Sleeved Dresses with Pockets

dresses with sleeves and pockets roundupI was just writing something about the best default thing to wear to a networking event (like a conference) where you don’t know what to wear — and my answer was, if all else failed, wear “a sleeved dress with pockets.”  Sleeves because it looks like a complete look — no need for a cardigan or blazer to forget somewhere — and pockets so you have a place to stash business cards, key cards, and more.  Then, I thought to myself: good luck finding that workwear unicorn!  Despite lots of readers (year after year!) sleeved dresses with pockets!saying how much they love sleeved dresses — and dresses with pockets! — very few companies are granting that mystical request.  So I thought I’d do a mini hunt: FIVE sleeved dresses with pockets. (Psst: here’s an old WSJ article about why so many dresses are sleeveless.)

Let’s start our hunt with some of the top-rated dresses at Nordstrom

dress sleeves, pockets, plusThis dress comes in both elbow-length sleeves, and three-quarter length sleeves. Personally I vastly prefer the three-quarter length sleeves, but that’s me. (I also don’t mind the exposed zipper — they’re so ubiquitous on workwear dresses these days that I don’t think they read as “please unzip me!” — but I know many readers feel differently.) The dress is available in regular, petite, and plus sizes for $85-$138. Tahari Seamed A-Line Dress
dress with sleeves and pockets vince camutoThis affordable dress has been around for a while — and although it looks really short on the models (and has an exposed zipper, boo), it has mostly positive reviews.  Skimming the reviews, many reviewers note their size, shape, weight/height, etc — so a completely unscientific, skimmed analysis is that it seems to be most popular on petite, fuller figured women… and least popular on taller, thinner women.  It’s available in about twenty colors, regular, petite and plus sizes, for $88-$148.  Vince Camuto Crepe A-Line Dress
dress with pockets and sleeves ellen tracyIf the exposed zippers on the top two dresses aren’t for you, try this Ellen Tracy dress.  It’s also highly rated (four 5-star reviews), comes in four colors, and has pockets as well as sleeves.  I’m a fan of cutouts at the neckline — particularly where, as here, the cutouts won’t interfere with a regular bra. (I would advise keeping skipping your necklace or keeping it very minimal/basic, though — a set of pearls or a very delicate, round-shaped necklace (like this or this). The dress is available in petites and regular sizes 2-16. Ellen Tracy Cutout Neck Fit & Flare Dress
sleeved dress with pocketsMM LaFleur has a number of dresses with pockets — and many are machine washable, as well. This Etsuko dress is one of their long-running best sellers. It’s available in five colors, sizes 0P-16, for $195. Etsuko Dress
dresses with sleeves and pocketsWe mentioned Project Gravitas in our roundup of 30 Workwear Fashion Startups to Try — this Louisa dress not only has shapewear included, but it has sleeves and pockets. Huzzah! It’s $328, available in sizes 0-16. Louisa Dress

We mentioned them above, but in case you’re curious:

Here are three plus-size dresses with sleeves and pockets: Sejour, Vince Camuto, Tahari
And here are three petite-size dresses with sleeves and pockets: Ellen Tracy, Vince Camto, Tahari

Ladies, have you found a favorite dress with sleeves and pockets?  Where and when? 

sleeved dresses with pocketswhat to wear to a conference(L-all)


  1. The M.M. LaFleur dress is fantastic. I’ve got a few of them now and I just love them. After having a baby, none of my work clothes really fit right anymore, and I decided to go to one of the M.M. La Fleur pop-up shop events. I’m so glad I did, I’ve been getting tons of compliments on outfits lately. I even had a snagging issue with one of the skirts and they were mortified and took care of it right away. Great company in my experience so far!

  2. Salary help :

    I’m getting a promotion! I really need some help negotiating my salary – I want to ask for 25% increase with a target of 18-20%, but I’m scared that’s too much of a jump. Some (long) context:

    – 25% increase = mid-point of new band.
    – I’m at the very bottom of my current salary band. To get to the very bottom of my new band would be 8% increase.
    – The top of my current band = 11%. If I weren’t getting a promotion, I would expect to be getting a raise to this level – my boss said I’m the best in this position she’s seen in 20 years. I’ve only received a col raise in 2 years.
    – I’m below the new exempt threshold – to get me there would be a 5% increase.
    – I increased revenue for my department by 60% and took on other major projects outside my role.
    – This will be my first official management (projects not people) role.
    – It is a new role taking on a high profile new initiative, based on my proposal, along with 90% of my old role (as far as I know right now).
    – Other people in this salary band manage direct reports, but not all do.
    – market is virtually impossible to determine because it’s a niche position and field.

    I’m thinking of the 25% as 5% federally required, 10% merit, 10% promotion. My new boss seems supportive of me negotiating and we’re still in the early phases of finalizing the position. Thanks for any feedback!

    • Congratulations on the promotion. If you will have Substantially more responsibility, go for the 25% and state your belief that it is a high profile job that should be compensated accordingly. I agree also with your math, tho I am not sure abou the 5% federal requirement, having never worked for the federal government. Also, only receiving a cost of living raise for the last 2 years–is that a good thing? I think maybe this could be a signal that your current boss is not promoting your best interest–all the more reason for another position. Finally, you do not say if you have to relocate. If you do, definitely demand extra for the move.

    • Anonymous :

      I would calculate this way (from experience, likely the way company will look at it too):

      8% to get to the new pay band (takes care of the exempt)
      X% from base of new pay band based on performance (e.g., you are not performing at entry level for the pay band)

  3. Senior Attorney :

    I wish I were wearing a dress with sleeves and pockets right now…

    Threadjack: I am getting married in September and a friend has offered to do a pre-wedding ladies’ going-out-for-tea not-a-shower party for me. Another friend has offered to do a luncheon at her home, followed by a trip to the Korean day spa.

    As you may or may not know, the Korean day spa involves being naked in front of a whole bunch of other naked woman, and while I love it, it’s definitely not everybody’s cup of tea and the guest list for that event will be chosen with that in mind and there will be full disclosure so everybody can decide whether they’re comfortable with it. It’s generally going to be a specific group of the female halves of a bunch of couples friends.

    My dilemma is whether to mention it to the friend who is planning the other party. And also whether to mention to Korean Day Spa hostess that there will be another party. I will have no trouble coming up with separate guest lists, but I imagine both events will be on social media. Should I invite each hostess to each party? Or what? Maybe I’m overthinking it but it just seems a little awkward…

    • Unless you really like the spa thing, and stripping down in front of a bunch of others, tell them you prefer Elizabeth Arden for a day spa treatment. Personally, I would not have to spend money grooming for the privilege of stripping down in front of everyone. Neither will some of your friends, particularly those who may be self conscious about their bodies.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Thanks, but that’s not the question. I am totally down with the spa thing, and I am confident that only those who will enjoy it will go — the rest will have lunch and call it a day.

        The question is how to negotiate the two events. After typing it all out I’m inclined to just invite each hostess to both events…

        • Was anyone looking for a model for how to respond to a somewhat snarky, somewhat judgmental “response” to a question that was never asked? Because Senior Attorney just gave a perfect one.

          • SoCalAtty :

            Seconded Brava!

            I think you’re inclination is right – invite to both. How fun to have all those groups that you posted down below! Weird we have similar groups…ok maybe not that weird. Add in horses and that’s about right.

    • Meg Murry :

      Is there an overlap in the friend groups? Or is it more like one is work and rotary friends, and the other is book club and church friends?

      If there isn’t an overlap, or the only overlap is something like your sister or cousin, I don’t think you need to worry too much, although it would probably be a good idea to mention it to the other hostesses – if for no other reason than to make sure they don’t schedule on the same weekend. Would either be offended to find they aren’t the only one hosting you a psuedo-shower-esq party?

      • Anonymous :

        Work, rotary, book club, and church? Is this really representative of your social network? This made me LOL, then scratch my head and wonder about just how different this community really is– which is great! My list would be more like work, college, grad school, moms. Looks like I need more hobbies!

        • Senior Attorney :

          LOL, well, it’s really more like work, Rotary (of which book club is a subset), Cycling Lads and wives/SO’s, and then random friends including some from high school, law school, tap class, recently-separated-apartment-building-neighbors, and so on.

          When you get to be my age there are a LOT of friend groups! I just remembered two of my favorite friend groups are “friends of my son” and “children of my friends!”

          • Interested in Preventative Botox :

            Please invite members of the “friends of my son” group to the Korean Spa party!

          • Anonymous :

            Please invite members of the “friends of my son” group to the Korean Spa party!

        • Wildkitten :

          My lists would be a lot like yours, Anonymous 1:44. Or rather just, work, neighbors, other. Senior Attorney is done raising her babies so I think her list is different than the list would be for a recent graduate/current mom. Also she met Mr. Attorney at Rotary so that’s a big part of their life together.

      • Anonymous :

        HA! Well, my life is work, neighbors, family and AA friends.

    • Are these two different friend groups (sounds like it if you can easily make 2 guest lists)? It’s not unusual to have multiple showers/parties prior to a wedding or baby or whatever, especially with different guest lists. Your hostesses shouldn’t have an issue with it. I’d get a nice hostess gift to thank them for their generosity. Seems a little strange to invite them to another hosted function in the name of thanks/inclusion if they wouldn’t otherwise be on the guest list.

    • anon in SV :

      Yes, disclose to both. I don’t think it’s necessary to invite each hostess to the other thing, but it’s not a secret and your’e not doing anything wrong. I would probably phrase it as “I love this thing that you’re planning for me, and I’m so excited and grateful for it. Just to let you know, someone else is planning a very very different other thing. I just didn’t want you to hear about it through the grapevine and have things be awkward. It’s so cool to have two so different and awesome events.”

      I LOVE kspa. I never feel as clean as I do after being scrubbed within in inch of my life by an old korean lady in her underwear while lying on a plastic table.

      Note to your newbie guests that one should not wear contacts to kspa, lest one get an eye infection. Ask me how I know.

    • Anonymous :

      Is there a co-ed area at the Korean spa where guests are fully dressed and can socialize and use hot-stone rooms? If there is, it may give the “shy” women the opportunity to attend the event without doing anything that makes them uncomfortable. Of course, they will still need to pay the spa fee and not get much for it…

    • lost academic :

      I love Korean spas. But you don’t have to spend any time, or much time, hanging around naked together. The jijumbang is clothed, after all. That’s what I like to spend most of my time anyway. Korean spa and day spa don’t have the same feel to me, though, so you might want to send your friends the website without trying to explain – my husband loves Korean spas but has a way of explaining them to those unfamiliar that is the most weird and creepy way possible.

  4. jumpingjack :

    I have the Vince Camuto dress in deep green and love it so much. It comes in a whole bunch of colors, but sadly almost none look good on me. It’s very flattering (and comfortable!) and yet I still feel covered up and office appropriate. I’m 5’5″ and hourglass shaped.

  5. NO! I have two of these dresses and love them and now need to order more colors because they’re sure to sell out. :) I am also 5’5″ but pear shaped and have and love the first two.

    • Shopaholic :

      Does this include the Vince Camuto dress? I love dresses with sleeves but I’m an extreme pear so I’ve had a tough time finding dresses that do not extenuate my belly.

  6. anon in SV :

    Dang it, that Vince Camuto dress is 36.5″ and the Ellen Tracy is 36.75″. Both are too short for me. I wish there was a way to filter dress length on Nordies – 38″ is my absolute minimum, but I’d rather have 40″. I need the dress to be not that far above my knees when I sit down. 36.5″ on me does not look appropriate when seated.

    • Anonymous :

      Ime the seated/standing thing is a function of the skirt style more than the actual length. Fuller skirts don’t ride up much, pencil skirts do. Skirts with more stretch are also more forgiving. I pretty much don’t buy wool pencil skirts except in suits (when I have to) because the midi length is unflattering on me and anything knee-length is going to ride up a lot.

      I would expect the Ellen Tracy and Vince Camuto dresses to be the best on this list in terms of modesty while seated.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I completely agree with you, but I tried the Vince dress on in person and it was much longer on me than expected. I’m 5’5 and it felt more like a 39 length.

  7. Anonymous :

    Another TJ:
    Today before a conference call started a coworker asked me a specific question about another project. I was engaged in getting ready for this call and I said “I don’t know” it is something I should know, but I have so many projects I didn’t want to give the wrong answer. This happens frequently, what is a better way to answer when I want to be accurate? I just needed to pull up my email to find the answer but it wasn’t a good time.

    • Yes, the better way to communicate this to your colleagues is “I don’t have the facts at my fingertips, so let me get back to you on that”!

    • I think you can just say, “I’m not sure off the top of my head. I will check and get back to you after this call/tomorrow/whenever.”

    • Um, exactly what you just told us?

      “I have a conference call in 10 minutes for a different project. Let me get back to you after with specifics.”

    • SoCalAtty :

      Frequently I find myself saying, “I need to check my notes because I have so many things on my desk right now and I don’t want to misspeak – let me get back to you!”

      I have always had a hard time matching “file names” to facts – once I glance at my notes I remember everything, but I just can’t hold all of that data in my head.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. I’ve probably got the information somewhere, and if I don’t, I know who to ask.

  8. Just started noticing some minor intermittent pins and needles in my hand, arm, and face this week and now I am worried I have MS. It’s also been a sleepless and emotionally crappy week, so I probably shouldn’t freak out quite yet, but…anything to keep in mind or help rule it out? Yes, I know y’all aren’t doctors (mostly)! But I remember a recent thread on this topic.

    • Anonymous :

      It really could just be stress. Maybe wait another week or two, get some sleep, and see if it goes away. Stress does CRAZY things to the body. My sister had this, the doctors told her she was being crazy, and she ended up being pregnant!

    • I am a doc! Pediatrician though, not neuro. Lots of things can cause pins and needles so I wouldn’t stress at this point. Pay attention to how you are sleeping- if you lie on your arm/shoulder it can impact the nerves and cause numbness and weakness, as can overuse on the computer. And I totally agree it could be stress too. It sounds like you have enough to worry about!

    • Anonymous :

      I chimed in on the other thread – a family member has very bad MS. Even if it is MS, you’ll be OK. :)

    • Are they always together, tingling at the same time (hand/arm/face in one side)? Could be migraine related. Do you have any issues with headaches or family history of migraine?

      Or is the tingling randomly on one hand or one side of the face or one arm, jumping around, not constant? That is less unlikely to be something worrying, for sure.

      And if you are stressed and not sleeping then your possibility of having tingling as a migraine equivalent is particularly high, as you can have a migraine without having head pain and migraines can be triggered by lack of sleep.

      And most of the worrying things do not have fluctuating pins/needles fortunately. It is very unlikely this is MS.

      You are going to be ok. Sleep!

  9. TJ: What is going on with my building’s parking lot? Posted in the earlier thread about witnessing a hit (park?) and run last night. Today I just witnessed a guy walk off the street pull a stash of clothes out of the bushes and change before heading off in a different direction.

    On a related note: probably shouldn’t have my home office desk facing a window….

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Please do keep your desk facing the window and update us on all the goings-on. My current office is in the basement … it gets old.

      • Ha! When I’m in the office I’m stuck in a sunless cube so I secretly LOVE working from home in front of my big window. But man have I seen some crazy stuff. Hit and runs? Check. Police Chase? Check. Riot? Check. People using the great outdoors as their toilet? Double check.

    • Wildkitten :

      Apartment living is so fun! Was he changing from a school uniform into regular clothes? Or from regular clothes into a school uniform? The kids at the local middle school often change their outfits in my alley. I assume they either ditched school that day (so changed out of uniforms for the day and have to change back to go home and trick mom) or are doing something fun after school (so changing out of uniforms after school).

      • LOL I wish it looked so harmless. It was very suspicious…then about 5 minutes after he took off there were cops everywhere.

  10. little secret :

    not telling real-life friends, but I did something a little crazy and spontaneous this weekend…I got my n*pples pierced! It’s something my husband thinks is really hot, and we’ve been fantasizing about it for years. Sunday was his birthday, we were out walking around downtown, and one thing led to another.

    I’m finding it soo fun to have this secret under my clothes at work today. I’ve never had any piercings or tattoos, and this didn’t hurt nearly as much as expected. Just feeling deviant and had to tell somebody!

  11. I have this Land’s End dress in multiple colors and love it. It makes weekly appearances, and I have to try hard not to wear the same dress, but in a different color during the same week. It’s also a thicker fabric which helps with an Arctic office temperature.

    • I was going to post the same dress! I have it, too, and it’s great.

    • I bought that dress and really liked it, and then after about 5 wears a big ol’ hole showed up in the side seam. Thank goodness they have such a good return policy.

    • +1 to this. The Ponte sheath dresses are fantastic

  12. Love this! It is a complete unicorn and I’m glad Kat found some!!

  13. I am wearing the Tahari dress in Purple today and yesterday wore the coral one (though most people think it is more on the pink side). I have the elbow length ones because I accidentally ordered these instead of the 3 quarter sleeve. They are dry clean but I wash them every week by hand and so far nothing happened.
    They are my go to dresses in my capsule wardrobe, I have one third cobalt dress from Tahari with a slightly different style and the 3 of them are my work uniform at client site (casual culture).
    I am petite and my size is 4P though I tend to be curvier on the hips and thighs and I feel this dress cinches my waist without being bodycon but has enough room around the hips so it is not clingy.
    Highly recommend them in general and the exposed zipper is something I eventually got used to.

  14. these dresses are best in colors. I have same dress & its outstanding .

  15. Yes! Land’s End makes one with three-quarter sleeves and pockets. It’s affordable, comfortable, and heavy ponte knit. I highly recommend it.

  16. Not affiliated :

    I’m not a fan of MLM, but Lularoe has the Amelia dress, which has short sleeves and pockets. Super comfortable, and some of the styles will work in professional settings. I also sometimes throw a sleeved shirt over a sleeveless dress with pockets.

  17. I submitted a design idea to Betabrand for a dress that is appropriate, is machine washable, wrinkle-resistant, is fully lined, and has big POCKETS.

    You can vote for it here if you feel like:

Add a Comment

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.

work fashion blog press mentions