Making a summer dress work appropriate

I always like to have clothes that do double duty – while my work doesn’t have a strict dress code I kind of have my own ideas of what is work appropriate (you may or may not agree so I’ll leave that up to you):
  1. nothing low cut
  2. don’t show your midriff
  3. nothing too short
  4. nothing too tight
  5. always look put together (not sloppy!)
  6. nothing strapless or with really thin straps in the office
So these are the rules I try to stick to. I know in the summer it’s sometimes hard but I work around this by wearing a blazer or cardigan over my summer dresses. It’s easy enough to remove the top layer when out on your lunch break or going out after work.
This outfit is combination of my H&M elbow patch blazer from this post (which I can’t really figure out why it remains on my list of “most popular posts” in the side bar) and my recent Old Navy purchase from this post.
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Blazer: H&M size 4
Belt: H&M XS
Shoes: Browns ID size 7
Necklace: mark by Avon
Bracelets: Pandora and mark by Avon

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This dress is a touch long on me but I used the belt to help define my waist and bring up the hem a little. I rolled and scrunched up the sleeves of my blazer to make it more summer appropriate. Also I may or may not wear heels with this outfit – depends on my mood. 
Again, I work in a really casual environment so an outfit like this may not be structured enough for your workplace or this might be something you would only wear on a Friday. 
So would this outfit be too casual for your workplace? How would you take a summer dress and make it work for the office? 
Shop a similar look:
  • phiphi @ phiphisblog

    i love this look, elaine!! classy and cute for work! xox P

  • Joy

    Looks tres chic and definitely work appropriate! I need to start dressing for my body type and height lol.

  • http://newpetite.blogspot.com/ New Petite

    So glad you are back with the outfit photos! I love the dress on you. Beautiful color and I think the length looks good on you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.mckernan Ashley McKernan

    Looking very chic! You always look great at work!
    I agree with your workplace rules. Sometimes I feel too ‘dressy’ here, but the rules are so slack. With the exception of today – today I’m sloppy! :)

  • TOBeautyReviews

    I’m sooo happy your comments are finally showing up! :) Thanks phiphi!

  • TOBeautyReviews

    Thanks Joy! Shopping trip in the near future for us?

  • TOBeautyReviews

    Thanks NP! I’m trying to do more outfit posts – but to be perfectly honest it depends on how tired I feel when I get home LOL!

  • TOBeautyReviews

    OMG Ash, you look so good today! Puleeeze! I’ve never seen you sloppy!

  • http://www.hkstylejourney.blogspot.com/ H&K Style Journey

    You look great! Adding a blazer or cardigan is always a great way to make a summer dress work appropriate. Your work appropriate rules are the same as mine. Heather

  • http://www.hkstylejourney.blogspot.com/ H&K Style Journey

    You look great! Adding a blazer or cardigan is always a great way to make a summer dress work appropriate. Your work appropriate rules are the same as mine. Heather

  • http://www.hkstylejourney.blogspot.com/ H&K Style Journey

    You look great! Adding a blazer or cardigan is always a great way to make a summer dress work appropriate. Your work appropriate rules are the same as mine. Heather

  • http://www.hkstylejourney.blogspot.com/ H&K Style Journey

    You look great! Adding a blazer or cardigan is always a great way to make a summer dress work appropriate. Your work appropriate rules are the same as mine. Heather

  • http://www.hkstylejourney.blogspot.com/ H&K Style Journey

    You look great! Adding a blazer or cardigan is always a great way to make a summer dress work appropriate. Your work appropriate rules are the same as mine. Heather

  • TOBeautyReviews

    Hi Heather! So nice to hear from you! Thanks so much – glad that you agree with my “rules” ;)

  • http://profiles.google.com/petitelg Petite LG

    I completely agree with your rules too. My work place doesn’t have a strict dress code, either but I think people do look at you depending on the way you dress. I always try to look my best at work. You look well put together, Elaine. Have a great weekend!

  • http://twitter.com/PetiteAdventure Petite Adventures

    LOVE your work rules for what is work appropriate – they’re so true!!

  • http://sewpetitegal.blogspot.com/ SewPetiteGal

    I totally adhere to those rules! And most of the time, I try to keep my shoulders covered, but if it’s super hot AND other people are doing it, I’ll take my cardi / blazer off :) Love the combo here – very cute and work appropriate!

  • TOBeautyReviews

    Thank you so much Sydney! I totally agree with you – I think it’s important to be aware of the image you create especially at work :) Have a great weekend too!

  • TOBeautyReviews

    Thanks Kate!

  • TOBeautyReviews

    Thanks S! Yes most of the time I don’t bare my shoulders – but mostly b/c it’s cold in the office LOL!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.mckernan Ashley McKernan

    Thanks! Love the colour of the dress too, I’m going to Old Navy today ;)

  • Happy Chinadoll

    I agree. Maybe people could wear strapless or with thin straps if they have a jacket or cardigan on. I dont know about your office but my building turn our office like a refrigerators so we always wrapped up or we will freeze.

  • http://blarkness.blogspot.com/ Leesh

    This is how I should be dressing for work. Instead, I break the rules and wear a strapless dress with no sweater and sandals that are a little too casual.

  • Monica Angel

    So True! A matching cardigan can help make a dress office appropriate and also be a life saver for the temperature swings that come from office AC.
    ps. if you are looking for cute shoes in small sizes check out http://www.Shoefavor.com

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