As much as I enjoyed mixing and matching my cold-weather separates, as the weather warms up my laziness takes over and I want an easy go-to formula.  For me, print matte jersey dresses are the answer – comfy, wrinkle-free, washable — what’s not to love. But I coudn’t find a good assortment of them until a friend pointed me to this unlikely source …

I ran into Karen at a charity brunch the other day (benefitting abused women) and when I complimented her dress, she told me it was from Dress Barn.  My daughter was with me and wanted to stop into the store after the event.  Can I just say – WOW.  Each of us found several dresses that day.  Now I’ve learned that the parent company is closing all the store across the country. Not sure if they’ll continue their online presence, but I’ve stocked up on their great little dreses just in case.

They are literally so comfy that, if I have meeting, events or client appointments, I just slip on a dress and wear it for the day.  They go right into the washer and dryer, never wrinkle, travel perfectly.  I choose to wear them with panty hose, but you can do a bare leg if that’s your preference.  But do check out this post – In Praise of Pantyhose… Or Not – for a few advantages you might not have considered, as well as a couple of alternatives.

Here are the ones I chose, and there are lots more to flatter women with color patterns different from mine.  Mine are almost all a draped,  mock-wrap styling to flatter my hourglass shape and camouflage a little extra through the middle.  But my friend is a rectangle and finds plenty of styles to flatter her shape too. The pricing is extremely affordable – which is nice, but less important than the great look and feel of these dresses.

From top-left to bottom-right:

  • The blue-on-navy floral has an over-drape, mock wrap skirt and flattering 3/4 sleeve.
  • The green one is a bit low-cut for some settings, but I have a green cami I can wear underneath to fill in.
  • The navy polka dot is such perfect styling that I actually bought it twice – one to wear and one to take apart and make a pattern so I can copy it in other prints.
  • The bright blue one needed to be hand-tacked along the overlap of the bodice to keep it smooth, but that’s an easy job.
  • The floral features my favorite jade green color with darkest navy and shades of gray.
  • The side-border blue one looked like a box on the hanger, but is actualy beautifully shaped for an hourglass.  However it had those crazy big draped sleeves that overpowered the whole look — and me along with it — until I cut them off and hemmed a traditional short sleeve.  See below; isnt’s that a lot more wearable?

You might ask “Isn’t that a lot of blue and green dresses?”  But I alreay have 2 similar dresses in red prints.  And with this collection, I’m probably set for the next 5 years or so, right?

Go check it out and et me know what treasures you find for your own wardrobe.

NOTE: I do not have an affiliate relationship with this or any other retailer because I don’t want my recommendations to be influenced by potential financial gain.


About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Conni Gratop Lewis on June 3, 2019 at 7:28 am

    yes, Dress Barn does have lovely dresses, but the petite dress selection is pathetic at my local DB

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 4, 2019 at 7:28 am

      I agree that they don’t offer as much in Petites as they do in Plus and Misses. However I’m only 5’3″ and ocaionally find myself wishing that my DB dresses (all Misses sizing) had a bit more length. The navy polka dot one runs on the short side, and there is one called Chain Knotted Dress that my daughter and I both bought, and ended up returning because it was too short on us. It might be just right for you. It’s black and white, which I usually do’nt recommend, but since the print is quite small it doesn’t create the extreme contrast look that is so often a problem with that color scheme.

  2. Lucy Beale Partridge on June 3, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Nancy, I love the jade green dress with the round neckline on you – My perception is that it’s the best choice. Glad you found the dresses. Super

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 4, 2019 at 7:35 am

      Thanks for weighing in. For me, picking a “best” of these feels like picking one’s favorite child – I love them all.

  3. margaret crawford on June 3, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Clothes look great but could you try a smile?

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 4, 2019 at 7:18 am

      Oh Margaret – cut me a little slack will you 😉
      I HATE having my picture taken anyway, and with a selfie, you add in the worries of getting in a graceful position, holding my camera/phone just right, keeping the image within the frame and perfetly vertical and then pushing the bottom without looking at it or moving the camera – eek! I do TRY to smile, but “try” is the operative word here. At least I’m finally learning not to grimace.

  4. Brenda S Foreman on June 3, 2019 at 11:57 am

    You look great in those dresses Nancy! I was concerned about a rumor I heard about Dress Barn closing all their stores. Just a rumor?

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 4, 2019 at 7:11 am

      No – the parent company really is shutting them down. I am bereft. That’s why I bought such a selection of their matte jersey dresses in a songle season. The sweaters too. Both of those items can be tough to find.

  5. sona bran on June 3, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    These look GREAT for those who still wear dresses to church or still work in office settings etc. I do neither but love dresses. These just arent compatible with hanging around the house, out to lunch etc in hot weather. as I said I love dresses in summer and love the long tshirt type as I have very large veins in my legs. And yet as a short person….5’1″ perhaps they arent the best look. Any suggestions for me and others like me?

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 4, 2019 at 6:55 am

      Of oure no one look is right for everyone. I personally feel a little pretentious in a maxi dress, but that’s my uber-classic style coming through. They are quite popular, mximize the vertical element of your petite figure, and I saw at least a dozen of them in the same store/website where I found these ( Also several jersey ju,[siots – another fun alternative. Check fiber content of course; the ones with cotton or rayon in th blend will be cooler than poly/span mixes if you are super heat-sensitive and/or will be mostly outdoors when wearing the item. Alternately, you could sew up a couple from your favorite colors in ther rayon/spandex jersey in our online shop.
      As for wearing dresses – I am a big advocate for dressing up a bit even when others aren’t. It’s quite OK to be the best-dressed person in the room. It makes me feel good about myself and it forces me to keep my interactions very cordial and caring toward other peopleso I don’t risk seeming stuck-up. And as a naturally introverted person. that’s a handy way to trick myself into being more social. Oh, the games we play, rght?

  6. Ann Gosch on June 8, 2019 at 1:16 am

    Like you, I think the name Dress Barn is really unfortunate, so I’ve actually never shopped there. Seeing these great things you found for yourself tempts me to go take a look — especially since it apparently won’t be around much longer!

    And I agree with your philosophy that it’s OK to be the best-dressed person in the room. Someone’s gotta do it, and I say it’s almost always better to be overdressed than underdressed. And I can’t imagine that anyone would ever get the impression that you were “stuck up”!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 9, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      I don’t love everything at Dress Barn but in specific categories they do a terrific job – jersey dressesbeing one of those.
      I DO love you comment that “somebody has to” be the best-dressed one in theroom. Hope you don’t mind if I steal it for my workshops.

      • Ann on June 9, 2019 at 5:51 pm

        Feel free to “steal” that line, Nancy! It can apply in lots of situations!

        • Nancy Nix Rice on June 12, 2019 at 7:34 am

          You are right that it can apply in lots of ways. I’ve just accepted the volunteer board position of VP Leadership Development with a large non-profit and it certainly applies to bringing one’s best game to a project or committee. Sort of “be the smartest person in the room” or most inspiring or more energize or whatever. “Somebody’s gotta do it.”

  7. Marie B. on June 11, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    I purchased 2 similar dresses several years ago from LL Bean. They still have the same dresses but I don’t know if it’s the same fabric. My dresses do not wrinkle and are great for traveling.

    Thank You Nancy for your very informative information.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on June 12, 2019 at 7:35 am

      Thanks for the tip. LL Bean isn’t someplace I normally check for fashion items, so your reminder is appreciated. I’ll head to their site right now for a look.

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