Today I’m going to take on the challenge of showing you how to take a house dress to the office! I was inspired to do so because I came across this dress from Free People and fell in love with it! However it’s definitely not appropriate for the office…as is anyway.
Enter in the layers. It is fall outside so you can play this up with some fun layers. In the summer, I’d suggest a light-colored blazer and nude pumps (just leave the blazer for a day-to-evening look). However in the fall, you can have more fun with it. First, start with a long-sleeved basic scoop-neck top. Basic black would work or if you want to play with color, you could try a light brown, charcoal or perhaps even a deep purple. The following top is from designer, Kate Boggiano (I own probably five of her long-sleeved tops – they’re comfortable, long, and extremely flattering!). Put the shirt on before the dress so it goes underneath.
Next, find a 3/4- or elbow-length sleeve cardigan to go over the long-sleeve top and the dress. I’d suggest a lighter color such as cream or light brown. I did include the cream stenciled cardigan from Anthropologie as well if you want to play with the patterns. The two pattens on the cardigan and the dress would really compliment one another. Make sure you buy a cardigan that is longer in length as well as then you can put a belt around the waist of the dress covered by the cardigan (more on that below). This creates height. Wear the cardigan over the dress (so layer 1: long-sleeve top; layer 2: dress; layer 3: cardigan). Another tip: Button the cardigan from the bottom up and leave the top three or four buttons un-buttoned. Then the fringe from the dress will pop through for a fun color palette and compliments the texture around them.
For the belt, wear a chunky belt for a solid-colored cardigan that hits you at the hip (like the one shown above). For the printed cardigan, opt for a skinny belt so it doesn’t fight with the pattern, but play with color as it’s a black and white look. A deep purple leather would be beautiful and would play off the blue of the dress (plus if you’re wearing a long-sleeved purple shirt, you can bring that back to the front of the outfit). As for the chunky belt, I’d recommend a dark steel gray.
Finally, tie everything together with a pair of great bone round-toed pumps. Considering the weather, you will most likely be wearing hosiery. To keep things simple, opt for a pair of nude tights. This look would be professional and very appropriate for the office. If you work in a more casual environment, you can play it up a bit with some gray textured tights and maybe some cream or tan booties!
Also don’t forget the accessories. As there is so much texture in the outfit, wear a pair of stud earrings and a simple ring or bracelet. A plum shade of lipstick, and see how you took a summer dress into the autumn workplace!