Thursday, 21 April 2011

Veshoevius Workwear: Wool Houndstooth Check Shift Dress


Sometimes as a change from a suit it is nice to wear a dress to the office.  Finding a dress that is suitable for a very serious and sober work environment can be quite a task if you are anything like me and feel like parting with your cash for boring clothes is a travesty.  It is very hard for me to feel good in dull clothes that hide my personality rather than reflect it and my opinion is that if you don't feel good in your clothes your confidence suffers.

However, in my line of work the reality is that you need first and foremost to look smart and it is generally advisable for the sake of your career to tone down any big fashion statements you may be tempted to make in favour of cookie cutter suiting.  No leather here ladies, unless we're talking shoes and bags.

Dressing for corporate offices in London can descend into a depressingly dour affair with a palette restricted to shades of blue, black and grey.  I have towed the line in the past and bought boring staid suits to fit in with the status quo only to find I don't end up wearing them very much at all, precisely because I find them boring.  How to strike the balance between personal style and box-fresh-fit-for-purpose boring?

Italian tailoring to the rescue!  For smart work wear with a fashion forward twist that falls in the realms of office acceptable and simultaneously appeals to a love of details in clothing I love Sportmax.  It's pricey but the clothes are impeccably made and they are wearable for years after buying them.   Every season I stalk pieces waiting for them to go on sale.  Unfortunately most sell out at full price as it is that popular.

I like this dress from their Winter 2009/2010 collection because from the front it looks very serious.  Made from wool in a classic fine houndstooth check, it has figure flattering draping that is not too clingy, sharp shoulders and a high neck which lends it an almost school matronly air.

Turn around though and it lightens up with some interesting, quirky details.  The coquettish contrast black silk yoke, bow tie and figure accentuating darts in contrasting thread can be hidden under a jacket if need be until after work drinks and I love the little kick pleat detail in the skirt.  And for the cherry on the icing there is a small rectangular Swarvoski crystal discreetly stitched on the cuff of one sleeve.


Dress: Sportmax; Patent wedges: Zensu; Tights: Falke

24 comments:

  1. Dayyyyam you look so hot in your gorgeous Sportmax frock Miss V! Continue wearing this and you'll be running the company soon. I do so love the details you pointed out, it's a dress in a million and one that will stand the test of time and any future daughters will be tearing each other's eyes out to get hold of. I'm not working in an office right now but I've always found vintage 40s & 50s perfect for the office worn with extremely modern heels and bags a perfect "compromise" and never felt frumpy. xoxo

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  2. I love that! I'd totally wear it except I think it's too hot here even in winter. But it looks fantastic on you.

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  3. Ooh that frock is KILLER! You look AMAZING - what a fabulous detail in the back.

    Sal over at already pretty has done some great articles on how to let your personality show in a super conservative work environment.

    Sarah xxx

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  4. Wow, the back is gorgeous. I always had trouble with business dressing too. The best work dress I had was my vintage DvF, they aren't iconic for nuthin' xx

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  5. Uhaa, this is a lovely dress and it looks amazing on you! It's true, it is sometimes difficult to combine individuality with work outfits, although I've always pretty much worn what I want to work (sometimes toning it down when I know I've got a meeting that day), but I get through as 'the mad European'. I was even exempted from the 'no shorts' rule because I'm German - which I found was kind of reverse racism (but I took full advantage of it nonetheless :)

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  6. Hi there-that really is a stunning dress, very unique and stylish! Have a lovely weekend! xx

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  7. ♥ So nice post.) Love your blog.) ♥

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  8. I find the dress classy and daring, so fantastic choice.
    I know you are having fantastic weather in England. Nosotros tenemos toda la lluvia, pero bien...Ya habrá tiempo de sol aquí.
    Besos.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  9. that is an unusual, fantastic dress! the fabric looks superb.
    in answer to your question on my latest post, yes the girl doggy in the pics is Doxy! :)

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  10. this is an excellent dress! And, it meets all the criteria you've set for yourself.

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  11. Wow! You look the business! I love Sportmax too, but have never been able to afford it. Love the idea of a single Swarovski crystal.

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  12. The surprise and wow factor is all in the back and I like that - keeping a little bit back for a delayed reveal. You manage to look corporate smart but very very cool. Win/Win!

    Mulika x

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  13. I love this dress with a twist. :) Corporate from the front, sexy from the back. ;) I love when my skirts have interesting, unexpected flip sides too. :) It adds a little bit fun to the stiff work world.

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  14. I love the surprise of this dress. What wonderful detailing. I'm also loving the patent wedges!

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  15. I guess Im lucky in that I can wear what I want to work during the day. I cant imagine having to be in suits everyday.. (unless they were designer of course) Sportmax is a lovely label and that dress is pretty fabulous. I'd say its hard to find decent summery dresses for work, or is it?

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  16. Nice one! It`s amazing that you`re pulling off the length.

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  17. I covet that dress! I think you smash the fine line between business and pleasure brilliantly!

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  18. Hot damn! That dress is incredible. I love how the fabric and the cut of the skirting are very professional looking, but the bodice has a little 'edge' to it. A dress like this can be worn anywhere, really.

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  19. Yo nunca voy a ver los paso de la semana santa. Me quedo en casa con la familia, es que todos los años es igual y soy poco religiosa.
    Gracias por tus preciosas palabras, corazón.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  20. I'm not sure I've ever seen a more lovely "professional" dress. The gathering is delicate and architectural at the same time--and the tie in the back is such a surprise!

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  21. That dress is incredible, so sexy yet sober & respectable, too. xxx

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  22. What a unique dress, the cut is so beautiful and suits you very much. I do love Sportmax for great classic pieces I have a fantastic woven cardi-coat which will never date.

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