Fling open your closet and ponder whether or not you own a simple, made to be lived-in dress, the kind that can effectively be worn to both run to the store and enjoy your latest streaming bingefest. If pictures of your mom flood your brain at this particular moment, don’t be shocked. After all, the True Fashionista house dress has its place in history.

To be fair, the house dress never really went away, it just got seriously relegated to the back of the proverbial closet as times have changed, and our busy lives started leaning away from dresses when we weren’t at work.

Then COVID happened.

Why think about a dress when Lululemon yoga pants will do the trick? As much we’ve all soooo appreciated relaxing around the house in sweats and slipper socks over the past YEAR, even a slight return to normal in the form of the simply-designed house dress is a welcome change.  While teen girls have been fueling the simplistic, back to basics Cottagecore movement, the older set has been rediscovering the house dress and designers are latching on as we look forward to a somewhat return to normalcy this summer.


The True Fashionista house dress first came into being in the 1940s. This direct descendant of the modest, comfortable “Mother Hubbard” dress was first envisioned by 19th century artist Kate Greenaway who illustrated her nursery rhyme books with women and girls in smock dresses just right for a frilly full apron on top. These dresses let women be modestly covered, yet had no structure and did not require a corset, bustle, or complicated underskirts like other fashions of the 19th century. The house dress exemplified the Victorian fight between fashion and purpose in its simplest form.

Many of the original house dresses featured a loose waistline, a novel post-WWI idea. They had the added benefit of being useable throughout a pregnancy, provided they were cut generously to start. Since staying home to do the cooking, cleaning, and childrearing was the life for most women, it’s no big surprise that maternity wear was sort of built into the features of the old-school house dress.


Forget the frilly apron, a dress you want to/have to live in is easy, and utterly swanky these days. Let’s throw the necessity of the Zoom call into the mix and the challenge of looking professional and put-together with the least amount of effort, and we have even more of a reason to ditch the sweats for some True Fashionista “real clothes”.

Recent interpretations of the house dress from the likes of Lily Pulitzer, Ulla Johnson and Loretta Capone add True Fashionista chic to the cozy in a trendy modern nod to tradition. Prana’s Sentinel Maci features a crazy soft (and eco-friendly, yay) lyocell fabric to keep you comfortable regardless of how long you sit staring into a screen. Plus, we can’t discount the extra touches like an open neckline, braided tassels and ruffle skirt to add some flavor! Loose and oversized is also a running theme in today’s house dress. Columbia’s black Freezer Maxi dress has even been ranked best house dress color by some. It’s also extremely versatile, especially for things like the use of a simple cardigan over your shoulders like a shawl, or pairing it with flats for a quick errand or casual lunch meetup. Columbia takes the house dress a step further, adding moisture-wicking technology and UPF 50+ protection throughout. Hill House Home reimagines the house dress with the name the “Ellie nap dress”, because hey, at the end of a hard day of Zoom meetings, baking and chasing a toddler, you deserve some rest. All hail the return of the house dress!

Find yours at True Fashionistas Resale. Safely shop in our Naples, FL store, or even safer in the comfort of your own home, wearing that house dress that’s ready to be swapped out for a luxury model. Check out the selection online or in our eBay store.