When choosing what to wear for work you might first think of a suit, maybe secondly of skirt and blouse, but what works easily is the business dress. There are different types and some small rules to think about then choosing your new dress for work. But this piece is easy to wear, to carry for travel as well as to be combined with any blazer or jacket.

A dress as symbol for feminism

When you think of big leaders you will associate a suit to their look. When looking at Angela Merkel or most other politicians you will never see a dress. A dress is not an expression for power. A dress is always associated to a feminine look and lightness. But a dress is important for work as it will make your look less business formal. A little bit less strict.

Further we want equality in the world of business. We work towards men and women with same rights and possibilities and same salaries. So why not to wear a dress if you want? Listen to yourself instead of “what others believe”. If you wear a dress with a serious look, if you are confident and you know how to talk, this little feminine touch will be welcome.

The little black dress for business

Coco Chanel did create in 1926 a dress which is until today in fashion. Since this fashion piece has been copies endless times. Though we believe Coco does not mind as she said” If you want to be original, be ready to be copied”. We believe she would be pretty happy with the little black dressing spreading over the world.

The Chanel dress was an entirely black design revolting against the cocktail-dress fashion at that time. Long sleeves, no cleavage and all made of a knitted material out of which before mainly underwear has been made. This piece was a rebel and a whole new trend.

But black is not just black. The material out of which de dress is made influences strongly the look. The Jersey which Coco did choose for her dress is a flexible stretchy material smoothly adapting to the morphology.

This shockingly simple dress is until today a piece which old and young can wear. Possible for work as for an evening occasion this dress is an all-rounder. It fulfils the basic needs to feel beautiful and elegant. 

If you are looking for your black dress, first of all it needs to be black. But pay also attention to material and cut. You need a dress which you could literally wear every day all day long. This dress will be one of your key pieces and needs to be comfortable. It should end around the knee – this length will make it easy to be combined without being too short. Last but not least it is a simple black dress and needs accessories around like blazer, scarf, shoes and bag which can be in different colours.

Etui dress for business

The word etui is French and means sleeve or protective case. The same should be this dress for you and help you in your daily confidence.

Created in 1918 this dress was invented in a period when fabric was limited and clothes have been worn and repaired endless times. This is how the dress was created from old long dresses, jackets and coats with long sleeves. The result are dresses with short sleeves and round or oval neckline. The etui dress is basically a result of upcycling.

As in the beginning this type of dress is made of tailor fabric which is stiff and not very flexible. Choose well your dress to be comfortable as this dress won’t allow much change.

As the sleeves are short you need a matching blazer or short jacket with it. Either made of the same fabric, either of a matching coloured one. These two pieces combined are a look of seducing seriousness. This combination is THE alternative to a two-piece suit.

The length will finish just over the knee. If longer it will make you look old, if shorter unwanted dingy.

The cocktail dress for work

A cocktail dress can as well be the right choice for work. But only if colours and details are well chosen.

Who did create this dress type is not clear: it might be Coco Chanel or as well Christian Dior. Chanel did create the little black dress which was the basis for Dior who changed the top towards more cleavage and without straps. The top is made in a corset shape.

This dress is part of evening wear and is more a festive look than the other dresses. If to use it for business stay away from big prints like flowers. Patterns from different types of textile though can be great.

Keep this dress for your after work party- it is made to dance!

Completing your business dress

Never just chose the dress, you need to have the full look in mind. Dress, blazer or jacket and shoes are the basic pieces to select first.

Tights are super important when wearing a dress for business. Adapt to the dress and season but never go without! Ok you will say but how to find sustainable tights? – You are right this is not easy as tights are traditionally made of nylon which is not sustainable or biodegradable. This is basically another type of plastic. But be assured there are possibilities. The brand Swedish Stockings offer an alternative and we show you how to choose and why sustainable solutions are important here.

The right bag with the right dress

Last but not least you need a business bag with your dress. A bag for work in which all you need fits, while matching your outfits. No worries Bag Affair got you covered. The business bags we offer are matching any business look. Designed timeless and in neutral colours they match every outfit. You can learn more about the choice of business look colours and bag here.

And another quote from Coco Chanel: “Dress like you are going to meet your worst enemy today”.

Walk the head high and always dress the best possible. To impress but mainly to express yourself- only if you feel confident and comfortable you will be able to convince and to make great business deals.