Maxi Dresses Are NOT Work Appropriate
Everyday I witness the fashion faux pas of women wearing maxi dresses to work. They walk from the metro or get out of their cars and head into Government office buildings wearing jersey dresses paired with a shrug or cardigan and flip flops.
Now I know everyone is allowed to express themselves and showcase their style; I agree with that sentiment. But, there is a time and place for everything. The workplace is neither the time nor place to wear your favorite maxi dress.
When you’re meeting with your colleagues, discussing your performance with your boss or meeting a company client for an important meeting, you want to look polished, while still showcasing your personal style. What you don’t want to do is look like you’re heading to a cookout at that starts at 4pm.
I get it; the summer season is hot and you want your outfit to be easy, hassle free. Believe me, I want an outfit that has the same qualities too. But a maxi dress isn’t the way to go in order to achieve an office appropriate summer look. If you want to wear a dress during the summer season, consider these options in light colors and fabrics (i.e. cotton, linen, silk and chambray):
1) Sheath Dress
A sheath dress is designed to fit close to the body. They typically fall right at the knee or slightly above. Sheath dresses are great options to tastefully show off one’s figure and help define a waist. A lot of sheath dresses have a high neckline; avoid if you have a large chest. For those who want to camouflage their midsection, seek sheath dresses that have ruching. Dresses in a pattern will help distract attention from a problem area. Places to shop include Eloquii, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Dress Barn, TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
2) A-Line Dress
The a-line silhouette has been dubbed one of the most flattering. However, based on your body type, you have to be careful how much flare you have. You don’t want the dress to over power you. In general, a-line skirts are great at helping balance out ones body. The key is to look for dress necklines and straps that are the most flattering. Places to shop include Nordstorm, Lord & Taylor, ModCloth, The Limited.
3) Wrap Dress
Every woman should own a wrap dress! The can fit like a sheath dress or an a-line dress. A wrap dress is the easiest dress to throw on. On those days you really don’t want to think about what to wear to work, grab a wrap dress (or faux wrap dress) and go! These dresses look great in a variety of patterns; adding visual interest to an outfit. Places to shop for wrap dresses include Diane Von Furstenberg, Banana Republic, Talbots and Nordstrom.
The only time wearing a maxi dress could be appropriate is in a creative work environment. If that is the case, a maxi should be paired with a structured piece like a blazer and shoes other than flip flops.
What do you think? Maxis at work? What fashion faux pas have you witnessed in the workplace?
I’m not sure I agree 100% on this sentiment(just being a little devil’s advocate;). I think a number of factors come into play on whether or not a maxi can be worn in the office. What type of job do you have and what kind of office do you work in? Not everyone has a client facing occupation. As you said, it could be appropriate if they work in a more creative atmosphere, or their office may be less ‘buttoned up’ and more relaxed than most. What type of fabric your maxi is made of? Jersey is a much more relaxed fabric, than say a silk or linen. What type of footwear you have on? a heeled sandal can make a dress look much more polished versus a slip on or flip flop. What do you have on top of the maxi? Like you mentioned a structured blazer will definitely look more pulled together than a cardigan. Also the length and shape play a big part. A full a line, vs a slim cut can make the maxi look no different than wearing a longer pencil skirt depending on how close it is to the ankle. I have worn maxis in the office on various occasions,(I’m in a corp.non-creative position) but I do take into account the above when pulling my look together to make sure I don’t look BBQ bound.
Good advice! I think the biggest work place no-no is clothes that are too short and too tight. All kinds of inappropriate. In general though, I’m really not loving this “summer boot” madness. Why would anyone want to cover their feet in hot leather when its 90 degrees outside?
Of course it depends on the work environment. However, most people I have seen wear them don’t take the extra step to make it look like they aren’t going to a BBQ. I usually see jersey dresses with shrugs and flip flops. Folks have just gotten lazy. I think when someone is in doubt whether or not to wear them or not sure how to style them, they should steer clear and save them for the weekend.
LOL! I wore military boots to the Beyonce concert! Those style boots work all year round; they are great for music festivals; I wouldn’t want a bunch of randoms stepping on my feet. Too short & too tight is another one we always see during the summer. SMH
I started laughing when I saw this post because I certainly wear Maxi dresses to work. I only do it because my work environment is business casual on the liberal side and I really only wear maxi dresses if I know I have no meetings or client visits that day. Any other time I love wearing my A-line dresses!
We have this conversation right? I personally haven’t seen one person come to work and not look like they were going to a picnic afterwards. I don’t see myself wearing this to work unless it’s casual friday and even then, the right shoes, and length come into play, also cardigans or blazers play a factor. I wore one to work one time the material was nice but I still got some “compliments” that were followed up with snark. Never again.
Yes I think we did chat about this when we went to dinner! I think it’s just best not to wear them in the workplace. Save them for after work and weekends.