Dressing for the office can be tough. On the one hand, you don’t want to sacrifice your personal style. On the other, you want to make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the work space — and your age.
Choosing the Right Work Dress for You
Most experts advise choosing outfits you feel both at-ease and confident in when you’re headed to work. “You want to be able to walk into a room and feel really comfortable,” shopping expert Tiffany Yannetta told CNBC. “That’s the most important thing.”
If you’re constantly tugging at a too-short dress or an ill-fitting shoulder that keeps falling down, you’re likely not going to come across as the capable, self-assured woman you really are.
Needless to say, when shopping for a work dress, you’ll want to choose something that both fits well and keeps you covered. While it’s usually a safe bet to keep your hemlines no higher than 1 to 2 inches above the knee, more mature women may choose to go even longer with a tried-and-true, below-the-knee fit.
As stylist Paul Cavaco told Town & Country, "I think that after a certain age your skirt should really be at or below the knee, no matter how beautiful your legs are. It looks more appropriate and it doesn’t look like you’re trying to look young."
When it comes to your upper half, there are also plenty of three-quarter or long-sleeve options that will work just as well for those that are uncomfortable with showing off their arms — if you know where to look.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have Fun
While you want to abide by the dress code when you're on the job, it doesn’t mean you need to show up wrapped in a burlap sack. If you’re not into the more traditional tailored fits of a typical work dress, show off your shape with a great A-Line that will highlight your waist!
"When you reach a certain age it’s especially important that everything is fitted for you," Cavaco said. "If clothes are fitted well, then a lot of the things that are problematic are no longer problematic."
You should also feel free to take risks with your fabrics. "I wish older women would wear more colors, prints, and designs," Andrew Gelwicks, fashion stylist, told T&C. "I think a lot of women feel like they kind of have to disappear or turn down their looks, but that’s not true."
Maybe that means swapping out your all-black sheath dress for a bold yellow hue, or adding some chic pockets into the mix — go ahead and get playful with your workwear staples. You'll feel more "you" and in turn be more comfortable, allowing you to focus on the tasks you've got ahead of you at the office.
Whether you’re looking for a work dress with sleeves or a belt, one that hits below the knees, a flared work dress or something more tailored, we've got an option that's right for you. Keep scrolling for Woman’s World’s top choices for the best work dresses for work over 45.
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