Summer Dresses at Work? Yes…and No.

Anyone who knows me knows that I L.O.V.E. dresses, especially for work.

SO simple – hello! It’s a complete outfit! No thought involved. (That’s a good thing).

But as with anything involving wardrobe….there are appropriate and not appropriate versions of this wardrobe staple.

Key things to think about are:

1. width of straps/sleeves (if you are planning on wearing it on its own) – they need to be AT LEAST 2 inches across… but generally sleeveless is not appropriate anyways so plan on at least a cardigan or jacket.

2. length – needs to be at minimum, one inch above the knee (NO higher)

3. under garments – unless you are wearing a dress with more structure in cut and material like a shirt dress (less stretch/hugging) then you need to be wearing shape wear. There are tons of excellent options out there – the most famous of late being Spanx . The keep your rear, tummy and girls in place so you don’t need to give it a second thought during the day and the best part is that new versions of these products are super breathable and comfortable whatever your size.

4. cut & cleavage– depending on the cut of dress you choose, there may be a serious need to reinforce coverage of your girls. Cleavage is fine for weekends and most special events but M-F, you want people looking you in your eye when they are asking you about profit margins. Wear a camisole (tank top) underneath or if you are more well endowed than I am (like most women are ; ) then choose styles that have higher necklines and structure built-in like sheaths or shirt dresses.

Here is my dress strata – from not appropriate to interview ready:

Work appropriate dresses, interview dress

If you’re looking for a sure way to decide if a dress will be appropriate for work… try this – pair it with one of your blazers. If it doesn’t look right, then you can be sure that it isn’t right for work.

AND REMEMBER – just because a dress has spaghetti straps doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s off-limits. It’s really all about the material and it’s quality. To take it from weekend to workplace, pair it with a jacket or a cute cardigan (NOTE TO SELF – just make sure you have air con… cause you really can’t take them off).

Have fun shopping!

Erin

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