This was quite the trendy look in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is being done again more recently in fashion, though to many the trend still looks bizarre. The trick to wearing this trend is in dress length. You always want to pair jeans with a longer dress style. Stick to midi length and longer to keep this trend looking good. Also, don’t match denim to denim. If you’re wearing jeans, choose a dress that’s more lightweight than they are. Don’t layer denim on top of denim because this just doesn’t work. For example, you don’t want to layer a denim jacket on top of a denim dress or slip into a denim dress on top of a pair of cool, vintage ripped jeans.

How should you style a denim dress?

Knowing how to wear a denim dress is an important element of your style. Confidence is the most important thing you’re ever going to wear. You want to feel good in your dress and feel that you look good. This will actually make you look even better to others! The best way to achieve confidence in fashion is through god styling. Take a little extra time to finish your jeans dress style with accessories and extras that will really bring your look together.

If you’re wearing your jeans dress with another layer, such as tights or a blouse underneath the dress, try contrasting the denim against bright, eye-catching colors. This will draw the eye and add a vivid pop of brightness to your overall look. You can evoke many different moods with color. Create a vibrant look with a bold color, or opt for a softer look with pastels. Florals are great for pretty, casual looks. You can also pair a white sneaker with a denim dress to create a cute casual look that’s ready to go anywhere. Use dress shoes if you’re trying to strike a slightly less casual tone.

Add small accessories to liven up your jeans dress. Try a belt to add a pop of color or integrate some basic neutral tones into your overall look. You can also add a bold scarf or a silk scarf in a single color to give your look another layer, or layer on a jacket. A cropped jacket can add a great little something extra. Choose a jacket in thin material. A heavy jacket on top of a denim dress may look too textured and too bulky.

The purse, shoes and jewelry also make a big difference. Choose accessories based on the style you want to create. If you’re creating a more casual look, choose jewelry made in plastic or wood. Stick to beads and colorful pieces. Metals and more delicate designs should be used to create more professional looks or evening looks. Shoes and a purse in neutral tones, such as black or beige, work great for creating a professional look or a look for an evening out. For daytime looks, choose purses and shoes that have more color to them. Wear sneakers, flats or sandals for a casual look. Strappy heels, boots and pumps are good for dressier styles.

How do you know that a denim dress is perfect for you?

People come in all shapes and sizes and every single one of them is beautiful. But fashion is not always universal. While jeans dresses are always fabulous and stylish, every single style of jeans dress doesn’t look amazing on every single body type. Find the right types of dresses for your particular shape to find the perfect denim dress for your body. You want to find a dress silhouette that complements your natural silhouette and enhances the curves and lines you want to show off, while softening the areas you don’t want others to see so easily.

Apple shapes are curvy with a waist that isn’t well-defined. This is a great shape that’s somewhat round, particularly around the bust and hips, which is a fun silhouette to dress. It may not always feel that way but once you have an idea of which dress styles work best you will have more fun flaunting your curvy apple body type. Empire waist dresses, such as baby doll dresses, will emphasize that bustline and help make your waist look smaller to draw the eye right toward those curvey hips. Wrap styles also help to give you a more defined waist and create a more hourglass look. Look for loose, drapey dress styles that provide definition around the bust but not so much around the waist.

Hourglass shapes are curvy at the top and the bottom, with a small waist in the middle. Any dress that cinches the waist will work pretty well on the hourglass figure. A form-fitting sheath is a great way to really show of those curves. The fit and flare leave a little more to the imagination thanks to the looser fit and flaring skirt. And a wrap dress really shows off all those curves and makes the waist look even smaller, which is never a bad thing.

The inverted triangle shape is easy to spot. Are your shoulders wider than your hips? Do you have a generous bustline with a smaller waist and hips? Add some volume around your hips to create a more balanced silhouette. A line dresses and any dresses that have some flare in the skirt will suit your natural shape well. Straight dress styles, such as the classic sheath, also work well on this body shape.

Pear body types are curvy around the hips, with bustlines that are somewhat smaller than the hips and a defined waist that is narrower than the bustline and the hips. Dresses that have flared skirts are going to help balance out your curves and give you more of an hourglass shape. The wider skirts really emphasize that small waist and help emphasize the bustline as well. Try A line, fit and flare and wrap dresses to enhance your natural shape without drawing too much attention to your rear and thighs.

Rectangle body shapes are not curvy. They have more straight lines and an overall athletic look. Soften these lines and create a curvier look with the right dress styles. Fit and flare dress help add a little volume around the hips and thighs to create the look of curves. Any dress that emphasizes the waist and flares out from the hips works well for straighter body types. Look also for dresses that have puffed sleeves and volume around the bustline, such as cowl neck designs. This adds more volume up here to continue creating that illusion of curviness.

How often should you wash a denim dress?

Denim isn’t like other fabrics, as you’ve probably learned by now. And you probably don’t wash your blue jeans every single time you wear them. So exactly how often should you be washing your denim dresses?

For most garments, you can enjoy several wearings before you have to perform a washing on any given denim dress. Many of these dresses can be worn up to 10 times before they need to be washed, unless you’ve spilled something on your dress or there’s an odor. Water can actually weaken denim, causing it to pull apart and lose its shape. When you do wash your denim, do it either in the machine on the gentle cycle or wash them gently by hand. You don’t want to twist or pull on jeans. Wash them gently with cold water and mild detergent. Spot-treat any stains you see with stain remover.

Before you wash jeans in the machine, turn them inside-out to help prevent fading. Dark jeans and dresses do still look good when faded, however. Denim is also sold in faded shades of blue.

Avoid hot water to avoid shrinking the jeans. You should also avoid drying the jeans with heat. Use a low heat setting on the dryer or allow jeans to air dry.


  • Harper’s Bazaar – 10 pictures that will convince you to wear dresses over your jeans
  • Levi Strauss & Co. – The History of Denim
  • Nordstrom Trunk Club – Dressing for Your Body Type: A Guide
  • RealSimple – How Often Should You Wash Your Jeans? Experts Weigh In
  • Sewport – The Remarkable History Of Denim (How It Became an Icon in Fashion)
  • Styles at Life – 25 Fashionable Denim Dress Designs for Women and Girls
  • Today – The 16 best denim dresses for summer 2021
  • WikiHow – How to Wear a Denim Dress