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The 10 Best Nap Dresses

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Bustle / Amazon
By Andrea Gale Boerem

Am I the only one who wants to feel like I’m lounging in bed, even if I’m delivering an important presentation? Sweet, playful, yet polished, the best nap dresses are the wardrobe hero that makes that dream a reality. Typically characterized by a smocked bodice and a loose, flowing skirt, often accompanied by puffed or fluttery sleeves, a nap dress is an updated take on a classic prairie dress.

Championed for its versatility, the style was originated by designer Nell Diamond of Hill House Home, who wanted to create a dress comfortable enough to withstand household chores yet stylish enough to be worn out to dinner. The style went so instantly viral, that it’s since been adapted by many different designers, and you’ll find many iterations on the theme below.

Since the style is meant to blend into the background of your life, it’s best to start with an idea of where, and how, you plan to wear your nap dress. If most of your time is spent at home, fluttery cap sleeves, or long, blousy peasant sleeves, are the sort of special details that can elevate even the most boring household chores. If you plan to wear yours both at home and out and about, look for a material like crisp cotton that’s put-together enough for the board room, but fluid enough for the laundry room. Likewise, pay attention to the details. A short nap dress can be casual and cute; daring cutouts make a nap dress surprisingly going-out appropriate; and nap dresses in sweet prints (hello, gingham!) are perfect for brunch.

Whether you can’t get your hands on an OG Hill House Home Nap Dress, or you simply want to explore other prairie-chic designers, scroll on to shop 10 of the best nap dresses on the market right now.

1

This Flowy Nap Dress In A Sweet Swiss Dot Pattern

Whether you’re wearing this nap dress for an actual nap or out to dinner, you’ll relish in its relaxed glamour reminiscent of the Italian countryside. The elbow-length puffed sleeves with Swiss dot detail can be worn on or off the shoulder, and the ruffle accent along the square neckline continues onto the back. Meanwhile, its smocked bodice offers both structure and comfort, contrasting the partly lined, ankle-grazing skirt in a breezy cotton blend. Whether you wear this with sandals or heels, this dress will elevate basically any shoe (or activity) you send its way.

Glowing review: “Love this dress! I want it in pretty much every color. For me, I don’t need to wear a bra and that’s a total plus! It’s super light for the humid summer days in Virginia—I have it in orange as well and hope to wear it into the cooler months.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large
  • Available colors: 23

2

A Classic Nap Dress With Extra-Puffy Sleeves

If you’re looking for a classic nap dress, this one is a gorgeous option. It will feel equally comfy and cute whether you’re doing laundry or going to brunch, thanks to a ruffle-accented square neckline, stretchy smocked bodice, voluminous puffed sleeves, and a long, tiered skirt that hits around the ankle. Paired with simple slides, she’s sophisticated loungewear; paired with heeled sandals, she’s on her way to a fancy outing. The airy rayon fabric makes this dress a lovely lightweight summer option.

Glowing review: “So flowy, comfortable, and all-around lovely! The stretchy bodice and lightweight material will keep it from feeling constrictive or stifling in the summer heat - which for an ankle-length dress, is truly a feat. The back is high enough to hide your bra strap. And of course, if you're in the mood, there's the flirty off-the-shoulders option.”

  • Available sizes: Small — X-Large
  • Available colors: 25

3

Editor’s Pick: A Tiered Tank Nap Dress You Can Dress Up Or Down

This tiered nap dress by The Drop is the sort of versatile piece you’ll reach for whether your mood is casual or dressy. Featuring a loose, mid-calf length tiered skirt (with two pockets!) and a square tank neckline in a breezy Tencel fabric, this dress will be comfortable and elegant whether worn with heels, sandals, or sneakers.

Editor praise: “This dress is so effortless. I love the flowy, pullover style and dual pockets, and the fact that the straps are thick enough to conceal a bra. It's the perfect canvas for styling up or down. Basically, I want it in every color for the easiest summer uniform.” — Kate Miller, Bustle Editor

  • Available sizes: XX-Small — 5X
  • Available colors: 8

4

This Plus-Size Nap Dress With A Modern Edge

This flowy maxi dress is full of special details to ensure both comfort and style, wherever you choose to wear it. The sweet daisy print is complemented by a breezy, tiered cotton skirt, and the smocked bodice harkens to the classic nap dress style, while the off-the-shoulder silhouette and two high side slits give this a modern edge.

Glowing review: “Absolutely love this dress will be ordering more colors STAT.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — 4X-Large Plus
  • Available colors: 40

5

Another Editor Fave: A Maxi Nap Dress With Delicate Spaghetti Straps

This nap-inspired maxi dress is the type of dress you’ll wear constantly when the weather warms up. Delicate, adjustable spaghetti straps and a lightweight, polyester crepe Georgette fabric (in your choice of 22 prints or solids) will be cool and comfortable on the hottest of days; though you can layer it over a turtleneck and throw on a coat when it’s colder out, too. Unlike many nap dresses with smocked bodices, this features a classic empire waist with smocking only at the back for a slightly more low-key vibe; side pockets enhance the effortless feel. Not only does this dress look adorable with white sneakers as shown on the model, but you can easily dress it up for dinner with some heels.

Editor praise: “If you’re looking for a nap dress that’s equally cute and comfortable, this is definitely the one. The skirt is so breezy and lightweight that it feels like pajamas (seriously), and the smock-back design gives it some stretch and structure. I personally love throwing this dress on with a pair of sneakers, but I’ve also worn it with strappy sandals out to brunch.” — Amanda Fama, Bustle Editor

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 22

6

This Mini Nap Dress With Endless Styling Possibilities

Style is all about balance, and the long sleeves of this mini nap dress contrast perfectly with the short, tiered skirt. It’s the kind of piece you can easily dress up or down — the hemline will effortlessly pair with sneakers, while the daring cutout back with a tie closure is begging to be worn with high heels for a night out. A ruched bodice adds to the glamour; the wide smocked waist adds comfortable definition. The lightweight polyester fabric is a floaty warm-weather choice. Wear the bloused sleeves on the shoulder for day, and slip them off on your way to cocktails. (Or take a cue from the review below and wear it backwards for a fun surprise.)

Glowing review: “Great quality and style. You can wear it backwards too. You can also cover the back by not knotting it in the back as shown in the style. There are so many ways to style it if you get creative with it. It is stretchy around the neckline and back skirt and will likely fit you if you go based on the suggested measurements. [...] The dress is not seethrough and the fabric and stitch quality is great.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 13

7

A Gingham & Crochet Plus-Size Nap Dress That’s Picnic-Ready

This maxi dress by ASOS is chock-full of adorable, picnic-ready details, including a crocheted bodice, blue-and-white gingham print, and a long, wide-tiered skirt with a high side slit. The cotton-blend skirt is breathable and comfy, and those puffed sleeves are a perfectly sweet touch. The crocheted detail on the front is continued onto the back, so you’ll look stylish whether you’re coming or going.

  • Available sizes: 12 — 26
  • Available colors: 1

8

This Floral Nap Dress In A Midi Silhouette

If you love a nap dress but want something a little shorter than the typical maxi length, this midi dress has the smocked bodice and fluttery cap sleeves that characterize the style, in a below-the-knee length. (You can wear the sleeves on or off the shoulder, for even more flexibility.) The square neckline is punctuated with delicate ruffles, and dropped just slightly in the back; the floral-printed, light polyester fabric is comfortable enough for lounging, but can just as easily be dressed up with heels for a day, or evening, out.

Glowing review: “I was expecting this dress to be made out of cheap material, but it's actually very nice quality. Lightweight and flowy and has an inner liner. I ordered a Medium according to the size chart. Fits perfectly & very comfortable too.”

  • Available colors: 4
  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large

9

A Mini Nap Dress With An Adorable Sweetheart Neckline

This mini dress has so many sweet details to elevate your look, whether you’re headed out for errands for dinner. There’s a sweetheart neckline with an adorable bow; ruffled cap sleeves that can be worn on or off the shoulder; and that ruffled hemline in a leg-baring short length. The wide smocked waistline adds definition, while keeping it comfy (it is a nap dress, after all).

Glowing review: “I bought this dress in green to wear to my birthday dinner and I got so many compliments! The shade of green looks really pretty against my fair skin and paired with some gold jewelry. The quality is definitely decent, as the dress was not see-through and was comfortable to wear. The length was great and I love the cut of the neckline as well. If you're thinking about buying this dress, I would say do it for sure! I could easily see myself wearing this dress again for another fancy dinner or just a casual summer barbeque.”

  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 11

10

This Regencycore Nap Dress With An Empire Waist & Cap Sleeves

Regency-era enthusiasts, you’ll adore this maxi nap dress: Between the extra-long length, smocked empire waist, and ruffled cap sleeves (which can be worn on or off the shoulder), this is the stuff of your Bridgerton fantasies, but with a comfy, modern twist. Two knee-high slits in front add a dash of glamour (and ventilation), while the floaty, 100% rayon fabric will keep you cool. Choose from two chic shades: muted sea foam green or dusty rose.

Glowing review: “I already know I love it so much. This is the best dress I’ve ever purchased, not including my wedding dress. It wrinkles easily, but who cares? This dress is fantastic!”

  • Available sizes: Small — Large
  • Available colors: 2