The Babydoll Dress Is Coming Back — How To Style It In A Grown-Up Way

When you're looking to replenish your wardrobe with trendy summer staples, consider a babydoll dress. Don't let the name deter you — the trendy silhouette that flatters practically every body type is referred to as a "babydoll" dress because of its high empire waistline and short skirt. 

Professor and fashion historian Sarah Collins told Elle that the exact origin of the babydoll dress isn't known for sure, but many believe that the look we know and love first became popular in women's bedrooms around the 1930s. According to Collins, "While hemlines shorter than the knee still had not become acceptable for women in public, the hemlines could be a little more risqué in the bedroom." Almost 100 years later, we can wear the iconic dress featuring a short hemline and high waistline for practically every occasion. Contrary to what the name may suggest, babydoll dresses are extremely versatile when styled correctly.

If you're looking to rock the iconic silhouette in a grown-up way, try these trendy styling tips that will elevate your babydoll dress into adulthood.

Welcome warmer weather with an adorable floral pattern

If you're looking to channel your inner "soft girl" style this spring, this floral babydoll dress is for you. Tiktoker @localhormones shared her favorite high-hem floral dress, providing her followers with a how-to guide for choosing a babydoll dress that fits just right. She recommends paying attention to where it lands on your legs (especially if you're hoping not to reveal too much underneath) and how snug or loose it fits around the waist. She styles the springtime pattern with simple accessories and stylish shoes for a complete look that gives off all the flirty and fun vibes.

A simple white babydoll dress can work for any occasion

Who says white is only for your wedding? White babydoll dresses are the perfect springtime staple, and TikToker @itsmeganvarner shares ways to transform a simple garment into an entire look. She pairs the puffy-sleeved white dress with a pair of black boots and a matching purse when heading to brunch and opts for a sleek blue sandal and patterned bag for a girls' night out. From date night to running errands, this creator knows exactly how to transform a babydoll dress for every occasion. 

Who says babydoll dresses can't be edgy?

Babydoll dresses might have a sweet and innocent name, but with the right styling, you'll give off chic angsty vibes. Tiktoker @taybrice posted her video with the caption, "Ohhh i love a good babydoll dress..." We absolutely agree, especially after watching her expertly style the fun, patterned babydoll dress she discovered at a thrift store. With a pair of sheer black tights, a white tee, and a pair of Doc Martens, this creator proves that even the sweetest of silhouettes has the potential to be totally edgy.

Elevate your look with chic accessories

Babydoll dresses don't have to hide your curves. Creator @hermillennialcloset shared her favorite way to style a babydoll dress on TikTok, and we are loving her choice of accessories. She starts with a teal, long-sleeve babydoll dress with a high neckline. Adding a brown belt around her waist, brown leather knee-high boots, and a suede handbag, she transforms the dress completely. Whether you wear this outfit to the office or out on the town, you'll definitely be winning "best dressed."

Don't underestimate the power of layers

If you need a few extra pieces to feel like your outfit is complete, the babydoll dress is a great base for layering. Tiktoker @just__pk78 styled her lightweight leopard-printed babydoll dress with a turtleneck and black leather belt. She demonstrates how the style transforms when she wears the shirt under or over the adorable dress, creating different silhouettes depending on the look she is trying to curate. With the right layers, one garment can transform into multiple different looks!

Transform your look with pops of color

When you're looking to expertly style a babydoll dress, try venturing outside the obvious color scheme. TikToker @curvy_chronicles proves that bold colors can take your look to the next level. She styles a blue babydoll dress in three ways, first pairing the garment with bright red accessories, then switching to a pair of brown booties and a matching hat, and finishing with white sneakers, a patterned hair scarf, and a green purse. All three ways showcase her unique personal style and prove that you shouldn't shy away from fun and funky accessories! 

Style a babydoll dress for the perfect night out

When you're searching for the perfect first-date outfit, babydoll dresses are always a good idea. We love this dress style for how versatile and comfortable it is! TikToker @michelleenegrete offers two great options when styling her favorite black, short-sleeve babydoll dress. The first showcases knee-high leather boots and a matching envelope clutch, a great choice when you have plans to grab dinner and drinks. The second fit she styles gives us total brunch-by-the-beach vibes, featuring a pair of strappy sandals and a cute, wide-brimmed black hat to protect you from the sunshine. 

Let your confidence shine through in a babydoll dress

Trends may come and go, but confidence will always be timeless. At the end of the day, the most important part of styling an outfit is making sure that you feel great in it. Creator @sarah_ostiguy shared on TikTok that her white and yellow floral babydoll dress makes her feel extra gorgeous, especially when she pairs it with dainty gold jewelry, tan sandals, and a brown designer shoulder bag. She uses the hashtag, #stylenotsize, encouraging her followers to use fashion as a way to channel their confidence rather than focusing on the size of the garment. We couldn't agree more!