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Sheath Dresses for Work: The Best Dresses of 2017!

The Best Sheath Dresses for WorkSure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have. Today’s Hunt: the best sheath dresses for work!

The sheath dress is an easy basic for so many offices, from formal to conservative to business casual. It’s hard to go wrong with the sheath dress, but watch out for these pitfalls when buying it:

  • is the cleavage too low?
  • is the hem length appropriate for work?
  • does it have any trendy detail that will make it more memorable and thus less wearable in regular rotation (exposed zipper, embellishment at neck, etc)?
  • is the skirt’s slit too high (sit down and do the mirror test to make sure!)?
  • does the dress look “tailored” (good) or “body conscious” (less good) to you?
  • can you wear a normal bra with it? (some of the versions out this year are almost like halter dresses, with a lot of the shoulder exposed — I’d put those in the “less appropriate for work” bucket)

Once you’ve purchased your new wardrobe workhorse: make sure you cut your vents. Hang the dress up immediately after each wearing and let it air out a bit.  If it’s part of a suiting set, be sure to dryclean all your pieces together so they show the same wear and tear. Pictured immediately below are some of our Hall of Fame favorites — the best-selling, classic dresses we’ve drooled over for years — but we’ve also rounded up six of the best sheath dressses for work in 2017 that we’ve just noticed (including some killer sales). Ladies, which are your favorite sheath dresses for work right now? What are your favorite features (pockets, machine-washable) for your sheath dresses? 

First up, the classics:

the best sheath dresses for work in 2017 - the classics!

Pictured above: one / two / three / four / five

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White Pants for Work: Yea or Nay?

White Pants for WorkReader L wrote in to ask about white pants for work — do they make more opaque white pants for work? What are the best tricks and tips for wearing white pants to work? We’ve talked about how to keep white blouses white — and the best white opaque t-shirts — but we have’t talked about white pants in a long while. First, here’s reader L’s question:

With the beginning of spring and lighter colors I’d love to get a pair of white pants for work. The few I have tried on have been very see-though up top. Do you have any suggestions for white pants or tricks to help with too sheer pants?

First: the old rule is that you aren’t supposed to wear white until Memorial Day. So technically, white pants are only for summer, not spring. But I’m seeing them EVERYWHERE this spring (particularly for weekends, with distressed/ripped white skinny jeans) — so they’re clearly more popular (to say nothing of all the suffragist connotations with white pantsuits). So let’s talk about this: do you wear white pants to work, whether in spring or summer? What rules do you have around “white pants for work,” and what tips and tricks do you have to make sure they’re not too sheer?

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Five Great Blazers Under $50

Five Great Blazers Under $50Sure, we all drool over the $600+ blazers — but I realized the other day that there are so many great blazers under $50 right now that I could devote an entire post to it. So: whether you’re building your wardrobe for a summer internship, preparing to be a summer associate, or just looking to add a casual, affordable, lightweight blazer to your wardrobe — this is the post for you.

An important caveat at the start: know your office! If you’re in a very conservative office, these styles may be too casual for a lot of work days. But: if you want to elevate a business casual look, keep something in the office in case you get cold, or even look professional if you have to run into the office on the weekend — you’ll reach for these comfortable, knit blazers.

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When is a Dress Too Short for Work, What’s Modern, What Shoes Work, and How to Deal if You’re Tall or Short

dress too short for workAs the weather warms up, tights and boots start to go away, and skirts and dresses come out of the closet more. When is a dress too short for work? Does a slightly longer hem length feel more “modern” to you? What shoes do you wear with different dresses and skirts? And, if you’re tall or short, how do the rules change? 

(Pictured at top: short / longer / longest)

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7 Ways to Freshen Up Your Work Wardrobe for Spring

7 Ways to Freshen Up Your Work Wardrobe for SpringLast Monday was the first official day of spring — yay! Temperatures are still all over the place in many places for the country, but I thought we’d talk about some easy ways to freshen up your work wardrobe for spring. And, while I’ll get to the seasonal wardrobe switch at the end of the post, note that a lot of these suggestions are a great way to “finish” wearing your cold weather clothes before you launder them and put them away for the season.

  1. Bring on the pastels.  Light blue blouses, pinks, mints, lavenders, pale yellows — they’re all a welcome addition to everyone’s wardrobes. If you’re a fan of “Tumblr pink,” the dusty, dusky pale pink that’s everywhere lately, pull it out — I know I have a dusky pink necklace that I just pulled out (and am wearing today with a dark green sweater that’s probably going away for the season in another wear or two.)
  2. Pale gray for the win. I’ve written before of my love of light gray pants instead of white — it’s also worth noting that you can wear very pale gray with darker, wintry grays and have a great outfit.  Add a bright lip or a colorful accessory (hot pink feels kind of huge this season), and you’re set for the day.

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Opaque White T-Shirts for Work

Opaque White T-Shirts for Work | CorporetteOne of the questions I often see readers asking and discussing is the hunt for the best opaque white t-shirts — and really, why is it so hard to find a t-shirt that isn’t see-through? I thought I’d round up some of the best suggestions I’ve seen over the years…

First, what to wear with opaque white t-shirts for work: I definitely recommend wearing a nude-for-you t-shirt bra (Naja is the brand with the most skin-colored shades I’ve seen; Nubian Skin also has three shades for darker skin tones); if you need to layer a camisole I’d probably go for a shade that best matches your skintone in a slightly silky fabric so it doesn’t cling to your t-shirt. (I can only find beige camisoles to recommend — if anyone has any favorite camisoles in a range of skin tones, please let us know.)

Pictured, clockwise from V-neck in top left corner: one / two / three / four

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Opaque White Tees in Regular, Petite, and Plus Sizes:

There are so many options in this range, I’ll split the post by putting shirts that only come in “misses” sizes at the bottom of the post; everything listed in this top section comes in a wide range of sizes.

  • Talbots’ Platinum Jersey line — because they’re double-lined in the front (but not the back), this may be a great option if you plan to wear it with a cardigan or blazer — but not so great if you want to wear it by itself. Right now it looks like they only have longer-sleeved versions. Readers also swear by their Pima cotton line (a common thread throughout a lot of these suggestions!).
  • LL Bean has always been mentioned by the readers, noting that they’re not fancy but last and last and are very opaque. This elbow-sleeve one or this envelope-neck version looks like they might be nice enough to wear by themselves at work, but they also may be on the “frumpy” side of the spectrum. This is their more casual plain Pima Cotton shaped version; in general I’d stick with the Pima Cotton versions (reviewers of the more stylish West End shirts note that the white tee was see-through).
  • On the super-affordable end of things, readers have sung the praises of Kohls’ Croft & Barrow Essential tee line — but do note that reviewers seem split on whether it’s see through or not.  They’re on sale for $7.99 today, though, so the price is definitely right.

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