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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How to Dress for Work in Different Cities

how to dress for work in different citiesHow does work attire differ from city to city? Are there any guidelines women can use when trying to dress for work in different cities like NYC, Chicago, Miami, or San Francisco? I’ve gotten a few reader questions lately about dressing for different climates and different regions of the country, so let’s discuss.  After all — if you’re a woman dressing for work in Silicon Valley, it’s going to be a bit different than New York, versus Miami, versus a more Southern city — and if you’re a new transplant to a city it can take a bit of getting used to. We’ll try to give our best advice on how to dress for work in different parts of the country, but readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts! So let’s talk about regional style differences — how DO you look great for work in different parts of the country? How does work attire differ from one city to the next? Does “conservative office attire” look the same from city to city (seasonless wool suit, blouse, classic pumps) or are there variations? What are the biggest differences you’ve noticed in regional style? 

Pictured, clockwise: NYC / Miami / San Francisco / Chicago. All images via Pixabay.

Here’s some of my best advice for how to dress for work in different cities:

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Repeating Outfits at Work: How Often Do You Do It?

Repeating Outfits at Work | CorporetteHere’s a great question for today, ladies: how often do you repeat outfits at the office? A lot has been said lately of capsule wardrobes for work — decluttering closets to winnow your wardrobes to things that “spark joy” — and a lot of that may leave you feeling like you’re totally repeating outfits at work. So let’s discuss — how often is it acceptable to do? Does it matter if a certain outfit is memorable in one way or another, such as by pairing unusual colors or prints together, or involving unusual pieces? And here’s a bonus question — how versatile are most items in your closet, anyway? For example, will you only buy a new item if it will “go” with at least three things in your wardrobe?

We had a great discussion on how often one can repeat outfits at work back in 2013, and I agree with a lot of my advice from there:

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