Wearing a dress to work can help you keep your sense of femininity and style in a very corporate setting, but doing it correctly is important. Sometimes it’s difficult to know how to go about wearing a dress to work without being too fancy or too casual.

Keeping up with the latest fashion trends can also be a bit difficult when you’re considering what to wear to your corporate job. Since appearances are a large part of how people perceive you in the corporate world, as in your personal life, you want to dress to impress every day. Fortunately, there are ways to wear beautiful dresses and maintain your femininity without raising eyebrows from management.

A Hint of Trends

One of the ways you can incorporate your favorite fashions into the workplace is by wearing a solid-colored dress with a hint of color. For instance, if bright coral hues are trending, wearing head-to-toe neon might not be the best option for your corporate job. But a conservative black dress with a bright coral skinny belt around the waist would be the perfect way to include your new favorite hue into your outfit in a conservative way. If, on the other hand, animal prints are really trending, you’d probably be better off to leave that leopard-print dress at home. But you can always wear a nice earth-toned dress, like a khaki or moss green, with snakeskin patterned heels. Using current trends as an accent to your outfit can help you maintain a conservative look while allowing you to show off your fashion sense and wear your favorite dresses, as well.

What Works for Work

When it comes to dresses, finding appropriate work dresses is, in essence, a matter of finding modest dresses that are somewhere between “I’m going to the beach” and “I just came here from the club”. You don’t want to go too casual with your dress, so the long maxi dresses should probably stay in the closet until you’re headed out to the mall or on the weekend. Similarly, dresses that reveal too much, are too loud (read: no sequins), or are overdone should also be kept at home. Go for modest dresses with conservative cuts that come no higher than a couple of inches above the knee. This look allows you to maintain femininity while avoiding a negative reputation around the office, or having the dress code thrown at you.

Making the Cut

So how is a girl supposed to keep a sense of fashion at the workplace with all those restrictions? It’s simple; find a cut that flatters you and is in style, but keep the pattern and colour conservative. A perfect example is the fit-and-flare dress style that made quite the appearance in spring, and is still trending. The best part about this style dress is you can keep it modest during your work hours, dressing it up with heels and some chandelier earrings, and then you can dress it down for the weekend. Being able to wear the same thing to the mall and the office makes this cut extremely versatile.

Go Long

Another great style of dress you can almost always wear to work is the long-sleeved dress. Long sleeves automatically convey a look of professionalism, which is exactly what you want at the office. A mid-level scoop neck in solid colors or a color block design can be just the thing to wear for the corporate environment. Color blocking is a popular pattern trend that can easily translate into the workplace, particularly if you choose earth tones or neutrals. Pair a long-sleeved dress in black with a pair of leopard print pumps, or don a dark cranberry dress with black tights and snakeskin heels for a unique, stylish, and work-appropriate look.

Wearing a dress to work can certainly be done; it’s simply a matter of finding ways to make your favourite looks work-appropriate. Don’t show too much skin, or don a dress with a sky-high hemline. Sexy styles are fun, but a more modest approach will earn you points in the workplace. Colour blocking, fit-and-flare dresses, and dresses with long sleeves are all looks you can bring to the workplace without raising eyebrows. Remaining professional while maintaining your femininity will set you apart from your co-workers, and your managers will appreciate the effort.

This is a guest post.

Megan Barnes loves practical style. She frequently writes about beautiful looks for everyday needs on fashion blogs.