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How to Wear a House Dress Outside the House


I went 29 years of my life without ever hearing the term “house dress,” but that changed right around this time last March. Isn’t their dramatic resurgence over the past year fascinating? Fashion is always a response to history, global events, and the current climate in some way, shape, or form, but I can’t remember another time in my life when a cause-and-effect trend was so easy to identify. The perfect 2020 solution for women who wanted to be comfortable at home without living in sweatpants, the house dress movement has been, unsurprisingly, led largely by female-founded brands (like Hill House, Lake, Edith Hour, and On Holiday, to name a few of my favorites). I scooped up my candy-striped Lake dress on sale last summer, and now that the weather is warming up, have been experimenting with dressing it up to wear it outside of the house. Find a few tips I’ve landed on below!

Lake Pajamas Parasol dressHow to wear a house dress outside the houseSpring outfitBeautycounter Color Intense Lipstick in First DateSpring dress and trenchSpring trench coatSarah Flint Natalie flatsSarah Flint Natalie flats

Layer on more tailored pieces.

To balance the ultra-casual material and cut of a house dress, pair it with pieces that have more structure or tailoring. I opted for my go-to trench (similar here), but you could also throw on a not-too-loose crewneck sweater (similar to the outfit I wore here), layer a button-down underneath or over top (tie the ends if you go with the latter), or add a blazer or moto jacket.

Slip on a slip.

Some house dresses run on the sheer side, so take a twirl in front of a full-length mirror in good lighting to see if you need to wear a slip or nude shorts underneath your dress.

Add accessories.

Accessories may be the easiest way to distinguish between “indoor” and “outdoor” outfits, since they tend to be sparse for the former. I wore a knotted headband, pearl ring, and pink lipstick (we’ll call that an accessory for now, since it serves the same purpose here!).

Put on real shoes ;)

You don’t have to wear heels or anything, but I would steer clear of shoes that feel super casual, like flip flops or Freedom Moses-type slides (the exception being white sneakers like Vejas, which I think would be really cute!). I’ve been reaching for my Sarah Flint flats any time I want to make an outfit feel more polished without sacrificing comfort. You can read more about why I love these shoes here, and take $50 with the code SARAHFLINT-BALISAK!

So, yay or nay to house dresses? Have you been wearing them over the past year?






  1. Jadzia says:

    I did not know about this trend! My mother used to wear house dresses. I sure can see it for Texas summers!

  2. Em says:

    Timely, since I am not-so-patiently waiting for my HH dress of choice to come back in stock :)

  3. Dana says:


  4. Thank you for including Edith Hour!!!


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