21 Babydoll Dresses That You Can Wear to Work or a Party

Versatility never looked so good.
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Guests at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images 

Guests at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images 

The babydoll dress dates all the way back to the '40s, when American lingerie designer Sylvia Pedler invented the mini frock as a means of working with the fabric shortage during World War II. But the garment didn't gain popularity until the '60s, when Twiggy was spotted in a barely-there Mary Quant number.

Since then, fashion houses like Miu Miu and Valentino have offered different incarnations on the catwalk, taking the flouncy, upper thigh-grazing dress far beyond its sleepwear origins. Now, you see it everywhere — on fashion showgoers and chic commuters alike. 

The flowy frock's appeal is obvious: It's cute, comfortable and can work for any number of occasions. Wear it with heels for the next wedding on your calendar, or pair the short dress with some clunky combat boots for a more casual approach. When the temperature cools, throw on printed tights or even black trousers and wear it to work. 

Ahead, we've rounded up our favorites, from party-ready satin to playful puff-sleeve options. 

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