26 July 2007

The can't-wait-to-wear-it-to-work dress

I realize not all of you climb out of bed each morning giddy with Christmas-Eve-like excitement over which all-black ensemble you'll assemble for work.

Just like I'll never understand how my brother can find unadulterated joy in creating "elegant code," most of you probably can't relate to the all-over tingle I experience when I discover the outfit to which Monte has given his final approval is a never-before-worn permutation of this black pouf-sleeve satin-piped boatneck blouse with that black tri-acetate ultra-slim pencil skirt with those black 4.25-inch croc-embossed almond-toed pumps.

Honestly, an all-over tingle.

To many, all-black, regardless of the cuts, the of-interest detailing or the richness of the fabrics, is representative of a kind of fashion safety - conformity, even - that perpetuates all that is wrong and boring and too-conventional on DC's professional style scene.

Pish-posh to that, I say.

But instead of launching into another one of my there's-nothing-wrong-with-all-black analyses, this time I'll go another route and acknowledge what the vast majority of the public wants, which in the case of a can't-wait-to-wear-it-to-work dress is likely not a simple black bought-in-11th-grade Banana Republic sheath. No, some of you like prints, some of you like non-black neutrals like grey, brown, navy and ivory, and still others - individuals I enjoy looking at but with whom I share very little professional-style kinship - enjoy draping themselves in this thing called "color."

With all that in mind, here is a selection of non-black (grey doesn't count), office-appropriate** frocks assured to start your day off on an I-feel-beautiful note and that will no doubt earn you "Love the dress" compliments on your way into, at, and on your way home from the office:

Alexa dress by Sofira ($352 at couturecandy.com)
Abel print dress by DvF ($241.50 at pinkmascara.com)*
Houndstooth knit jersey dress ($138 at bananarepublic.com)
Silk Duppioni Melanie dress by Tory Burch ($375 at toryburch.com)
Jackie O. tweed dress by Black Halo ($308 at ronherman.com)
Shirt dress by Lewis Cho ($110 at activeendeavors.com)
Mock turtleneck dress by Cynthia Steffe ($265 at nordstrom.com)
Plum dress by Trina Turk ($248 at nordstrom.com)*
Puff-sleeve shirtdress ($118 at macys.com)
Papillon printed border dress ($124.50 at shopbop.com)
Drape front Dolman dress by Rachel Pally ($68.40 at shopbop.com) Polka-dot shirtdress by Catherine Malandrino ($425 at urbanchiconline.com)

*dresses your Editrix might consider

**office-appropriate for those who are not required to wear a suit everyday


dc girl said...

That first royal blue dress with those Nine West peep toes (which I like *better* than the Atwood pumps, believe it or not) would make my Tuesday at the firm so much better than it's going to actually be...

And there's nothing wrong with wearing all black as long as it fits well! Don't let anyone bully you into color!

Anonymous said...

The Tory Burch dress with round toe patent leather navy pumps... You're the devil!

not a fan said...


Maxie said...

LOVE the Alexa dress by Sofira! Too dressy for my office, but I would definitely wear it out. A little too pricey for my paycheck though...

dara said...

If the Malandrino dress were a wee bit longer and more than wee bit less expensive I would snap it up in a heartbeat. Too cute. And I'd like to echo the love for the gray shoes in the sidebar. I like the Brian Atwood pumps better, but for $525 more, I'm going to have to say "not yet."

etcetera said...

still love that tory burch dress. but i think the Lewis Cho shirt dress and the mock turtleneck dress are too short for the office. i would have thought you'd nix those right off the bat!

Noelle said...

Saw the DVF dress in this month's issue of Marie Claire and thought you would love it. It's divine.

Johanna said...


I always look at the measurements of the dress, not how short/long they are on the models, because 9 times out of 10, the model in the picture is 5'11" and doesn't give an accurate impression of how the hem will fall on a woman of more "normal" height.

london girl said...

I agree with Noelle - that DvF has your name written all over it. And not just that but there's only one size left: yours.

As you always say, Jo, sometimes things are meant to be...

dc pleats said...

Johanna (off topic, but thanks for your comment)-
I think it was also the fact that I was wearing white pants and white sandals. Black just didn't match the pseudo-nautical theme I had going. Today it is a little less odd for me, as I have on black peep toes., but still kind of odd. I guess I should go for more all-black ensembles.

denver fan said...

I keep putting that Trina Turk dress in my shopping cart and then closing the window. I'll probably end up buying it before the day is out. I've never seen anything like it, and it's just so cute.