Style by Claire Lopez

The Holy Grail?

What is the holy grail for many woman you may ask…? Well other than children who actually listen to her or a husband who does not leave the toilet seat up, it is a nine to nine dress, the piece that will take you from work to drinks, from holiday to a swanky restaurant. It’s not rocket science, it’s just a versatile dress that you can go more or less anywhere in. If your office environment is more about the smart casual than the super smart, then this is one for you. Likewise, if you have a casual lifestyle but have the occasional need of something  bit dressier, then this is also for you.

So here goes. There are a few go-to places for this type of dress which can often be a little black dress but definitely doesn’t have to be. It isn’t going to be a structured body-con dress because that is a different level of smart. These little numbers score high in the effortless stakes with an insouciant ‘chuck-on’ feel to them.

Starting off with Whistles which has a couple of great styles in at the moment including the Paige V Neck Crepe Dress £120. This is a lovely cocoon shape and the flattering v neckline is a good slimming aid.

They also have this Lucia Tie Sleeve Dress £120 if you want something to cover your arms. Both of these would be great for work and you could very easily wear with brogues or loafers if you aren’t a heel-wearing lady. But they also translate to the evening either with ankle boots or heels as they have been styled here.

Jigsaw is another good option and has several minimalist looking pieces such as this Golden Ratio Dress £149 which looks very modern and has the benefit of not being all black. Another sleeved number, it means you don’t need to worry about a jacket to go over the top. This would definitely be pepped up by a nice necklace.

There is also the Clean Knit Shift Dress £129 which is super simple but pair it with a killer necklace and heels and you have a gorgeous little number that can paint the town red too.

This Window Pane Tunic Dress £149 is wool and perfect for the office but the trainers also work nicely to dress it down.

If you are looking for more for your money then there are plenty of options under the £100 mark and Cos is a great place to head. You do have to be careful to pick out the less gigantic pieces as they are certainly generous on the material and sizing front and this does not always end up being the most flattering – aka you can look like you are wearing a shapeless sack/tent. But there are a couple of gems in at the moment and it is always a good idea to size down to get something a bit more sleek.

This Flared Sleeve Dress £79 comes in this amazing blue, navy and black. What works very well with these pieces is adding a longer line necklace as they have done. This breaks up the single colour and adds a lovely bit of interest. As an aside, they do also have some great jewellery.

They also have this Soft Pleat A-line Dress £69 in green and navy. Which just goes to show you don’t have to stick to dark colours to get a versatile dress.

And finally they have this Standing Collar Dress £69 also in green as well as navy.

The other Scandi brand to head to is &Other Stories which has a similar aesthetic to Cos but is much more feminine. This Back Slit Dress £45 comes in this print, black and orange. You can also see how easily the dresses work in a casual and smarter way depending on how they are styled.

Given that sleeves are a big deal this season, an on-trend piece would be this Flare Slit Sleeve Dress £55.

While Hush is more generally about casual clothing, it does have a few options that can easily be worn dressed up or down. For a simple option try the Fearne Dress £65.

For something with a bit more going on detail wise, there is the Juniper Ruched Dress £69.

Or alternatively the Cala Wrap Dress £75 which also comes in cream if you want a summer option.

And lastly, if you want a bit of print, then the Leonie Dress £59 is for you.

So here we have it, your whistle-stop tour of the ultimate in chuck-on dresses to re-vamp your wardrobe. All you need to do is change your footwear, jewellery and accessories and you have several outfits for the price of one. It’s easy as 1,2,3 as the song goes. Much easier than getting to obedient children and husbands…




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