Curious about the nap dress phenomenon? Read about my favorite Hill House dresses!
Alright friends, I finally caved. After resisting for the entire pandemic, I finally gave in and ordered a Hill House nap dress. I assumed that the Ellie wouldn’t be ideal for petites (and I do have some sizing thoughts on that topic) but overall, I get the hype around this brand now. Everything is beautifully made and so comfortable that you could, well, nap in them as the name suggests 😂
Hill House Home was founded by Nell Diamond in 2016. The company originally started as a bedding collection but have since expanded to offer home, accessories, baby & kids, bridal collections, and of course – the now iconic Nap Dress®. They launched the dress in 2019 and trademarked the name in January 2020, right before it really took off.
What is a Hill House nap dress?
Seriously, what’s with the nap dress name? Are you supposed to actually nap in it? Not really – but I’m pretty sure the point is that it’s so comfortable, you could. When talking about why she created the Nap dress, Nell said:
“I wanted to design something that allowed me to feel like myself during a 3:00 am feeding, when I’m so bone-tired and have four thousand emails and I’m thinking about taxes and my laundry and my to-do list and the Nap Dress® came to be as a solution to a problem inherent in my own life.”
Women have clearly been craving an investment piece like this that they can wear (and feel pretty in!) while running errands or attending a fun event! Beyond the original, they now have a whole bunch of different lengths, necklines and silhouettes in the collection to suit your style, all with the comfortable smocked bodice.
So today, I am dedicating to this post to my thoughts on the oh so popular Hill House Home Nap Dress along with a few other styles they sell. Let’s dive in!
Hill House Nap Dress Review
Sizing & Length
I am usually somewhere between an XS and small in most dresses (or size 2!), but I heard that Hill House dresses run big, so I ordered the Ellie nap dress in an XS. It fit, but it felt like way too much fabric in the skirt to wear with flat sandals. I exchanged it for an XXS and while there’s not a huge difference in the length, I do think there’s a little less bulk in the skirt.
For reference, I’m 5’2″ and it sits right at the top of my ankles. In other words, petite gals don’t really have to worry about tripping on it – it just might be a little long for your personal style preference.
Some of the other styles fit differently though so keep reading for sizing insights on those!
No matter what size you get in the Ellie, the smocked bodice in any nap dress is super stretchy, which is a really nice feature. No need to worry about zipping this bad boy up. The sleeves are not adjustable, but I found them to be a great length.
As for the skirt, it’s definitely full and roomy! Again, I think it feels even fuller on me because of my height. It comes all the way down to the tops of my ankles, whereas I think it looks less full on taller gals when it’s more of a true midi length.
WOWZA this dress is comfortable. It’s lightweight and breezy and you can wear a bra and the list goes on!! I also just suggested it to my friend who is pregnant and she confirmed that it’s also super comfortable with a baby bump! The smocked top stretches nicely and as I said above, the skirt isn’t restricting at all.
The nap dresses come in a few different fabrics but the one I got is nearly 100% cotton (97% cotton, 3% elastane). It’s super lightweight and breathable which will be absolutely perfect for hot and humid summer days.
I’ve heard the white swiss dot and limited edition lace ones are sheer and usually require wearing a nude slip underneath, but I didn’t have that experience with the colors I ordered at ALL. No need for nude underwear or anything!
But I think the best part is that they are machine washable. Wash with a full load using cold water and lay flat to dry. I always appreciate a dress that doesn’t require a trip to the dry cleaner, so THANK YOU for that, Hill House!
I’m super impressed with the quality of everything I tried. While I’m not keeping everything I ordered, quality certainly isn’t the reason for my returns. I think they’ve done a beautiful job with design, fabric, and construction.
Hill House Dresses + Sizing
This is the OG Hill House nap dress – the one that started #napdressnation! The Ellie Nap Dress is the style I was talking about in the section above. Scroll back up to read more about fit, quality, fabric, and more since it’s all up there. I’m wearing the XXS here.
I think the best thing about this dress is that you can easily dress it up or dress it down. You could wear it with flat sandals to brunch with girlfriends or running errands around the city. But you could also put on a pair of heels and jewelry and wear it to a shower or a wedding! It also packs really well. I brought it with me to Positano!
And speaking of weddings, they also have a beautiful lace version and tulle version that would make great wedding guest options. And because it still has the smocking, they work for pregnant and postpartum mamas!
If you like the idea of a Hill House nap dress but you don’t like the ruffle sleeves – I totally understand. Luckily they made one with ribbon straps!! It has the same smocked bodice and flowy skirt, except instead of flutter sleeves, you can adjust and tie the straps to your liking. Truthfully, I like this style way better than the original Ellie. It feels more effortless and versatile even though it’s still just as comfortable and feminine.
I got a size XS and it fits perfectly. I definitely wouldn’t size down to an XXS in this one.
The Anjuli is another nap dress that has the same signature smocked bodice, but instead of flutter or ribbon sleeves, there are elastic straps. It also has a slimmer maxi skirt with a pretty flounce hem.
Overall, it’s longer than the Ellie but way less fabric. It’s a little long for petites to wear with flats, but this style feels a little elevated so I wear it with a small block heel anyway. This style is also way more true to size with a slimmer skirt.
I got a size small and while an XS probably would have been fine due to the smocked bodice, I definitely wouldn’t ever go all the way down to an XXS like I did with the original Ellie.
I looove a good long sleeve dress, and the Grace Mini Nap Dress is a good one. Just like the dresses above, it has the signature Hill House nap dress smocking. I also love the square neckline and poofy sleeves. I got a size small and it’s a little big but I don’t think it’s big enough to exchange for the size down.
What I love most about this is it’s versatility. I could wear this with tights and boots when it’s cold and with sandals when it’s warm. I think it would also be cute with a belt and/or blazer for the office. So many options!
If you’re trying to pick out the best Hill House dress for an event or wedding – the Matilda dress is my pick. This dress is STUNNING in person. It comes in 6 colors/prints and all of them are gorgeous.
This is NOT a nap dress because it doesn’t have smocking. Instead, it has an empire waist and slightly flared skirt that makes it ultra romantic and flattering. Because of that, I think this style would still be both early pregnancy and postpartum friendly.
The Matilda dress originally had a high low hemline that wasn’t petite friendly… but now it’s all the same length across! Game changer!! I got a size small and it fits perfectly.
The Rowena dress is basically just a sleeveless version of the Matilda dress… but I don’t like this one nearly as much. I think part of it is the print, but mostly I just think this would look better on someone taller than my 5’2″ self. I got a size small and it fit in the top, but the skirt just feels too overwhelming on me.
Like the Rowena Dress, I think the Scarlett Midi Nap Dress would be way better on someone taller than me.The color and clip dot texture are so pretty but the length and ruffles/puff sleeves just don’t work on me. I got a size small and I think it runs very true to size.
The Elizabeth Nap Dress is the shorter version of the Ellie nap dress. Everything is the same except the skirt, including the sizing. I’m in an XS here but could have sized down to XXS like I did with the Ellie. It hits me right above the knee and I think I’d like it more if it was a little shorter on me. So if you’re taller than 5’2″ or you just like a slightly longer mini dress, this is a great option!
It also comes in a bunch of colors in both cotton and wrinkle resistant crepe, AND there is a gorgeous white lace version that would be perfect for bridal events!
Pretty sure this is my new favorite Hill House dress. The Juliana is giving old Hollywood movie star goes to Europe vibes. It’s the same shape as the previously released Ophelia dress, just without the puff sleeves. The straps are elastic and the bust is adjustable thanks to a tie neckline. And the corset inspired mid-section? Hello snatched waist!
I first got a size XS and it was difficult to zipper by myself. Adam got it for me, but it still felt too snug. I exchanged it for a small and it’s much more comfortable!
There is actually a skirt that goes with this top, but I actually prefer it with jeans! It’s 100% linen and super comfortable. The straps and smocking is exactly like the Ellie nap dress, and the little ruffle around the waist is really sweet.
Again, I am 5’2″ so it’s plenty long on me with high waisted bottoms, but if you are super tall, it might be a little more cropped on you. I got this in an XS and it fit great!
Is The Hill House Nap Dress Worth It?
I always have trouble answering if something is “worth it” because it depends on so many things! But if you love to wear easy and comfortable dresses in the summer and $150 is within your budget, then YES. 1000% worth it.
Out of all the Hill House dresses, I personally think the original Ellie or Ribbon Ellie are the best investments because they are the most versatile.
Do you have a Hill House nap dress? What do you think of yours?
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