Stiffened plates and shells are encountered in many engineering applications. Several analytical and numerical procedures were developed over the past decades for analysis of these structures. Empirical and simplified analytical models were also developed to estimate their ultimate strength for various limit states. The paper reviews and pieces together engineering work developed for all the applications. The first part reviews the analytical, numerical, and orthotropic plate procedures that were developed for analysis of stiffened plates and shells. The structural idealization, the theoretical basis, and the merits of each method are also discussed. The second part of the paper reviews the design philosophies that were developed to predict the ultimate strength of these structures. The influence of various parameters affecting the structural performance, such as geometric and material imperfections, stiffener profile, etc., is discussed. The optimization procedures to minimize the weight of the structure are also reviewed. The paper offers a comprehensive and unique “reference-manual” for all types of stiffened plate applications.