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?

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