Shoes/Boots

How to Accessorize a Wrap Dress for Work

Hi Deborah,

I love your website, and I need your help.  Are wrap dresses for women over 50 age-appropriate for work?

I just purchased one that I would like to wear to the office, but I need some tips on how to accessorize it. The neckline is relatively low, so that I will wear a camisole, but what else do I wear with it, so I look modern and professional?

Thanks, Taya from Australia

Hi Taya,

Good job on this purchase!  This is one of the best dresses for women over 40 or of any age. It’s the perfect dress for the office because it is simple, professional-looking and can be worn all year long. Keep in mind that the more conservative the workplace, the more conservative your wrap dress’s color and print should be.

For example, black and white wrap dresses for women, like this one (above), would be more appropriate than a sizzling redone, mostly if you work in a conservative type of office, like law or finance. Other than that, the key to accessorizing a wrap dress is balancing the overall look.

Choose Conservative Jewelry

Taya, you can go for a long or short necklace or a combo of both.  The main thing is to be aware that your camisole neckline will affect your choice of chain.  A camisole with a simple, black, round neckline is your best bet for this dress. If you wear a short chunky necklace, go with one that fills in your chest area but stays above your cami neckline a touch. You can layer a simple chain with a long one too, which looks very modern. I would keep it classic for work and go with gold or silver and black. The less dangly the earring, the more conservative it is. You can never go wrong with a small jewel or metal stud at work.

Pumps are Professional

Other accessories to consider are your shoes and hose. They will affect the overall look of your wrap dress too. A simple pump always works with a wrap dress. Wedges are more casual but look great with a wrap dress too, but they are more relaxed. I would avoid anything too high or strappy at work. That’s best for after hours.

This particular wrap dress has simple lines and a contemporary print, so the shoes should match these style cues.  This means nothing with straps or extra embellishment.  Also, the fabric is a lightweight jersey, so be careful that the shoe has a finer heel – not too clunky.

Hose Helps You Look Your Best

Ultra sheer pantyhose are always professional and often required. In smaller, less formal offices, you can sometimes get away with no hose in summer if that is allowed. Just make sure your legs look healthy and smooth. In the wintertime, the opaque hose also works with wrap dresses, particularly if you are wearing high boots.

Structured Handbags are Chic

The more formal the workplace, the more structured the bag. A structured bag commands authority.

Other Ideas

  • Dark or neutral bags are most conservative. If you want a pop of color, put the pop of color in the shoes or handbag.
  • You could also do a colorful bracelet.
  • Toss a colorful cardigan over your shoulders if your office is air-conditioned.

To find out how to make a wrap dress look sexy after hours, read this post.

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