Anatomy of the Perfect Wear to Work Dress

finding the perfect wear to work dress

What makes for the perfect wear to work dress?

Well, let’s see…

It can’t be too short …

…because the last thing you want when you’re trying to be taken seriously at work is to be constantly hauling your skirt down, being afraid to lean too far forward in case you flash your knickers, or having colleagues oggle your legs rather than listen  to your ideas. That doesn’t mean you have to cover yourself for head-to-toe, obviously, but you DO want to wear something you can move around comfortably in without worrying about where your hemline’s going to end up.

It can’t be too tight

…because the office is not a club (er, unless you ACTUALLY work in a club, in which case none of this advice applies…), and if you can see your bellybutton through your dress, it doesn’t exactly scream “professional” – no matter how great you think you look. Choose fitted, pencil dresses or shifts rather than body-conscious lycra or spandex: you don’t have to hide your figure completely in order to look professional.

It can’t be too strappy

…because no matter how warm it is outside, spaghetti straps or strapless styles just aren’t for the office. The perfect wear to work dress doesn’t necessarily have to have full-length sleeves, but it should offer some kind of shoulder-coverage, at least. If you’re wearing a sleeveless shift and your office has air con, you might want to bring along a cardi or light jacket so you can cover up if you get cold (or are just sensitive about your arms).

It can’t be too childish

…because you all know how The Fashion Police feel about dressing like a toddler, right? All joking aside, some people favour very childish styles, and while that’s all well and good for your day-to-day life, it can be hard to be taken seriously at work if you’re wearing pigtails and frilly ankle socks. Baby doll dresses, pinafores and other styles associated with very young girls don’t make for a great wear to work dress: save them for your free time if you really want to wear them, and choose something a little more grown-up for the office.

It can’t be too bright

… because you want people to concentrate on your work, not on what you’re wearing. Although all of the dresses in our graphic are black, you don’t necessarily have to stick to very dark colours. While it’s true that many wear to work dresses come in neutral shades like black, navy or grey, you can get away with other colours, too. We’re not saying your wear to work dress can’t be colourful – we’re just saying it shouldn’t be neon, and it’s probably a good idea to avoid very busy, clashing prints, which are jarring and distracting. Choosing work dresses in neutral shades also means you can get away with wearing them more often, too – people will notice if you have the same bold print on constant rotation, but that little black dress can look different every time you wear it, and will work a whole lot harder for you.

Looking for a wear to work dress to wear right now? Try Boden’s Aurelia Ottoman dress -perfection in dress form.

anatomy of the perfect wear-to-work dress

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