the three dresses you want to own

Last week I posted about bottoms that are sure to get tons of use, and represent key, versatile pieces in a pared-down wardrobe.

We’re keeping with the spirit and talking again about basics for three main categories: office/formal (aka the “serious” category), date night (aka the “party” category) and casual (aka the “I-like-to-sit-on-patios-and-drink-Sangria-with-my-friends-or-take-my-family-on-picnics” category). This time, with dresses. Oh girl… you fancy.

the three dresses you want to own

office: pencil dress | date night: LBD | casual: maxi dress

Truth be told, I’m not a big dress gal. I’m one of those who owns a few multi-purpose dresses I can pull out for any occasion, not the type that gets all excited about “getting to buy a new dress” to go to a wedding or party. Not surprisingly, I kept things pretty simple when it came to choosing dresses: one for every category. Dudn’t git any easier than that. Not to say that you should throw out everything else or that you won’t need other pieces, but you will find that the right selection of a few main ingredients will fill a lot of “holes” in your wardrobe.

office attire: pencil dress

As long as it’s not too snugly fit or low cut, this dress can’t offend anyone. Not even the guards at the Vatican or your Southern Baptist grandma. Which makes it the perfect dress for the office. It’s long enough to be modest but the fitted cut still makes it feminine. I say 3/4 length sleeve is the way to go, and I would lean towards simple with minimal or no embelishment, so you can frequently wear it and easily pair it with different accessories and not be noticed for the being the proud outfit repeater that you are. If you feel like the pencil dress is too formal for your work setting, a wrap dress like this one would be a good alternative.

date night attire: party/cocktail dress

This is your LBD (“little black dress”). Every gal should own one. I imagine this being a dress worn on a special date like an anniversary, a cocktail party, a New Years Eve bash, or a wedding. I think simplicity is still key so you can mix and match accessories, but it can be more fun than the office dress. Lace, a beaded neckline, or a simple cutout in the back are all subtle details that can add interest to the dress without giving it away as that dress you wear to everything (but you will wear it to everything). Sadly, the YSL dress pictured is about $4,000 out of my price range, but I found a nice, simpler alternative.

casual: maxi dress

Maybe the maxi dress has seen its day, but I still hold a special place in my heart (and my closet) for this trusty solider. If possible, try to find one in a breathable material so it doesn’t get too hot in the summertime. This is a great vacation piece because it’s the ideal travel dress (layer with a jean jacket or cardigan for the plane ride) and can double as a swim-suit cover. I imagine this being the perfect dress to wear to the beach, a wine tasting, a casual patio lunch, or any spring/summer outing with your family. If you’re over the floor length, another option would be a shirt dress.

What do you think about these three dresses being staples? Do you a different go-to for any of these categories?



  1. Luiza Affonso · February 2, 2016

    Great post! I love black dresses, there are so many ways to style them for every occasion.


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