I am a big advocate for dresses, the clue being in the title of my company, Working Frocks. You just can’t go wrong with a dress (well you can but I can show you how not to). Here are three reasons, should you need persuading, as to why you need dresses in your life.
Dresses that sit from the shoulder, flow over the waist and finish where you feel comfortable cannot be beaten. If the weather is hot, a dress which flows over the body rather than gripping it is so much more comfortable to wear. Waistbands can be great, they can make you walk taller, sit up straighter and feel pulled in all at the same time. However, waistbands can also be incredibly tiring to wear whilst dresses cut from shoulder to hem effortlessly skim the body, and are more relaxing to fit into. Some dresses may have a focus on the waist eg a shirtdress has a waist belt, and some dresses have a waist seam, but if the fabric is anchored at the shoulder, the pressure on the waist is not so intense.
Dresses are the quickest route to effortless chic. Dresses have different personalities, some are party animals, some are slouchy Friday dresses and some are effortlessly chic in a way that tops and skirts struggle to be. Effortless chic is easily done (think Diana Vreeland’s “style is refusal” quote): the dress should be primarily one colour top to toe, with minimal detailing on the dress. Sleeveless is the way to go if you can, but how many of us can? Try short capped sleeves, or sleeves finishing above the elbow for maintaining the pared down, understated look. Long sleeves, quite fitted and narrow at the wrist look amazing in the winter.
The neckline should be unfussy – slash/boat or round neck for the ultimate look. A traditional shift shape does this look incredibly well. Go for straight up and down shift shape if your figure is fairly up and down with no particularly small waist. If your figure is more curvy shift variation is the way to go – a slightly a-line skirt for those with curvy hips. Ladies with bigger busts may look better in a v-neck although if they are able to carry off a low scoop neck I think it is more chic. (Ladies with a larger bust size could also do well purchasing a shirtdress, the collar and open neck give the proportion needed to balance out the bust, and I will write separately about shirtdresses in a future post).
Knee length or just above is probably best for a chic look. Keep jewellery to a minimum, do not be overly madeup. One ring, one necklace, a slash of liptstick and you are ready to go.
I feel I’m done at point 2. Do you need more persuading?
Dresses are a blank canvas, hugely versatile for accessorising. One look with many nuances. You can wear a black shift dress to work – with pearl earrings and necklace, take the pearls off for the evening and wear diamond ear studs and a large brooch in the evening – you’ll look amazing and slip smoothly from day to night.
Three Bonus Points
If you are still reading, thank you, here are three bonus points as to why dresses are, in my opinion, the best investment you can make in your wardrobe.
One item, put it on, you’re ready to go. No tucking in needed, no gaping to worry about, all done.
Dresses face down dressing down
In an age of dress down, casual workplaces, dresses say professional and still fit into the environment. If you’re in a more formal working environment, well here and now is not the time for me to wax lyrical about the dress and jacket look which is beautiful, but dresses in their own right do bring their own sense of authority to an occasion.
Dressing down a formal garment
The English excel at dressing up: black tie; the English man’s suit, ladies in ballgowns, ladies in hats (who does hats better than the British ladies?) But the British also excel at dressing down what could otherwise be too formal and stuffy a look, which not only puts whoever they are with at ease, but also establishes their look as their own, as particularly unique to them. A point dear to my heart is that dresses look equally good with a cropped cashmere cardigan as with a jacket. Dresses can also look equally amazing with a pashmina or shawl draped artistically around the neck and shoulders. For some women this becomes their signature look and serves them well.
Are you persuaded? What to do now
If you’re only just waking up to the power of the dress, have a look through your wardrobe, pull out some dresses and spend a week wearing them. I hope you’ll find this simplifies your life and brings great enjoyment in wearing your clothes.
If you need dresses in your wardrobe, go shopping, but be discerning. You don’t need many dresses, you just need a few that fit really well, look good and feel comfortable to wear. Of course, when you have a few, then you can get a few more…
Tidy up your wardrobe. Make sure when you open your wardrobe you can see what you’re going to wear. And if you haven’t realised by now, it’s this: dresses.
What do you think? Are you already convinced that dresses are the way forward? Could you be persuaded? Have you been persuaded? Please tell me what you think as I’d love to know, in the comments box below, or on the Working Frocks facebook page