I've been doing some temp work this week, and I have to confess that I've been enjoying the challenge of dressing for the office. I am sure that I won't feel this way when I have to work five days a week, but for now I'm having fun trying new combinations of pencil skirts, button-down shirts, and heels.
But in this office, there are all these devastatingly fierce women strutting around in power suits and perfectly tailored dresses. Today, it seemed like everyone was wearing grey dresses, which is a smart way to bring feminine fashion into the workplace, without offending any dress codes. A Little Black Dress at work can, with the wrong accessories (too high heels, too glittery a necklace), look too fancy or sexy--as if you don't know the difference between cocktail hour and lunch meetings. A Little Grey Dress, however, is just right: more conservative than a colorful or print dress, but still with enough personality. Here's how I want to imitate the look when I'm a corporate HBIC.
You can't do much better than this Magaschoni Wool Dress, $129. The bateau neckline is sexy/modest in that Jackie Kennedy way, and the pleated skirt with pockets makes this more interesting than your typical shift dress. If you have buff arms, the cap sleeves are insanely flattering; if you'd rather cover up, add a cropped cardigan or jacket and then layer over a thin belt in a statement color like red or yellow.
Speaking of belts, this Banana Republic Wool Sheath Dress, $149, is the ideal blank canvas for a hot corset-style belt or a trendy double-wrap leather belt. The slightly exaggerated shoulders also give you an hourglass silhouette (without going full-on 80's, which, I don't care what the fashion press says, is not a good idea). This dress is good for offices that are a little more creative--it's a big short, especially if you're on the leggy side. On the other hand, it gets colder everyday, and once it's tights season you can get away with a little bit more, length-wise.
Now for a slightly cheaper option, if you're more of a cubicle-dweller than mistress of the corner office. From Modcloth, the Hold My Calls Dress, $84.99, practically screams, "I'm young, I'm ambitious, and I'm not afraid to look good while I work harder than anyone else." This dress is a bit of a combo between the two previous: the pleating and pockets of the Magaschoni, with the shoulders and wasp waist of the Banana Republic. In the Modcloth lookbook, they added a brightly-colored pin to the shoulder--that's the perfect excuse to spend an afternoon combing through vintage and handmade brooches on Etsy!
At this temp job I'm currently in, I spend the entire day sitting behind a receptionist desk. It's a mixed blessing--since I'm not running around, I can wear uncomfortable-but-hot heels, but since I'm sitting, no one ever sees them but me. But sometimes that's enough, as I expect would be the case with these Chunk of Change mary-jane heels, $56, from Lulu's. The grey suede body will match your dress quite nicely, while the teal heel and oversized strap adds a lot of personality. These shoes deserve to be shown off--maybe I can answer the phones and greet guests standing up?