LOOKING for winter’s most versatile frock? Say hello to the pinafore dress.
When it comes to seasonal layering, the best pinafore dresses are a must for every wardrobe: from playful mini’s you can glam up for a night out, to chic midis that look effortlessly polished around the office.
The secret of the pinafore’s versatility is its apron silhouette. Traditionally designed with crossed straps that are ‘pinned’ over the back, it’s a dress that has transcended its Victorian roots to become a fashion staple that can be worn over pretty much any top: from tees and jerseys to blouses and jumpers. Think pinafores teamed with breton tops for chic off-duty wear, statement blouses for cocktails after work, or layered over fluffy jumpers for cosy weekend style.
As well as the many outfit possibilities, pinafore dresses are available to shop in a huge variety of styles and fabrics – making them ideal for all tastes. Corduroy, denim, velvet, leather, statement hues and prints: there truly is something for everyone.
There are plenty of options when it comes to silhouette, too: from fit and flare designs that nip in at the waist, to form-fitting pinafores and relaxed oversized designs. Invest in a few, as pinafore dresses are a classic that come back every year.
Need some inspo? Read on for our pick of the best pinafore dresses to shop now, whatever your budget.
Best neutral: SIR. Square-neck Pinafore Dress
- SIR. square-neck pinafore dress, £316 from Farfetch – buy here
Bondi-based brand label SIR. is full of breezy separates that will become staples in your wardrobe.
We love the neutral shade of this cotton-blend pinafore dress which features a square neck and square open back. Set off and softened with an A-line skirt, it’s the perfect transitional piece that will work with bare legs in the spring and woolly tights when the temperature drops.
Best for adding a pop of colour: Boutique Moschino Corduroy Pinafore Dress
- Boutique Moschino corduroy pinafore dress, £336 from Farfetch – buy here
Corduroy is coveted for its earthy feel and is often used in autumnal shades of tan and rust – but not if Boutique Moschino has anything to do with it!
The brand has finished this pinafore from its AW21 collection in a vibrant shade of rose pink that will add a bold statement to your winter wardrobe.
The relaxed silhouette makes this a super easy-wearing piece, while the gold-toned salopette-clasp shoulder straps add to the luxe feel.
Best for channelling Clueless: New Look Mustard Check Jersey Button Pinafore Dress
- Mustard Check Jersey Button Pinafore Dress, £23.99 from New Look – buy here
Cher Horowitz eat your heart out!
This mustard check pinafore by New Look has an on-trend preppy vibe that’s perfect for channelling Clueless.
Made from a soft jersey fabric, detailing like the button front and scoop neckline adds bags of personality. Go all out and team with a roll neck jumper, knee-high socks and loafers.
Best for curves: New Look Curves Brown Leopard Print Denim Pinafore Dress
- Curves Brown Leopard Print Denim Pinafore Dress, now £16.79 from New Look – buy here
We’re obsessed with this take on the pinafore dress: it’s leopard print, it’s denim and it’s perfectly form-fitting.
A faded effect gives this dress a cool lived-in feel. We can see it worn with your favourite band t-shirt or a semi-sheer black blouse for more glamorous night out styling.
Snap it up while it’s on sale!
Best genuine leather: Warehouse Real Leather Pinafore Midi Dress
- Real Leather Pinafore Midi Dress, now £137 from Warehouse – buy here
Va va voom!
There’s nothing sexier than a leather dress and this one in from Warehouse gets our vote for fashion-forward appeal.
Crafted from 100% lamb leather that looks super-soft, the relaxed cut is ideal for throwing on over a roll neck and looking effortlessly put together.
It’s currently in the sale so don’t miss out on making a saving.
Best faux leather: Dorothy Perkins Black Pu Pinafore Dress
- Dorothy Perkins Black Pu Pinafore Dress, £38 from Dorothy Perkins – buy here
Don’t fancy wearing real leather? This faux leather style by Dorothy Perkins looks just as good – plus it comes in at a fraction of the cost.
With its mini length, silver-toned button detailing and deep V front and back, this one hits all the right notes. Wear with a sparkly lightweight knit and knee-high boots for a super-glammed up vibe.
Best midi pinafore: White Stuff Cotton Rich Knee Length Pinafore Dress
- White Stuff Cotton Rich Knee Length Pinafore Dress, £59 from M&S – buy here
Pinafores don’t have to be short: this burgundy beauty by White Stuff hits just past the knee for super-easy and flattering wear.
Made with organic cotton, the straight silhouette has added stretch for comfort, and will look great worn with chunky boots on those wintry weekend walks where a cosy pub always follows.
Best for 60s vibes: Mango Striped Tweed Pinafore Dress
- Striped tweed pinafore dress, £49.99 from Mango – buy here
This tweed pinafore by Mango could have come straight from the 60s with its pink weave, slightly A-line cut and large pockets.
It’s made from a wool mix fabric that’s perfect for cooler temperatures: just team with knitwear and a beret (or baker boy hat) for a striking cosy look.
Best denim detailing: Love & Roses Frill Pinafore Dress
- Love & Roses Frill Pinafore Dress, £42 from Next – buy here
Denim pinafores are a massive trend that will always stick around.
If you want one with a slightly more dressed-up and directional feel, this sweet style by Love & Roses boasts romantic frill detailing on the straps.
There’s still a relaxed air, thanks to the side pockets, so it’ll look great dressed down with a jersey and trainers.
How much are the best pinafore dresses?
Prices vary when it comes to pinafore dresses – and of course, it all depends on whether you’re shopping on the high street or splashing the cash on designer.
We found some really stylish options for less than £20 in the sale, while other high street options came in at around the £40 to £50 mark. Higher-end labels, meanwhile, hovered around £300.
Where to buy the best pinafore dresses?
Pinafore dresses have been a big trend for a few seasons now, so most fashion retailers will have a decent offering.
On the high street, we found great value at New Look as well as some stand-out styles from Mango and M&S.
Plus you just can’t beat Farfetch for its range of designer brands – especially when there’s a sale on!
What to look for in the best pinafore dresses
There are a couple of design features to look out for when shopping pinafore dresses. First, consider the fabric type: do you want something sturdy and structured like a denim or wool, or are you looking for a softer style for spring like a jersey or cotton?
The cut of a pinafore dress determines the overall aesthetic, so consider whether you’re after something loose-fitting and relaxed or if you prefer a ‘dressier’ more form-fitting silhouette.
Finally, the pattern and colourway are big factors. A black pinafore dress is a classic that every woman should have in her wardrobe and will work with a number of outfits, while cord and leather styles are big trends to invest in now for the season.
MORE SUN SELECTS FASHIOn
Enjoyed our roundup of the best pinafore dresses? Our selection of the best Chelsea boots for women will look great styled with a pinafore.
We’ve also rounded up the best cashmere socks for women.
And check out our dedicated Sun Selects fashion section for more style tips, trends and products.