ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress

I have always been a fan of a cotton poplin shirtdress. When my husband was a wedding photographer and I was his assistant, my uniform was a black cotton shirtdress with a full skirt and deep pockets. Rain, humidity, historic buildings without A/C, climbing under tables to plug in lights, squatting and kneeling on grass to straighten hems and veils… I could do it all in such a dress (this one to be particular).

wardrobe oxygen shirtdress
Wearing cotton poplin shirtdresses over the years. Clockwise from upper left: August 2011, October 2010, March 2011, July 2017. The first three are a dress from Lauren Ralph Lauren, the fourth one was from Ellos.

Over the years, my style has gotten a bit… I wouldn't say casual or edgy but it's more sporty, more varied, and I saw such shirtdresses as more ladylike and proper than I felt. But that isn't fair to the cotton shirtdress, which can come in so many different styles, silhouettes, colors, and prints. And when I saw this ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress part of the recent Target Designer Dress Collection, I immediately purchased it.

The recent Target Designer Collection is best known for offering dresses from fashion designer Christopher John Rogers, but he wasn't the only designer tapped for this collection. Another one is ALEXIS.

Tell me About The Fashion Label ALEXIS

Alexis Barbara Isaias designer and cofounder of ALEXIS
Alexis Barbara Isaias from the ALEXIS brand.

Founded in 2008 by mother-daughter team Ana Barbara and Alexis Barbara Isaias, ALEXIS is a line of ready-to-wear fashion designed for the contemporary woman. Cuban-American Alexis Barbara Isaias has become the voice of the brand though she runs it with her mother and brother from Florida. ALEXIS is best known for its amazing dresses, but the collection is full of separates, jumpsuits, and other gorgeous garments worn by celebs such as Beyonce, Zooey Deschanel, Olivia Culpo, and Heidi Klum.

The ALEXIS brand can be purchased on the brand's website as well as popular retailers such as Neiman Marcus, REVOLVE, and INTERMIX. ALEXIS dresses range from around $300 to $1,000 and the largest size offered is XL which is equal to US 10/12 so it's nice to see more affordable fashion from the ALEXIS brand available in sizes XXS-4X at Target.

Shop ALEXIS for Target:

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ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress Review

Alison in the ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress

Looking online, reviews said that the ALEXIS for Target as well as other designer collabs at Target run big, so I ordered this dress in Large. For reference, I usually wear a size 14 and if items are a letter size, I am usually best in XL. When this dress arrived I felt it was too snug at the waistband, which on me is just below the bottom of my ribcage/above my belly button. However, it was perfect everywhere else, including the bust.

ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress

I considered returning it, or exchanging it for a larger size. My fear was a larger size would be bigger everywhere and longer. And the longer I wore the dress, the more the cotton stretched to fit my figure. So I put a safety pin between the buttons along my rib cage and wore this dress the same day with my Allbirds sneakers to walk to visit my mom.

ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress
Shop the Look:
Dress: ALEXIS for Target (large) | Earrings: Baublebar | Bag: old (similar) | Shoes: Rockport

I found the dress incredibly comfortable on that muggy day. The 97% cotton 3% spandex fabric moved with me, but didn't cling even when I got sweaty. The sleeves are supposed to be more of a bell, but I have full upper arms and the effect is almost like a straight sleeve on me but more comfortable. The buttons are well placed; no peek-a-boo even when sitting or hunched over. I think if this dress was at a department store I would have returned it, but for this price and how gorgeous the fabric (and how comfy the sleeves) I made it work.

ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress

Here I dressed it up with a raffia clutch (I've had it for over a decade; this one is similar) and these clogs from Rockport (they come in widths!). However, the way I wore it most recently? As a house dress… sans bra!

Shop This Look:

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The style of this shirtdress offers separation between bust and waist. As a short curvy person with a large chest, this is the only way I can comfortably carry off no bra. It's not about aesthetics, it's about skin sticking to skin in the summer heat and humidity. I think many of you reading can relate to not really wanting to wear a bra for shape as much as to keep them lifted from your rib cage. And this dress achieves that without me looking so all over the place I can't open the door to sign for a package or have a chat with a neighbor over the fence.

ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress

I think of how women wore dresses like this for so long. Some with sleeves, some without. Some were longer, some shorter. But a cotton poplin shirtdress, just like when I wore it as a photographer's assistant, is such a darn practical dress for so many situations. We've forgotten about its perfection with the arrival of jersey knit dresses and separates. But let's be real… jersey knit is NOT fun to wear when it's hot AF out!

ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress

I am loving this dress so much I have been tempted to buy it also in the solid blue option. But I will hold off, because I know this dress will be worn most at home and puttering around town during the week, and I don't need multiples, especially since this dress can go on the gentle cycle, hang up to dry, and be ready to wear the following day.

ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress

This print may not be your jam, but if you like the idea of a cotton shirtdress for summer, I found a few other options and share them in the carousel below:

Shop Summer Shirtdresses:

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ALEXIS for Target Tropical Leaf Short Sleeve Shirtdress

At the time of writing this, this shirtdress is still available at Target in XXS-M and 4XL; the same dress in solid blue is available in sizes XXS-S and 4XL. However, I encourage you to keep checking because this collection seems to have been restocked or replenished from returns.

Have you shopped the Target Designer Dress Collection? Do share your hits and misses from this collection in the comments below!

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19 Comments

  1. Lisa Marie
    May 26, 2021 / 11:47 am

    Non-ironing Karen, a clothes steamer works great on this fabric.

  2. Melissa Fernandez
    May 25, 2021 / 1:05 pm

    Now THAT is a stunning dress on you. Flattering, fun, brings a smile and looks comfy. One of the best things I have ever seen you model. Hands down.

  3. Suzanne
    May 25, 2021 / 12:56 pm

    My first instinct is that this dress is perfect for you! (Agree with Valerie, above) Color, silhouette, length. It all comes together. I’ve sent my daughter the links to look at these dresses–similar sizing to you.

  4. Susan
    May 25, 2021 / 10:35 am

    I love this dress on you and it gives me hope I might be able to wear one like it.

    • May 25, 2021 / 12:31 pm

      It’s a pretty forgiving and kind style of dress for a range of bodies.

  5. Ruth Slavid
    May 25, 2021 / 10:34 am

    Yes, yes, yes – I have no idea why you say it is just for puttering at home. It is the most fab dress and I think quite dressed up. Heaven. But before we convince you to buy the solid blue as well, do think about sweat stains in your humidity. I suspect this colour and pattern will hide sweaty armpits well – solid blue may not. Sorry if this is a little too yuck!

    • May 25, 2021 / 12:31 pm

      Oh no, it’s why I got the print not the blue. I knew this print would cover sweat!

  6. Valerie
    May 25, 2021 / 9:04 am

    Honestly, this is my absolutely favorite dress/outfit on you that I have EVER seen posted on the blog. It is STUNNING on you!

    • Mary W
      May 25, 2021 / 2:55 pm

      I agree!

  7. Linda
    May 25, 2021 / 8:57 am

    MAN, I love this dress and have checked every day since I saw it the first time. I even checked Poshmark, but no dice for a large. It is such a perfect summer dress.

    • E
      May 25, 2021 / 9:33 am

      There are several on ebay right this moment, in size L. The price is almost doubled, though. This pisses me off.

    • May 25, 2021 / 12:30 pm

      Give it some time, if anyone is selling now it’s because they want a profit. Give it a couple of weeks and I’d bet there will be more on resale sites at more reasonable of prices and maybe more in stock in stores and online!

  8. Mariana
    May 25, 2021 / 8:51 am

    I’m sad that this seems to be out of stock in both the XL and the 1X, and the 2X which might be a little big but I could alter it, isn’t available for shipping (why? Other sizes seem to be…) None of the sizes are in the stores local to me. 🙁
    I love Target, but sometimes their shipping options seem a bit wonky.

    • May 25, 2021 / 12:29 pm

      agree, it’s why I didn’t get some styles I liked. The closest store to me with them was in Virginia and the items weren’t available to ship to me. The dresses I got, it looks like some came straight from the warehouse (still on hangers with dry cleaning bags) and others looked like they may have come from a store (had different hang tags, not on hangers, wrapped up in plastic and sealed with Target branded tape they use for damaged boxes).

  9. E
    May 25, 2021 / 8:45 am

    Love it on you. And if you ever do decide the top half is too tight, this would make a beautiful skirt — just cut off the top half and you’re good to go.

  10. Karen
    May 25, 2021 / 6:29 am

    I saw this dress at my local Target and was so tempted, but …I don’t iron, and i assumed that this dress would require a good press. You say wash and hang dry, can you confirm that no ironing is needed?

    • May 25, 2021 / 12:28 pm

      To have it look new, yes it needs a good press. If you don’t mind a bit of rumple, it can be worn after hang drying if you make sure to button all the buttons and hang it carefully!

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