How To Wear A Shirtdress: Lessons For A Modern-Day Lady (PHOTOS)

Feb 22, 2012 | Updated Oct 11, 2012

In a new Stylelist series called "Lessons For A Modern-Day Lady," we're exploring ways to update your wardrobe and achieve that ladylike look that was so prevalent on the spring 2012 runways. This season calls for more demure, prim and proper attire that harkens back to the '50s and early '60s when longer hemlines, pastel peplum, lace, feathers and mule heels were de rigueur. To master this cool, yet elegant trend, we'll be dispensing some helpful tips for looking chic, sophisticated and fabulously feminine.

This week, we're starting off with a classic shirtdress: a timeless piece worn by everyone from style icons like Katherine Hepburn and Jackie O. to new generation fashion muses like Carey Mulligan and Alexa Chung. Whether dressed up or dressed down, a shirtdress is both functional and versatile: try it with a pair of loafers and a brightly colored satchel for an updated preppy twist. Or, add a statement necklace under the collar and pointed-toe mules with metallic detailing for a hint of sleek edge. Another plus? Belted or tied at the waist, a shirtdress will always compliment your body-type and give you a flattering shape. No matter how you wear it, this is one springtime staple you'll want to invest in now.

Click through the slideshow below to shop our favorite updated shirtdresses.

GoRunway/Getty, Art by Bobby Doherty