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I’ve noticed an interesting trend lately: reversible workwear! Reversible workwear can be great for your next business trip, if you’re trying to maintain a minimal wardrobe, or if you’re just one of those people who is often surprised to find that the outfit you planned on wearing is marred by a laundry stain you just didn’t see when you took it off. (Hey, it happens!) These are some of the brands and stores where I’m seeing it…
Readers, what are your thoughts on reversible workwear? Are you seeing it with other stores or brands? Do you have any pieces (past or present) that you love that you can reverse to get two work outfits for the price of one?
Executive Summary: Our Latest Favorite Reversible Clothing for Work
Hunting for the best reversible workwear? There is a surprising amount out there right now — as of Nov. 2023, we’d recommend taking a look at White House | Black Market, Aday, Wool&*, DvF, Lafayette 148 New York*, and Akris. (Asterisks have plus sizes as well as regular sizes!)
What Does Reversible Clothing Mean?
There are actually two main ways that I’m seeing “reversible” being used to describe workwear. The first is that you can turn the garment inside out and have a wearable second option — for example, your black dress is now a gray dress.
(OR, for those few of you who may be familiar with the ’80s movie Girls Just Want to Have Fun, the way Helen Hunt’s character was able to reverse her plaid Catholic uniform skirt and instead wear a cool, sequined miniskirt that Sarah Jessica Parker was totally jealous of. I haven’t seen the movie in years, but here’s an AV Club review of it from 2016.)
The second thing “reversible” can mean is that you can take the same piece of clothing and flip it around, effectively wearing it backwards. For example, your scoop-neck black dress can be flipped around so that you have a black dress with a crew neck (and a scoop back).
(There is a related category worth noting here, if only to distinguish it from what we’re talking about: convertible clothing, which I generally think of as requiring some effort on your part, such as tying the dress or sweater in a different way, buttoning or unbuttoning some hidden feature. These clothes are clever but often a bit too clever for me, for what it’s worth — getting every iteration to look as great as the model does is often a bit difficult.)
The Best Reversible Workwear for Your Next Business Trip
We covered Vetta in one of our spotlights on indie workwear brands. Their online shop is now closed but you can still buy their “archive pieces.” Almost all of their clothes are reversible in that they can be worn backwards and forwards, although some are also convertible.
Because their stock is down to lucky sizes, almost everything is marked down to around $19-$125.
Another smaller brand doing reversible workwear is Aday — their “work trip reversible dress” offers a square neck on one side, and a scoop-neck option on the other.
The dress is $195, available in sizes 0-18.
The dress is $138, available in regular and long lengths, sizes XS-3X.
Diane von Furstenberg
I feel like we’ve featured DvF’s reversible clothes before, and I have to say it’s so great that a brand known for its bold prints is offering them. For example, this dress features an “abstract artistry” print on the front, and if you turn it inside out you’ll also find a bold, pink flowery pattern.
Part of me wishes they would do one side with a bold print and one side with a more basic, boring one, but I suppose that isn’t what you’re buying DvF for.
Lafayette 148 New York
Lafayette 148 New York is another brand that has some great options for reversible workwear, in regular and plus sizes. Most of their offerings are coats, but they do have some jackets you can wear to work, like the pictured option.
Akris has a surprising number of reversible clothes, including jackets and sheath dresses. For example, the pictured “double-face wool-blend sheath” features a prince de galles plaid on one side, and a bold check on the reverse.
I love it, and apparently so do others — the dress is down to lucky sizes. (It’s $2390, at Nordstrom.)