There are some types and styles of clothing that simply aren’t appropriate for work, and there are some that you think you can’t get away with, but actually can. The maxi dress is a prime example of a garment that people don’t think is suitable for the work environment but can actually be perfect, as well as very comfortable.
However, to wear a maxi dress to work and still look professional and smart, you need to know what maxi to choose and what to wear it with. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Take a plain black maxi (not too tight or clingy) and wear it with a crisp white blazer for a razor-sharp monochrome look that is both fashionable and professional. Keep your accessories neutral and minimalistic, and throw on a pair of simple black heels to complete the look.
- Choose a navy and white striped maxi dress (other colours will do just as well) in an empire cut, a reasonably high neckline and short sleeves. Wear it with the smartest looking black belt you can find, as well as a pair of black heels. Wearing it without a jacket is fine as your shoulders are covered, but you can throw on a black blazer jacket if you have a meeting to go to.
- Wear a grey or other neutral coloured jersey maxi dress with a cropped colourful cardigan and a brown or black belt. Match low or kitten heels with the colour of your belt and add a necklace if you like, but make sure it isn’t too fussy or colourful. This is a brighter, more laid-back look for spring and summer, perfect for offices with a more casual dress code.
When putting together a maxi dress look for the office, there are a few rules to remember. For example:
- Loose, baggy and slouchy maxi dresses should be avoided
- Structured shape maxi dresses and those made out of thicker, stiffer fabrics are more appropriate for the work environment
- Loud patterns and bright floral prints are suitable for holidays, not the office (unless it’s summer and dress-down Friday)
- Remember that a belt can instantly transform a maxi dress from casual to smart
- Bare shoulders and cleavage should be covered up as much as possible
- Never, ever wear a maxi dress with a leg split for work (save these for the beach)
- Strapless or bandeau maxis will never be right for work
- When buying a maxi dress, look for empire line cuts and tailored shapes that will fit your body properly without looking too loose or too clingy.
Christine Felton is a writer at Fashion Union provider of on trend women’s clothing in the UK.