Over the years I’m sure you’ve noticed the relaxed attire trending in the halls of your workplace on Fridays or out in the streets, with the popular wear being ‘jeans and blazer’ #howso2000’s! However, with the advent of trendy contemporary styles, there’s no need to fall prey to the up-and-coming new outfits of the day, nor do you have to succumb to overdressing or under- dressing. But how do you spice things up without looking too ‘Victorian Burlesque’? In this article, let’s focus on dresses because they are some of the simplest alternatives to the boring old jeans, blazer, and T-shirt.
Let’s begin by highlighting three styles, the Dolman dress, the shift dress and the midi dress.
The term Dolman originates from the cultural Turkish wear, a long dress with loose sleeves. I know it sounds very unsexy and cloak-like, but it’s actually one of the most flattering styles for all body types. Reason being, with a Dolman dress you can accessorize without going overboard with belts, fancy heels etc. Dolman dresses are somewhat of a mix between, ‘I’m corporate but I’m also relaxed’ and ready to have some after work fun. But be careful, don’t over accessorize. Pick a fabric that’s flowy, comfortable on the skin, and has a neutral tone. If you’re going to add some levity, be subtle about it. Try something that flatters you. You don’t want to go from boring old Suzie in the corner cubicle to ‘Is it her birthday, why is she dressed like that?’ all in one day.
Shift dresses – my own personal favorite – are somewhat similar to Dolman dresses but with more structure. It also has a history of being known as the flapper dress during the roaring 20s. Have you seen The Great Gatsby? The shift dress is a cross between a T-shirt and a dress, not too tight-fitting but not too loose. This style is perfect for you if you’re someone who wants to easily transition from the jeans-blazer club. The shift dress has also been deemed to give women a feeling of independence and confidence as it is somewhat of an androgynous style. If you don’t believe me, just google Jackie Kennedy’s shift dress. It’s simply a go-to way to be chic and powerful.
Midi dresses, on the other hand, are usually portrayed in a sexier, figure-hugging way with contemporary style; which I believe is more embraced in our culture, even in the workplace. To tone it down, cardigan or shawl it up. And yes, you can find and wear both right in your playground. I think quite a few women here are afraid to wear the midi dress to the office as well as the scarf for fear of being judged. I, for one, am a HUGE lover of scarves. Proud owner of 10 to be exact. A scarf can make you feel more confident in the way you wear this skin-hugging piece without the feeling that ‘the eyes are watching.’ It’s simple and requires minimal effort. As an alternative, Midi dresses can also be a compilation of all three styles highlighted. Add to that a pair of flats and relax as you work your way through that pile of documents on your desk. After all, it’s Friday and the mind is more productive when it’s less stressed.
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Until next time.