We’ve all had those, haven’t we? Days when our brains refuse to function, the style juices just aren’t flowing and all we have time for is to grab a dress, lipstick and sunglasses and we’re out the door. In fact, perhaps because it happens to me so often, I’ve noticed that lately, it’s become quite a trend to wear dresses for work in Singapore.
Maybe the pace of our lives are so stressful and we have been cultivated to become such an efficient nation that even in our clothing choices, we’ve decided that wearing a dress to work everyday is a very practical choice - as we don’t have to consider matching top and bottom before we make a mad rush for the door!
Well, if this is you, this blog is for you. Here are my top 7 must have dresses in her wardrobe to maximum style and minimum stress in the mornings!
1. Sheath Dress
A slim-cut sheath dress is a good staple to have in your closet. Look for something that gently skims the body, in a length that is appropriate for your work environment. If you’re in between sizes, my preference is to pick the larger size. That way you can increase the mileage of your sheath by layering a thin fitted tee (for summer) or a slim turtleneck (for fall) underneath it. It’s an updated pinafore look that you can pull off easily for the office by adding a pair of boots, booties or just basic pumps.
2. A-Line Dress
In my book “The A-Z Wardrobe”, the A-line dress is first of my list of must-haves in every woman’s wardrobe for effortless style. That is because the A-line dress (so named because it is narrower at the top and flares out at the hem, resembling the capital letter A), is an incredibly flattering silhouette for all body shapes, especially for those of us who carry weight in the bottom half of our bodies.
A good A-line dress to consider for the office is a shirt dress. Equal parts chic and functional, a shirt dress never goes out of style in the boardroom. Layer on a cardigan for chilly offices, and fold up the sleeves if you’re going out for lunch in the summer, for that effortless chic casual style that many aspire but few attain!
3. Wrap Dress
Here’s probably my personal all-time favourite dress to wear. If budget affords, get the real deal from Dianne Von Furstenburg in a classic print in silk jersey, otherwise, there are lots of more affordable options to choose from the mass market retailers. The wrap dress wears like a dream and is great for in between sizes because you can always tie it tighter or looser around you middle, depending on your level of comfort or the size of your lunch! My suggestion is to get one in a thicker but stretchable knit fabric which is more comfortable to wear and maintain. Do not get a wrap dress in too flimsy a knit because instead of holding in your curves in all the right places, the thin fabric will showcase all the bumps and lumps. Another great advantage of the wrap dress is that it travels well, and is versatile enough for you to take it from day to night, particularly if you’ve picked a suitable print or with a darker and neutral base colour eg: black and white, navy, aubergine or maroon.
For more ideas and tips on how to wear the iconic wrap dress, watch my Youtube Video - The Wrap Dress.
4. Little Black Dress
The LBD needs no introduction. Every smart executive probably has her own stash of dependable LBDs to choose from in her wardrobe. A gentle reminder is to accessorise your LBDs (differently, if you wish), every time you wear them. Otherwise it’s like wearing a blank canvas to work – plain and completely devoid of your personality.
Another advice would be to ensure that your LBDs are not looking too “old” or “tired” due to regular wear and tear. If you wear your LBDs very often, it is highly likely that they will wear out faster than some of the other pieces in your wardrobe, so make sure that your LBDs are up to your personal style requirements and find their replacements BEFORE they fall apart on you.
5. Hot Mama Dress
Every woman needs to have at least one of these dresses. It doesn’t have to be a figure-hugging body-con number, although if you feel you rock the look, then go right ahead and own it. It also doesn’t have to be short or have a plunging neckline etc. It’s simply a dress you know you look fabulous in, one that highlights your best features and makes you feel like a rockstar every time you wear it. Its always a good idea to stock up on one or two of these dresses and wear them on days when you need to shine a little brighter of simply because it’s an important meeting and you need an extra boost of confidence - the hot mama dress will help you sizzle your way through!
6. Relax Chic Dress
The perfect dress to wear on bloated days, generally this is a dress with no defined waistline. The trick to pull off this dress without coming across looking too casual and sloppy for the office is to style up on accessories eg: wear this dress with a statement necklace, carry a cool bag, add heels, cute flats or a combination of these items. Layering it under a cardigan, a blazer, a shawl or a scarf are also fun options to style this dress for work. If you rather wear the dress on it’s own, then my suggestion is that you look for interesting details like contrast stitching, embroidery, textured or printed fabrics, asymmetrical necklines or hemlines to balance out the simple silhouette of the dress.
7. Wild Card
Every wardrobe should have at least ONE wildcard dress. Something fun and surprising in a pleasant way. Maybe your choice could be a quirky print, a vintage number or a cheerful color-blocking piece - just something that puts a smile on your face (and that of your colleagues) when you wear it. Incorporating a wild card dress injects an element of surprise and spontaneity and prevents our working wardrobe from becoming too predictable and eventually boredom will strike.
Now it’s over to you. Which of these 7 dresses do you wear most often? Which ones do you need to add on or replace? If you do, we’ll be thrilled if you’d come shopping at our boutiques where we stock up on these essential dresses!!
Till next time then - dress well and all will be well!
PS: if you want to learn how to create a wardrobe that rocks your style, come check out our A-Z Wardrobe Online Course because we believe every woman deserves to shine with grace, gladness and style™.