Getting dressed for work can be something of a minefield. Do I have to wear bootcut trousers, or are skinny pants kosher? Are skirt suits relevant in 2020? Enter the work dress. As versatile as it is easy to wear, the office-friendly dress is a nine-to-five staple. That's why checked in with Dorothy Halley-Frame, creator of the workwear and lifestyle blog She Goes Wear, for her essential work dresses—and where she goes to buy them.
Wraps, Belted Midis and 4 Other Work Dresses Every Woman Should Own
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1. A Wrap Dress
Is this the most flattering silhouette in the world? Highly possible. A wrap dress highlights your waist at its smallest point, making your middle look tiny. It really looks great on any body type, since the waist-cinching style creates an hourglass effect regardless of your actual measurements.
Shop the Dorothy-approved look: Halogen ($99); Madewell ($138); Diane von Furstenberg ($448)
2. A Shirt Dress
The beauty of a shirt dress is that, depending on how you style it, it can read professional or casual. At work, pair yours with simple pumps; after hours, swap the pumps out for crisp white sneakers, which add an air of effortlessness to a printed midi.
Shop the Dorothy-approved look: City Chic ($119); Rails ($179); Vince ($242)
3. A Belted Midi
Another ultra-flattering option, the belted midi cinches your waist while hitting at an ideal point on your leg—especially if you're wearing any kind of heel. Also keep in mind that because this is a pretty modest silhouette, you can have a little more fun with colors and prints (hello, blue leopard).
Shop the Dorothy-approved look: Topshop ($95); WAYF ($108); Chelsea28 ($149)
4. A Knit Dress
Think of this type of knit as a slightly more dressed-up version of a sweater dress—without sacrificing comfort. To stay out of too-cozy-for-work territory, stick to a more structured silhouette as opposed to a shapeless sack. (The latter of which is still ideal for weekend wear.)
Shop the Dorothy-approved look: BB Dakota ($59); Rachel Parcell ($71); 525 ($138)
5. A Structured Mini
We know what you're thinking: A minidress? At work? Stay with us and listen to Halley-Frame's advice for pulling off shorter hemlines at work: Wear it with tights, which will prevent a shorter dress from feeling too club for the office. Also, look for styles that hit an inch or two above your knee, any higher and you might find yourself chatting with HR.
Shop the Dorothy-approved look: Forest Lily ($110); 1901 ($139); Eliza J ($148);
6. A Tweed Shift
This schoolgirl-inspired style is classic without being boring—especially with a three-quarter length sleeve and pair of sleek booties. Hot tip for wearing a sleeveless dress in colder temps: Make like Halley-Frame and layer yours over a thin turtleneck.
Shop the Dorothy-approved look: Court & Rowe ($101); Julia Jordan ($149); Alice + Olivia ($330)