What I wore today: brown knit dress

I have a schedule – more or less – of what KIND of outfits I wear to work for each day of the week. Monday – slacks and blouse. Tuesday – dress. Wednesday – slacks and blouse. Thursday – depends on what I feel like. Friday – jeans and shirt. There are exceptions of course: a client visit, a work-from-home-day, or Red Sox tickets after a day’s work will all affect my choices. (As will the weather.)

Brown knit dress

Brown knit dress

Today being a Tuesday, I wore a dress. My favorite dresses for work are knit dresses. I probably own six or so knit dresses. Why?

1) They machine wash
2) They’re comfortable
3) Done right, they look pretty good
4) They do not wrinkle
5) They are a moderate weight, good for layering (or not)

Did I mention that they machine wash?

Today’s brown dress is a good two season dress. I’m not sure I’d wear it in spring just because brown is not a very springy color. It also doesn’t layer as well as some of my other knit dresses, so I probably wouldn’t bother with it in winter. I pair it with sandals in summer, or with boots, tights and a sweater in fall. It can dress way up or way down, depending on how I want to play it. I could wear this dress to the theater easily. At the same time, with casual jewelry, shoes or a sweater, it doesn’t look out of place in the office. It’s not going to knock someone’s socks off with how amazing I look, but I can live with that.

There are two tragic failings to the knit dress (in general). The first is panty lines. The second is bulges. Knit looks good, but it hides nothing. Part of what makes it comfortable – that lovely give it has – also means it, er, outlines everything and forgives nothing. You will feel comfortable in a knit dress that is too small. You will look sausage-esque. The solution I’ve adopted to both these problems is either a) not to care (especially with my looser knit dresses) or b) to wear spanx. I have a whole paen to spanx lined up, defending them from the very judgement I myself weighed upon them before I actually owned them… but for now let’s just say that they fix the panty line and bulge issues nicely.

So here’s today’s fashion lineup for an 80 degree summer Tuesday at the office:
Straightish/wavy hair with barrette
Diamond stud earrings
Standard makeup
Caramel-colored rose necklace (custom made by Laureen)
Cocoa brown knit dress (this one is Dress Barn – most of them are Chaps from Kohl’s)
Brown sandals

What do you think? Where would you wear this outfit? (Or would you ever wear it.) What changes should I make to be more office appropriate? What outfit did you wear today? Do you have a “regular schedule” of outfits?

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Natalie
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 15:59:10

    Well, the one thing I would say with regard to the knit dress is that the dress you have pictured here has structure and a nice defined waist, which (although cozy and washable) makes it look classy and professional.

    With regards to the outfit on the whole, I would add that, when you stock with subtle base pieces that lend well to layering (a must, especially when you wind up packing for business trips on a regular basis), and you are less layered due to the warm weather, it is nice to add a snazzy shoe. Something with a pop of color. I have recently begun exploring the realm of eye catching footwear. And I’m not talking about my orange Keens, which I use to tromp into work.

    I am co-chairing a professional organization committee meeting tonight, so I am in a gray skirt & black jacket with a green & blue tones shell and some “snazzy” (i.e. two-toned) shoes. I only get dressier than this when meeting with a client.

    Reply

  2. Ellen
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 16:28:35

    I think that is quite a nice outfit and not very different from what I might wear, though I tend to favor sandals with a *slight* heel to accentuate my ankles (I have nice ankles).

    I second the snazzy shoe suggestion above as well – that would work very well with that dress.

    Reply

  3. Jodi
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 17:01:33

    Yay for the easy knit dress. Style is important here though. I work in a business formal environment for the most part, and have to pass up some of the knit dress options at Dress Barn (there is one close to my office so I do a lot of dress shopping there).

    I have long legs and thus a short torso, so more tailored dresses tend to fit me weird. They are too low cut in the front since the waist is too long for me, or the neckline is too wide/open and the shoulders keep falling off. I am 37 and only figured this out (that I’m short torsoed) 2 years ago! Fit/tailoring is much more important with dresses than pants/tops or pants/skirts, so that will also limit the dresses I can wear to work. For something nice (like my brother’s wedding) I splurged on a tailor. For work, I just don’t care enough. 🙂

    Thanks for the upcoming spanx post. I’ve wanted to get some new ‘foundation garments’ now that I’m post-baby. Mostly because I have a difficult time finding slips of the proper color/length and the ‘smoothing’ benefit would not hurt one bit. My problem is I want to try things on, but the places to find that kind of stuff around here is lacking (or I get frustrated from one failed attempt and give up).

    I can’t tell if there is polish on your toes or not from the pic. In my office the norm amoungst the women is that bare toes must be polished in some capacity. It is a pain in the butt, but it keeps me splurging on the time to paint them up at home once baby is asleep. And it seems like a decadent treat. 🙂

    Reply

  4. bflynn
    Aug 15, 2012 @ 17:10:50

    Jodi – my toenails are polished an iridescent pink. I got a pedicure right before a wedding two weeks ago. I agree that (in general) if you are wearing open toed shoes your toe nails should probably be polished.

    I have the opposite build – I’m long torsoed. Maybe that’s why I like dresses like this so much!

    Reply

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