Black Drawstring Dress for Spring

I rarely use the term “must-have” when talking about wardrobe items. I mean, we all have different body types and lifestyles and budgets, and rarely is there one item that I think every woman should have in her closet.

But this dress, y’all. It is one you should definitely consider adding to your spring wardrobe.

While a casual black dress is considered a wardrobe staple, I rarely find one that I feel comfortable wearing around casually.

Black dresses either seem too formal or too much like a beach-coverup; it’s hard to find one that’s in-between, but Caslon nailed it with this one.

This dress isn’t really new; in fact, I had it in the navy and white stripe last year — you can see how I styled it in this post.

I really enjoyed that one and wore it a lot, but this solid black one is even better, in my opinion. It seems way more versatile with more styling options and more flexibility to dress it up or down, whereas the striped ones are definitely casual.

Plus the solid color is more forgiving than the wide stripes. I feel like this black one is more slimming and flattering.

For some reason, this black dress seems to run smaller than the striped ones. I ordered the grey and black stripe and this solid black, and the striped one was at least an inch longer and seemed to have more material in the top half as well.

Maybe it was a fluke with the two dresses I happened to get, but I like the fit of this solid one much better. For size reference, I have the small.

The styling possibilities with a black dress are virtually limitless, and I had a hard time deciding how I wanted to feature it in this post.

I considered wearing flat metallic sandals, black slides, or blush wedge sandals, and honestly, I will most likely end up wearing this dress with my TB Miller sandals most of the time, but in the end I went with these platform wedges in the saddle leather.

I like how they keep the look casual but also elevate it a bit with the platform wedge, and pairing brown and black is chic but understated.

For accessories, I thought these tortoiseshell print hoop earrings were really fun with this outfit, and they help pull the black and brown together. They’re also really lightweight and only $8 at Amazon with Prime shipping!

To that, I just added two delicate necklaces. I wanted something that wouldn’t compete with the earrings, but I didn’t want to leave the neckline bare, and these are the perfect solution. I wear these two necklaces together often — once I find a pairing I like, I tend to wear it that way over and over again.

I threw on my denim jacket to show how I’d likely wear this dress in the springtime or on a cool summer night, but it’s perfectly fine on its own.

As always, I’m wearing my Spanx Shape Your Day Girl Shorts to keep everything smooth, and also to ensure that my dress doesn’t get stuck in unfortunate places… ifyouknowwhatImean.

I’d probably swap out the wedges for flat sandals to run errands or to hang out at home, but I love this look for church or going out for drinks with girlfriends.

This dress is definitely going to be on serious repeat this spring and summer!

Outfit Details:

black maxi dress // sandals // denim jacket // earrings // star necklace // pendant // beaded bracelet // crystal hinge bracelet // sunnies c/o Maui Jim

Be sure to visit Cyndi and see the spring outfit she’s styling today!

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

photos: Alison Cornell

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43 thoughts on “Black Drawstring Dress for Spring

  1. Good Morning — just a couple of questions! Did you size down on this dress? And if you’ve washed it, how does it wash? Did it shrink? Last question: how do you keep your necklaces from twisting when you layer? I love the layered necklace look but they always twist and end up a hot mess.

    1. I usually wear small in Caslon, so I didn’t size down for that brand.

      It did shrink up some, but in a good way. I wanted it to! 🙂

      These necklaces don’t twist – maybe b/c they’re short?

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. Love it… looks super comfortable. I also like the wedges and purse you chose. I think I can take my black maxi dress that I normally hold out for until summer into spring with this look. Thanks 

  3. Morning Jo-Lynne,  this dress looks so good on you.  It says it comes in petite sizes but I can’t seem to find that option when selecting size.  I am just 5’2” so I think I would need shorter.  Planning a spring trip to Italy and I think a dress like this would be great to have.  Do you think the fabric would travel well?  Thanks!

    1. Someone else just said she’s 5’2″ and has it and it fits, so maybe it would be okay? I do find it travels well. I took it to the beach last summer. It wrinkles a bit, but I didn’t have to iron it. It hung out pretty well.

  4. Happy Monday, Jo-Lynne! Love this dress! I recently ordered the striped one. I typically wear a medium, but I did size down to the small. It’s a perfect fit. I’m 5’2” so I do not need the length. Think I should size up for the black one?

    1. It’s hard to say – maybe they’re all a little bit different. I would say to go with the same size as your striped one. I have a small in both. I washed and dried the striped one, but I may lay this one flat so it doesn’t shrink.

  5. That is a great dress on you!  For some reason, I find rayon to be more clingy and less forgiving in my torso, but that’s just me.  I do think that a maxi dress is more versatile than some of the shorter ones.  Once I start changing out my clothes, I may purchase a maxi dress to replace a short one.  It was 30 when I got up this morning and is going up in the 60’s, with sunshine again.  Have a blessed day!

  6. Cute outfit. Unfortunately the dress doesn’t come in a petite but I might be able to pull it up under the waist. I do love those wedges….are they comfortable? I remember you saying a similar pair by TB were slipping out as you were walking. I recently purchased a pair of Sam Edelman flats and I find them to be more comfortable than the TB Miller flats so maybe the wedges will be the same? Enjoy your Monday. 

    1. I found them easier to walk in than the TB ones that are similar. I definitely don’t walk out of them, but they do still seem like they could be a good ankle twister. 🙂

  7. OMG I’m getting ready to put on that dress right now! (Reading your blog while drying my hair 😉) So funny!  I bought it last summer when you styled the blue and white striped one and I agree 100% – it’s a perfect dress!  Today I’m wearing it with tan slides, but it looks good with a heeled wedge or even white sneaks. I think I’ll grab my denim jacket this morning too! 😘  

  8. I bought this dress last week in the solid black and bright blue. Couldn’t decide which one I liked better, but am certainly keeping the black now that you’ve given me better ideas on how to style it for spring. Didn’t think about throwing my denim jacket over the top, but that is a great suggestion. Thank you.

  9. Thank you so much for showing us your white, untanned skin!  I have always been self-conscious of my pasty white legs in the summer.  I do use self-tanner occasionally, but as a melanoma survivor, I never get a suntan.  

  10. In my cart. I bought the same dress last year in the gray and black and wore it quite a bit. It was casual enough to wear to a concert at the beach in the summer– when I knew it would be cooler in the evening. But I also wore it to an afternoon baby shower in the middle of the summer. With a necklace and wedge sandals instead of flipflops, it was perfect. I also love the earrings! I have so much jewelry, I don’t need more but they are so cute and I always buy classic pieces. These are just fun!

  11. I took a short break from my spending freeze and….Ordered! I hope it’s as good as it looks on you! Thanks for sharing. Back to my spending freeze…

  12. Love this look! My black dress just came in the mail today. I was so excited. Not sure that I am going to keep it though. I was hoping for a longer length. I am 5’7″ and it hits above my ankle, like the whole ankle shows. Is that too short for a maxi? What do you think? I’m afraid if I size up it will be too big. Might be able to if it will shrink.

  13. It’s really cute on you, unfortunately it wouldn’t work for me, the middle is my trouble spot big time🤪

  14. I am so behind on my commenting, but I have been reading! I had to be sure to tell you how much i love this look though. There’s just something about black and cognac that’s just so chic to me, but I can also see this dress styled so many ways. Love.

  15. My dress came today & tried it on. Kind of bummed because I don’t think it will work on me. It’s a pretty straight cut so not great in the hip on my definite pear shaped body. Great fabric and great dress but not that flattering on me. Maybe I’ll try some of those spanx shorts. Looks fantastic on your figure though!! Thanks for sharing. At least Nordstrom makes returns easy..

  16. Well, you were totally right. I wavered but decided to give it a shot and ordered this dress (sized down a size, in the hopes that the length would be better). It arrived earlier today, and yep, it’s just about perfect. Thank you!

  17. Hi Jolene, I purchased this dress when it a
    Learned on your blog, but I’m just now packing it for a resort vacation.  I don’t have any layering necklaces yet, but I do have a larger statement necklace and hope it works! Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention last Spring! 

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