Work Dresses That WORK: My Closet Must-Haves

work dresses that work

Trendy can be fun, but timeless is the fashion realm I prefer to live in.

Do I enjoy reading about edgy, daring looks? Sure. However, I’m really a classics girl at heart. I would rather resemble the etheral Audrey Hepburn or exude the subtle glamour of Grace Kelly, than dabble in attire that might look tired after one season. But this inclination isn’t solely about style. For me, it really comes down to versatility and frugality. I’ve spent most of my working life in an industry (TV news) that demands high-end looks, but doesn’t offer the pay to match. What’s a woman to do? Well… You learn to shop smart and strategically. You pay attention to sales, but also invest in quality items that stand the test of time. In short, you find work dresses that are work horses.

  • These are pieces that morph easily from day to night.
  • They feel current, but maintain a traditional shape/cut.
  • They are well-made with quality fabrics.
  • And most importantly, they accentuate your best features, allowing YOU to shine.

Maggy London Work DressMidi Dress | Bow Heels | Gingham Bag | Watch

That’s where Maggy London comes in…

I was delighted to partner with Maggy for this post, because I’ve had a crush on this brand since my post-college days. At the time, my clothing budget was nil. However, I had a job interview and needed to feel powerful. I remember combing through store racks looking for something sophisticated and feminine. My fingers stopped on a black Maggy sheath dress with white piping around the collar. It was beautiful. It embodied the elegant, professional woman I hoped to become perfectly. And guess what? It was worth the investment! I’m STILL wearing it, more than a decade later.

I’ve added a number of Maggy London pieces to my closet since then, including this lovely lemon number and have never been disappointed. In fact, Maggy London is one of the brands I recommend to those preparing for on-camera media appearances. Maggy’s focus on updated, yet timeless silhouettes makes it easy to put your best fashion foot forward. Plus, Maggy styles are versatile! Need proof?

With just A few quick style swaps, I was able to take the Lois Midi (also available in a cream & blue shade) from daytime to date night. Before we dive into the specifics of these looks, I want to talk quickly about what to look for when you are investing in you work wardrobe. Follow these tips and you’ll snag a work dress that will serve you beautifully for years.

Work dresses how to style

Work Dresses that WORK: What to look for

  • Accentuate the positives: What do you love about your body? Choose a dress that highlights that. For me, it’s my waistline. I gravitate toward styles with definition or detailing at the waist.
  • High quality fabrics & construction: Usually, you can tell if a garment is well made immediately when you pick it up. Pay attention to fabric weight, as well as how it moves, falls and creases when you sit and stand. There’s nothing worse than a dress that constantly looks rumpled. Lining is usually a sign of a quality piece.
  • Tailored, yet modest fit: When shopping for a work dress, fit is everything. You want it to be tailored, not tight. You also want to consider comfort. After all, you’ll be in it 9-5 and beyond! I usually choose higher necklines for work styles, to avoid feeling over-exposed.
  • Sleeves vs. sleeveless: This point might be contentious. However, for most women (especially those working on camera), dresses with sleeves are infinitely more flattering. No matter how toned your arms may be, sleeveless options are tougher to wear than 3/4, cap, elbow or full length styles.
  • Bold color or unique detailing: When you stick with classic shapes, you need to inject interest somewhere to keep the modernity. I do that by seeking vibrant color and eye-catching “extras.” This dress offers both. The lemon shade screams spring and the shoulder/waistline area is super slimming with its V-shape detailing. Wear it and you feel trimmer instantly!

From Day to Night

work dressesWork Dress How to StyleMidi Dress | Bow Heels | Gingham Bag | Watch

For the daytime look, I kept my accessories simple to allow the beautiful dress to take center stage. I paired the crepe, fully lined, cap sleeve style with a fun gingham bag (has a removable strap if you want it to carry it over your shoulder) and the sweetest little bow heels (just $35!). The shoulder and waistline detailing of the dress is so pretty, I felt like a necklace would compete. Instead, I stuck with simple earrings and my favorite watch.

Maggy London Evening LookMaggy London Evening LookMaggy London Work Dress

Midi Dress | Bowknot Anklestrap Heels | Faux Leather Flyaway JacketNude Clutch (similar)

You might think a springy, yellow dress can’t transition to a sassy evening-appropriate look. However, this piece really goes the distance! Pack a shoe change and great jacket and you’re ready to dash directly from the office to dinner and drinks. I used black and faux leather to add a bit of edge to the look. This flyaway jacket is great to keep on hand at work for quick changes. Isn’t it amazing how different this dress can appear when you pair it with another layer?

Photos by: Velvet Lotus Photography



  1. Natalie | 1st Mar 19

    I am always looking for new ways to spice up my work outfits! I love this!

    • laveremis | 2nd Mar 19

      Thanks for stopping by the blog Natalie! So happy I could provide a few ideas.

  2. Michael | 2nd Mar 19

    Thanks for sharing. Love the title. So witty

    • laveremis | 2nd Mar 19

      Glad you enjoyed it! I do love a slightly cheesy title. 🙂

  3. Susan m Quackenbush | 2nd Mar 19

    The Lois Midi is awesome. I love it when a dress is made with quality fabrics & construction.

    • laveremis | 4th Mar 19

      You and me both Susan! When I’m making purchases for work purposes or in classic styles, I always look for quality. Maggy London has always served me well in that regard.

  4. Melanie Frost | 2nd Mar 19

    I’m only 5’0 myself and I am totally scared to wear shoes that tie at the ankles. But girrll, you rocked that look. Makes me want to try it myself!

    • laveremis | 4th Mar 19

      Yes! I love meeting a fellow petite. My height is the primary reason I wear heels. You actually would be surprised at how wearable the shoes are. The thicker ankle strap offers some decent support. I wouldn’t recommend walking miles in them, but they were fine for a several block trek to dinner!

  5. preeg | 3rd Mar 19

    that is such a nice style, it looks so clean and cozy, this is a big help i might tru that kind of style

  6. Christa | 3rd Mar 19

    You look gorgeous! I absolutely love this midi dress. The stitching at the waistline is so flattering and lovely.

    • laveremis | 4th Mar 19

      That stitching was what grabbed my attention too! Great style is always in the little details like that, right? Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  7. GladysNava | 4th Mar 19

    Oh wow! I am so impressed with that yellow dress, so elegant and beautiful. Love it..

    • laveremis | 4th Mar 19

      Maggy London really has some amazing options this season! Thanks for visiting the blog.

  8. Becca Wilson | 4th Mar 19

    The cut of this yellow dress is absolutely stunning. I love how you have paired it with this jacket. So beautiful!

    • laveremis | 4th Mar 19

      Thank you! Isn’t it fun how simple switches can dramatically transform a look?

  9. Angie | 4th Mar 19

    What a gorgeous yellow dress! I love how versatile it is. You can wear it to work and even to dinner after!

    • laveremis | 5th Mar 19

      Exactly! That’s what I thought the moment I spotted it. I always want my pieces to pull doubled duty! Thanks for visiting Angie.

  10. Bindu Thomas | 15th Mar 19

    Great outfit and you look absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

    • laveremis | 15th Mar 19

      Hi Bindru, thank you for the kind words and taking the time to visit the blog!

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