Skimming through the Chadwick’s catalog that arrived recently, I was struck by dresses. Let’s discuss their attributes:

This dress is slimming due to the vertical element in the center of the dress, drawing the eye up and down. The dark on the sides create an hour-glass shape. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a work dress that you can actually wear to work—no cleavage and the length is perfect. They paired it appropriately with sheer hose and dark shoes, but could also be worn with neutral shoes. Sheer dark hose with the dark shoes would also be acceptable. I would not wear this dress with opaque tights. It is too feminine to wear with something as heavy as tights. I would also steer clear of the boots look. Keep it simple and let the dress make you the star!

This deep purple color looks flattering on most complexions. But there is so much more about this dress that makes it great. The empire waist (sitting right under the bust line) shows off what is usually the smallest part of a woman’s body. The a-line skirt hides a rounder hip and the full skirt helps the legs look thinner. The higher neckline keeps this modest for work but the v-neck elongates the neckline, which tends to be flattering. If this is a bit too dressy for your work environment, think about this style when attending a wedding or holiday party.

This is another a-line look that hides the hip area. The tiny belt at the natural waist (compared to the empire discussed above) shows off that beautiful feminine feature, without flaunting it. Again, the higher neckline and the slightly-above-the-knee length is work appropriate. If you were to have this style of dress with a slightly longer length, it would look fabulous with a pair of boots. If wearing it with boots, I would recommend the black tights with classic black boots.

What Went Wrong

While the v-neckline is often flattering on many women, this one is too deep for an office environment. Even if your chest is small enough to not have cleavage, it suggests that you want people looking for it. Usually diagonal lines are flattering, but these drape and crisscross causing too much distraction. The legs are look cut off and the shoes look too chunky for this dress.

While the color of the top of the dress is stunning and very flattering, the draping neck is over the top. A soft cowl neckline can be very flattering, but this one drapes down to the waist area. This causes the eye to look down rather than up. You always want the attention to be drawn up to your face. Additionally, not too many women have a small enough mid section that they are willing to add that much more bulk. I’m not sure what is going on with the darker color in the center of the torso. This dress actually breaks the body into three sections. Again, every time we have a break, it adds weight.

Which dress would you wear to work? Why or why not?