What is a Babydoll Dress (And How to Wear it Year Round!)

Today we’re talking all about the babydoll dress. This is one of our favorite styles to shop for, because it comes in all kinds of cuts and styles. If you’ve been shy about trying out a babydoll dress, this is the perfect time to add one to your closet. 

We see so many people wondering what is a baby doll dress, or misunderstanding this great style. So we’re breaking it all down for you here. 

From casual summer days to dressy winter nights, the babydoll dress is truly versatile and irreplaceable. Read on to learn everything you need to know about these fun pieces and then shop our baby doll dresses here!

Definition of a Babydoll Dress

Babydoll dresses (also called baby doll or baby-doll dresses) are short dresses that hit around mid-thigh. They typically have a fitted bodice and flouncy bottom, and the sleeves are often poofy or ruffled. 

It’s exactly the kind of dress you’d imagine a little girl or doll wearing, except now they’re made in styles that feel more grown up and classy. 

History of Babydoll Dresses

The term “babydoll dress” was first recorded in the early 1900s, when women were ditching corsets and wearing more relaxed looks. The style began to gain steam in the 1940s and became vogue in the 50s, gaining popularity after the scandalous and award-winning film “Baby Doll” highlighted the style. 

The dress waved in and out of fashion through the 60s, 70s, and beyond. Today, babydoll dresses are far less controversial and come in various styles. You’ll see them worn in eye-catching ways on major runways, or dressed down for mornings at church. 

So, from the heights of feminist fashion to the depths of controversial film, the babydoll dress made quite a journey to become the universal piece so beloved today. 

Who Should Wear Baby Doll Dresses?

The great thing about babydoll dresses is that they come in a range of styles and shapes. This means everyone can find a babydoll dress perfect for them. Here are some of our favorite features of these stylish staples:

  • The baby doll style is a popular cut for plus size dresses and is flattering on most body shapes. 
  • They can show off your legs or be paired with leggings. 
  • They come in short or long sleeves, so they’re great for all seasons. 
  • Teens can find girly and trendy styles, but there are also options that are longer-cut and more conservative. 
  • They come in all kinds of prints and patterns, so there will be something to fit your taste. 
  • Babydoll dresses are also popular for pregnant and postpartum women who need loose-fitting outfits. Plus, they look so cute!

Our Top Tips for Wearing a Babydoll Dress

Now that you know a little bit about the babydoll dress, it’s time to wear one like a pro! Check out some cute boutique dresses here and follow these tips to make sure you look and feel great in your new flowing, flirty piece. 

Choose One in a Print & Color You Love

Your babydoll dress will likely become a staple in your wardrobe, since it’s so versatile and fun. So pick one in a color and print you’ll love wearing over and over. Animal prints and bold florals are trendy, or a pastel solid will go with nearly everything. The important thing is that it’s something you love and will be excited to wear. 

Wear it Year Round

Babydoll dresses aren’t just for warm months. Sure, they’re an easy piece to throw on during a beach day or a summer night on the town, but they can handle a lot more than that! Here’s a quick year-round recap for wearing your babydoll dress:


  • Summer: It’s a relaxed and comfortable piece to throw on with sandals. Easy and fun!
  • Fall: During transitional weather, wear it with your favorite jacket or blazer. If it’s warm enough, keep your legs bare but pair it with flirty boots. Light pantyhose can help keep your legs covered if you want. 
  • Winter: We love how a babydoll dress looks with pantyhose and a trendy coat. Dress it up with heels or down with boots, and add a nice scarf to make the look really pop. 
  • Spring: It’s time to bear a little more skin as the weather heats up. Layer your dress with a comfy cardigan and add a long necklace for a relaxed look. Break out the sandals when it’s warm enough.

    Make a Statement

    Since babydoll dresses are so versatile, you can add fun accessories or surprising elements to make your look really pop. We love seeing mini dresses with sleek sneakers – it’s a youthful look that’s also really comfy. 

    Try wearing a loose blazer with the sleeves rolled up. It’s a relaxed yet elevated way to wear your babydoll dress. 

    A fun hat, chunky jewelry, or colorful sandals can make your everyday dress feel bold and fun. 

    Give your babydoll dress a vintage-inspired look by pairing it with Mary Jane shoes, a mini hand-held purse, and a high ponytail. 

    What to Do After Learning What is a Babydoll Dress

    Now that you know how to wear your babydoll dress, it’s time to go rock it for all kinds of occasions: every day at the office, special date nights, or dressy gatherings. With the right accessories (and the right attitude!) your babydoll dress is sure to impress.

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