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Outfit Formula: The Nap Dress

Have you heard of The Nap Dress?

In 2019 the company Hill House launched a collection of feminine cotton midi and maxi-length dresses with a gathered bodice and ruffled straps and called them Nap Dresses.

By mid-2020, influencers were romanticizing their stay-at-home orders and wearing them all over social media.

Initially, they were not my favorite. 

I couldn’t imagine wearing something so frilly, mainly stuck at home in the chaos of early pandemic life. 

But, like all good trends, a new version emerged with time, and the latest iteration has less fuss, leaving us with a simple, chic, easy-to-throw-on dress ideal for the dead of summer. 

It’s a pack and go kinda dress you can take from day to night with a few easy swaps. 

Outfit Formula #26: The Nap Dress


Let’s start with our key piece. I originally found this smocked maxi dress from beachlunchlounge, a fun and affordable brand, at Nordstrom for $60. 

But thanks to one of our readers in the comments,  this dress is available at Walmart for only $26. I’m sure Nordstrom isn’t thrilled about that, but it’s my job to show you the best price available. 

Available in sizes XS – 3XL in your choice of black with white spots (above) or white with black. 

Consider this an option on these really hot days, when you do not want anything touching your skin, or if you just don’t like shorts or their alternatives. 

I like this style because it maintains the easy, breaziness of the original with a simpler strap and neutral print, rather than ruffles and florals. 

Another option you may like is this black and white floral from Everlane. Plus Size? You may like this simple black dress from Target. 

And the “formula” for this couldn’t be easier. 

First, for a day of strolling and exploring, grab a summer hat, and your favorite white sneakers. I’m reusing the Madewell packable hat and these Veja white sneakers

Then when you’re ready for dinner, swap out your sneakers for these barely there white sandals, an expensive woven bag in white, and a special pair of earrings to elevate the look, above I’m using this much-loved pair by one of our favorite jewelry brands, Julie Vos

That’s it, easy peasy. 

52 Outfits in 2022!

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Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Thursday 11th of August 2022

It's actually on sale now at Walmart for $15.60!!


Thursday 4th of August 2022

I have a few dresses like this that are perfect for a family road trip. Wear cute sandles which are easy to take on/off in the car, bring a hat... step out of the car at every pit stop looking truly elegant. They are also great for curling up your legs inside your dress for a NAP in the car if you are the passenger. Adding rugged shoes and you can wear this on a hike, too!

Karen Weitzman

Thursday 4th of August 2022

The same exact dress is available at Walmart for $26:


Thursday 4th of August 2022

@Karen Weitzman, Thank you for sharing the Walmart price! I had just purchased the dress from Nordstrom but hadn’t worn it yet, so am returning (Nordstrom said they don’t recognize Walmart as a competitor so they don’t price-adjust to their prices).

Megan Kristel

Thursday 4th of August 2022

Holy cow! Thanks for sharing!

Sharon Foley

Thursday 4th of August 2022

How do these dresses look on a larger chest. Does it squish and flatten?