t’s on the days when we wake up lacking our usual ‘joie de vivre’ that a good dress is our saving grace. Convenient, elegant and guaranteed to lift our mood, the dress is the one shot-solution to the daily workwear conundrum. Although Tom Ford always cited dressing well as “a form of good manners”, the adaptions of the dress that we’ve been offered over the last few decades combine the best of both worlds; the office-chic aesthetic with the comfort that comes from premium practicality. What started out to ensure good etiquette and style in society now sets a standard for good taste in the office. Long may it continue.
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The Feminine Cut
Shop the look: Calathus Fit-and-Flare Dress by Rose & Willard | Grey Collarless Jacket by Stefanie Renoma | Campell Black Suede Heels by Lucy Choi | Grey Tear Drop Pearl Earrings by ORA | Esha Dress by Emile Vidal Carr | Bond Blazer by VIKTORIA CHAN | Bonas Multi Floral Heels by Lucy Choi | Twinning Crystal Scarf by Beatrice Jenkins
Undeniably feminine, the recently branded ‘fit-and-flare’ cut is a fail-safe wardrobe investment. A simple staple, such as the Calathus Dress by Rose & Willard, offers the elegance and grace of the feminine Fifties style, but in two subtle shades to keep the mood modern. Paired with the sharp and angular geometric tailoring of Stefanie Renoma’s Grey Collarless Jacket, the combination of soft and feminine with sharp and angular creates the perfect contrast in otherwise a seamless workwear combination. In similar fashion, the full-skirt of the Esha Dress by Emile Vidal Carr teases out the small-and-subtle capped sleeves in contrast. Worn with Lucy Choi’s Bonas Multi-Flower Black Heels and VIKTORIA CHAN’s Bond Blazer, the plain black base and classical shape paves the way for the perfect pop of pattern; found in the kalidescopic colours of Beatrice Jenkin’s Twinning Crystal Scarf.
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The Graphic Edit
Shop the look: The Audrey Dress by Madderson London | The Reagan Jacket by Madderson London | Genesis Heels by Lucy Choi | Euclid Black Pearl Earrings by ORA | Alba Pearl Bracelet by ORA | The Genevieve Dress by Madderson London | The Victoria Jacket by Madderson London | Dollarbird Dark Forest by Chillerton
Graphic pieces are best saved for the mid-week motivational boost. Embracing a far bolder approach to adding personality into your working wardrobe, The Audrey Dress by Madderson London offers the perfect combination of graphic inserts served over an elegant and feminine shape. Paired with its partner in crime, The Reagan Jacket, the ease of matching a streamline set makes dressing for the slower days a quick and easy job. In comparison, The Genevieve Dress is a chic homage to the magic of monochrome. A brilliant white base made from premium French tweed is embellished with a textured black trim, making the transition from desk to dinner effortless, with or without accessories. Match the black with Chillerton’s Dollarbird Dark Forest Heels to keep colour to a minimum and tie together with the occasional drop of ORA’s black pearls.
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The Little Black Dress
Shop the look: The Rachel Dress by Cecily | The Emilia Dress By Emile Vidal Carr | Magna Pearl Bracelet by ORA | Classic Pearl Bracelet by ORA | Swift Blossom Pink Heels by Chillerton | Majestic Mookaite Scarf by Beatrice Jenkins | Duran Black Leather Heels by Lucy Choi
A necessary base to every businesswoman’s wardrobe, the little black dress is one of a few items that balances practicality with style in equal measure. Featuring a sumptuous oversized bow, Cecily’s Rachel Dress is effortless to style as it is elegant. Match the bow with Chillerton’s Blossom Pink Heels for a dash of breathy pink to break up the black and tie together with two sets of pink pearls by ORA. Likewise, Emile Vidal Carr’s Emilia Dress plays on modern accents to add an abstract aesthetic to the classic shape and style. Frame the folded collar with Beatrice Jenkins’s Majestic Mookaite Scarf for a punch of colour that cuts through the sleek-yet-shapely silhouette. Top with Lucy Choi’s Duran Black Leather Heels and polish up the metal re-enforced toe-cap to show you mean business.
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Shop the look: The Eliza Dress by Emile Vidal Carr | Karen Dress by Cecily | Bow White Shirt by MOS | Highgate Heels by Lucy Choi | The Marilyn by Charlotte Zimbehl | Swift Lipstick Heels by Chillerton | The Shoulder by Baia
For the days when you need to make a statement, pops of pattern and splashes of colour is what makes the magic in mixing up your workwear. Emile Vidal Carr’s Eliza dress – specifically in Sea Green – is a piece to save for land-mark moments. Combining a bright yet subtle colour with a overtly feminine cut, the modest skirt and tailored details make it a diverse staple to take you from an office cubical to the corner-office. Layer the dress over a Classical White Shirt by MOS and complete the look with polished and practical heels, such as Lucy Choi's Highgate Heels. For an all-in-one that needs no alterations, Cecily’s Karen Dress in a sharp shade of red makes no compromises in integrating femininity into your working wardrobe with its billowing sleeves and vintage-inspired cut. Wear with Lucy Choi’s Lovell Heels or Chillerton’s Swift Lipstick Shoes for a matching shade and finish with Charlotte Zimbehl’s Marilyn Trench Coat for maximum impact.
Words by Emily Freund