How to Wear a Strapless Dress: Expert's Guide to Going Strapless for Any Occasion

Strapless dresses are known to be the first choice for a night out, but they may be more versatile than you think! Forever in style, there are many shapes and styles of strapless dresses to choose from. Here is how to wear a strapless dress for every occasion. 

13 Cute Strapless Dress Styles

These thirteen dresses without straps demonstrate the wide variety available within this style.  

1. Sweetheart Neckline

Everyone loves a sweetheart neckline in tops, but the strapless dress is where this neckline truly shines. The curved shape of a sweetheart neckline is flattering and feminine, making this a well-loved style fit for any joyful occasion. 

For example, Alex Perry’s Hunter Dress is a party in itself. This shimmering silver sequined number fits snugly and extends to the calf. The slit in the back makes it easy to walk in. This light-reflecting strapless dress is a genuine showstopper.

2. Strapless But Not Sleeveless 

Just because you’re strapless doesn’t mean you have to be sleeveless! That makes how to wear a strapless dress effortless. The Lotta Maxi Dress by Solace London is a perfect example of this. Its long, flared sleeves and floor-length design provide maximum coverage. But its unique curved, shoulder-baring neckline balances out the modesty of the rest of the dress. 

Not sure what to wear with a strapless dress to cover the shoulders? Some strapless dresses cover the upper arm while leaving the shoulders bare, like the classically contemporary Aerica Dress by Khaite. Otherwise, a blazer is suitable for formal events. A shawl or wrap will do the trick for parties. Choose a cropped denim jacket for a more casual vibe. 

3. Experiment with Pattern

One method for how to wear a strapless dress confidently is to embrace prints and patterns. For example, the Joell Dress by Siedrés combines a fringed hemline with bold, multicolored diagonal stripes for an unforgettable look. 

Strapless dresses have a certain simplicity, even with busy prints, patterns, or shapes. That’s because the neck and shoulder area remains a blank canvas. This available area allows for limitless possibilities of designer necklaces. possibilities. Strapless dresses remove the worry about where the straps fall or how to style intricate necklines, allowing you to focus on strapless dress accessories such as a statement necklace or stacking bracelets.   

4. Light as a Feather

A strapless mini dress with fluffy feathers over the bust is a flirty look that brings fun to any party. The Cynthia Dress hugs the body tight, contrasting the free-flowing feathers over the bust. 

A thigh-high boot with a strapless mini like this is a great pairing. A pointy toe and fierce heel may be just the thing to balance out the soft feathery top. Or, embrace the softness with a rounded, delicate shoe design. 

5. Classic Corset 

Corset strapless dresses unlock your inner princess. The corset look is romantic and classic, like this Strapless Corset Gown by Ozgur Masur in stunning violet. This blissful, formal gown is not for a casual outing. The way the fabric drapes across the waist and down provides the illusion of movement even when standing still. This gentle draping is balanced out by the structured corset bodice and straight across neckline. 

And if you’re worried about how to use fashion tape for a strapless dress like this, rest assured that the strength of the bodice means it won’t slip down. But an accompanying clutch is the perfect carrier for some double-sided tape — just in case. 

6. Joyful Neon

Nothing makes a splash quite like a strapless neon mini dress. The joy of a strapless dress meets the playful energy of bright colors — a perfect pair that radiates youth and optimism. Usher in summer by color-blocking your accessories with other bright hues. 

Alex Perry’s Colten Strapless Mini Dress in bright green apple is a fun and sexy look, complimented with an updo and statement earrings. Its horizontally gathered fabric creates a textured yet figure-hugging silhouette.

7. Little Black Dress

One of the main reasons little black dresses are so well-loved by all is because they offer supreme styling versatility. Black is inherently sophisticated, but the shorter hemline brings out its fun, playful side. An LBD goes with any coat or jacket, though the dress’s material will inform what is best. 

The Bow Bustier Dress by Saint Laurent is a straightforward take on the strapless black dress — save for the bow on the bust, supported by an underwire corset. Wear it on its own or accessorize to the max. Any coat should be left unbuttoned to show off the bow. A little black dress is a wardrobe essential — and this strapless number with a bow will be a wardrobe essential for years to come. 

8. Thigh-High Slit

A strapless dress with a thigh-high slit is always a killer look — perfect for posing for pictures, whether at a gala or a wedding! Show off that leg with your heel of choice. The Ombre Tulle Gown by Oscar de la Renta brings the drama with a train as well. It beautifully blends gold, green, and vibrant blue in an ethereal, sheer draping over a boned bodice. 

Keep it simple when deciding what to wear over a strapless dress with an ombre design or a thigh-high slit. A solid color shawl is good to have on hand. In that vein, keep the purse small and elegant, like a clutch. A strapless gown like this is the star of the show. 

9. Asymmetrical Hemline

An asymmetrical hemline is a playful take on a strapless dress. Since it draws the eye downward, take the opportunity to wear a stunning pair of heels. A strapless dress with an asymmetrical hemline is suitable for many occasions and versatile for casual or formal outings. The length of the hemline will determine its formality; the longer it is, the more formal it feels. 

With a simple, straight neckline and fabric draping diagonally across the bodice, the Bustier Dress by Loewe draws the eye perfectly to its hemline. The back of the dress is longer than the front, which creates a beautiful dark backdrop to showcase your legs and shoes. 

10. Off White and Off the Shoulder

Imagine a ruffle extending along the bust and off one shoulder, leaving the other shoulder unencumbered. That’s Zeynep Arcay’s Flare Cotton Mini Dress. This 100% cotton dress in cream balances sassy and sweet. Off-white colors like cream are excellent alternatives if true white washes out your skin tone. 

Solid, neutral colors like this typically invite more boldness when accessorizing. But equally, an off-the-shoulder dress is interesting enough not to rely upon accessories to make the look. To not compete with a strapless dress’ voluminous ruffle, a simple necklace will suffice, or go sans-necklace. 

11. Belted and Zippered

Given their gravity-defying structure, a common question is, how do strapless dresses stay up? Each dress has its internal structure, but in the case of The Rebecca Dress by Brandon Maxwell, a zipper certainly helps! A belt around the waist also keeps it structured and stable. 

This pastel-perfect dress is perfect for a garden party or any springtime event. And even though the zipper is front and center, it is subtle enough not to dominate the dress as a whole. The skirt flows out from the belted waist in an A-line shape, ready for a dance or a twirl. 

12. Cutouts 

Strapless cutout dresses are edgy and sexy, creating geometric shapes and making you look like walking modern art. The black floor-length Ava Gown by Et Ochs is fit to walk the red carpet, but you can wear it on many occasions. Repurpose a strapless cutout gown for work or other formal occasions by covering the midsection with a blazer. 

In terms of how to accessorize a strapless dress with cutouts, pair it with earrings or a necklace that also features an angular design. Or take inspiration from the dress’ material to coordinate with your bag and shoes. 

13. Unleash Your Ultra Feminine Side

Strapless dresses are ultra-feminine, so why not lean into the glamor? Give yourself permission to embrace this gorgeous pink hue and artful details. It may be a challenge to your personal style, or it may be just the thing to get you out of a style rut! Style is an ever-flowing experiment, so have fun with it!  

The Elina Mini Dress in Ultra Pink by Solace London exudes female power. You will stand out in a crowd with its puffy sleeves that drape gracefully past the elbows. Add a little sparkle and shine to your shoes and accessories, and you’re all set for a memorable evening.

Enlist elysewalker to Find Your Strapless Dress Style 

For more ideas on what to wear with a strapless dress, consult your elysewalker stylist. Our experts work with you to personalize the styling experience, ensuring your wardrobe reflects your lifestyle and showcases your sophistication. elysewalker offers a large assortment of strapless designer dresses, as well as jackets, accessories, and designer shoes to complete your every look. Embrace luxury for real life and browse the latest additions and featured designers today.