Retailers specialising in larger sizes often forget to include work-appropriate options in their sea of pretty vintage dresses. Retailers seem to have forgotten that plus size women want tailored trousers, sharp blazers, lined skirts, and elegant blouses as much as our straight sized counterparts.
When I started working in a corporate environment (now 3 years ago) I lived in wrap dresses cause there were very few other options open to me. Now, I love a good wrap dress but I do want a little diversity in my wardrobe so I thought I’d share with you some easily achievable looks available out there.
First up is a real spring/summer look: a simple chiffon shirt dress with a pastel trench coat, bare legs, and neutral toned heels. It’s a classic look that will never really go out of style – simple, chic, and elegant.
I love items like this work, understated dresses in timeless cuts. This Yours Clothing dress is the perfect example of this. The bold monochrome stripes make the simple cut with tie waist stylish and the zip effect neckline add a playful edge.
The dress appears fairly short on me – sitting mid-thigh. I find this an acceptable length for work but wouldn’t go any shorter. I should add that I’m 5ft10 so I would imagine this would sit longer on people shorter than me.
Anything shorter than this dress is a real no go for me at work – last thing I want it for my knickers to flash whilst climbing the stairs to my first floor office – or whilst bending to retrieve papers from the printer (we’ve all seen it happen)!
The dress is a size 18 but does come up a little small – it’s a little tight across my shoulders and bust which causes the slight twisting of the zip across my chest. It is not uncomfortably tight but, as I’m normally between a 16 and 18, I would definitely suggest sizing up in this dress.
I do have to say, despite the slight sizing issue, Yours Clothing has got it right with this dress. The chiffon-feel polyester blend is lightweight and hangs beautifully – too many fabrics of this kind stick uncomfortably under my arms and make me sweaty. This is not the case with this dress which moves and flows easily across my skin. I love the rolled-up sleeves that allow your skin to breath whilst keeping you covered.
The adjustable neckline also means you can amend how much décolletage you can have on show – something that I’m always very aware of before heading into a meeting. The last thing I want it for the focus of a presentation to be on my cleavage – oh the perils of curves in the workplace!
It was a sunny day when taking these pictures, so I’ve styled it with pastels and nudes legs but it would work equally well with opaque black tights and court shoes. I also like the idea of adding a pop of colour with my electric blue courts and a colourful blazer.
The shoes are my new spring/summer shoes – an update on my usual blush pink courts. The strap means that they give me a little more support for my gammy leg and, being from Clarks, they come with those blessed padded soles. They’re super comfy and easy to walk in – although, being leather, do take a little bit of softening!
The shirt dress is priced at £32 which is very reasonable for something so classic and timeless – and something that can be worn so many different ways.
Yours Clothing seems to be doing good on the affordable yet stylish workwear front – I’ve spotted some cute tailored shorts and pinafore dresses that may be making an appearance in my wardrobe later in the year.
Sunglasses – Past Season Armarni
Coat – past season Studio 8 (reviewed here)
Do you have any workwear favourites? I’d love to know any workwear hints or tips you may have in the comments below and I’ll be back next Sunday with a second look to share with you all.
C x x