Monday, August 9, 2010

Make Believe Monday | Shirtdress

The classic shirtdress, while a casual staple, can also be professionalized for the office. Which is why I'm adding it to my wish list.

Some tips on wearing a shirtdress in the office.
  • Wear a slip. Or a cami + half-slip.  Even a well-fitting shirtdress--one that won't gape between buttons--runs the risk of some gape-age, especially as you walk around all day.
  • Watch the length. Yes, it might be only an inch above the knee, but how many inches until the first button?  I don't know if there is an actual rule for this, so just go with your gut feeling.
  • Fabric can be magic. If there is one aspect of a shirtdress that can really set a casual one apart from a professional one, it's the fabric. Pick one that won't have any showthrough, or a thicker weave for durability. 
  • Details, details. Tab sleeves, belts, and take your pick of sleeve lengths and skirt styles. The options are endless. 
Here are some of my picks from around the web.

I love the slimness and length of this short-sleeve dress.

This three-quarter sleeve beauty has a nice high waist and some volume in the skirt to accentuate the cinched waist.

I love the patch pockets on this dress, and the sleeves look long enough to roll into whatever length you want.

And of course, what better for a casual Friday than a shirtdress in denim. Love the sweet tie-waist and full skirt here, too.

Now that I think about it, I might need more than one of these on my wish list.

Here's an example of how a basic khaki shirtdress gets office ready. (Just checked out Polyvore for the first time this weekend and I feel a new obsession coming on...creating sets!)

Are you a shirtdress in the office gal, or do you reserve it for more casual days?


  1. I only have one (and I'm not even sure that it can fully be considered a shirtdress because the skirt is a skirt, it's only the top portion that has buttons), but it's denim and that's a no-no for my office.

    These are all great, I need to go buy some more so that I can wear them to work!

  2. Absolutely! I also only have one, but it's a taupe color from a spring collection. I wear it spring-fall-winter, since it has long sleeves, which I usually roll up. With heels, it's perfect office wear.

  3. i have always wanted a shirt dress! but every one that i see is expensive. i guess its an investment piece. i want a blue one, please.

  4. I love shirt dresses! I actually love thrifting them!

  5. Thanks for the inspo! I bought a shirtdress very similar to the CK one you have styled so I am getting more ideas on how to style it once my 30-for-30 is over :)

  6. I wear them, but only on casual days or Fridays. REALLY love the Talbots option...It could be styled kind of safari chic & would be so great! And welcome to Polyvore! :)

  7. @melissa - I don't think a shirtdress has to button all the way down, but I'm not sure. I have one like that too, in khaki, but it's not really good for work either. :(

    @Faith - I was looking for a long-sleeve one! Yours sounds great.

    @t - It's only worth the investment if you find one that fits well so that you'll wear it. Mine was an investment when I got it back in early college, but I never wear it. Not really worth it. As with all things, though, it is possible to hunt down good deals!

    @liz - Great idea! I'm so itching to go thrifting when my shopping diet is over. A coworker said she'll make me a map of where she thrifts for nice work clothes!

    @eek - Awesome! I can't wait to see it on your blog. Good luck on your 30...looks like you're doing great so far.

    @Jeanna - Thanks! Yeah, I could see shirtdresses being on the casual side for some offices.

  8. I love shirt dresses but it seems people overdo them sometimes so I think I'm kinda over them for now..

    clothed much, a modest fashion blog

  9. I don't have any shirt dresses. I didn't really love them until I saw Sally wear a dress under a dress. Here's a recent example but I've seen her do it a few times. and now I want a button down dress of some sort.

    I think if it were jean i would not wear it to the office, but other shirt dresses I may wear.

  10. @elaine--I hear ya...I'm not a fan of the casual, supershort almost-nightie looking ones, but I still like the office ones (well, I'm not sick of them yet, since I don't have any) :)

    @Colleen - yeah, Sally does those! It's pretty cool when she does it, but I'm afraid I couldn't pull that off. Would love to see if you try it out, though!


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