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Styling a boho maxi dress for the office

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Turn that boho dress into an office-friendly style

Turn that boho dress into an office-friendly style

When it’s time to head into work, do you feel like you have to leave your personal style behind? It can be hard to do your best when you’re sporting clothes that just don’t let you feel like yourself. 
Thank goodness there are ways adapt almost every fashion to a work-friendly version that will keep you on track to that next promotion, while still expressing your favorite look.

Don’t believe it?

We’re going to show you how to style a boho maxi dress for the office and still look professional. 

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The Color (and Pattern) Counts

While we would like to live in a world where any color or pattern is fine for the office, the truth is a maxi dress in neon orange would be hard to transform into work attire. Ditto for one sporting a large colorful, high-contrast print. Selecting a dress in an understated solid color or a muted print is a good place to start. Think rich wine shades, deep blues or soft sage green, cafe au lait or classic black.


Go Easy on the Lace

Lace on a boho dress is lovely, but when it comes to office attire, less lace is better. A touch here and there is a nice feminine accent, but save the really lacy choices for off hours. (Hint…if you really love lace, consider a lacy long jacket sweater in white, cream or black over your dress. They’re a pretty way to add texture to a solid dress.) 

Watch the Cleavage

At work, you want all eyes on, well, your eyes. And your work. Not your cleavage. While most maxis offer regular necklines, some take the dip too far for an office setting. A good test is to bend over in front of your mirror and take a look at the view…if Josh in accounting could see way more than he should, it’s probably not the best choice for Monday through Friday. 

Pair a Maxi with a Jacket

Adding a jacket to a bohemian maxi can instantly elevate a simple dress to a work friendly outfit. If your dress has sleeves, look for a cut that doesn’t cause the sleeves of your dress to bunch up inside. Jackets made from silk, linen or lightweight cottons pair particularly well with long dresses. A pretty jacket is also a quick way to make that not-allowed-at-work spaghetti strap dress into a by-the-book weekday choice. 

Dress Down the Jewelry

It’s fun to layer on the bangles, drop earrings and sparking necklaces when you’re wearing a long dress in the evening or on weekends. But when you’re on the job, a more subtle take on jewelry works better. Consider a single long pendant necklace that mirrors the long profile of your dress. Add simple post earrings, a single bracelet and a watch to complete the workplace transformation of your favorite maxi. 

Heels, Flats, or Something Else? 

The final piece of learning how to style a boho maxi dress for the office is what’s on your feet. Many workplaces have safety rules on heel heights, open-toed shoes or non-slip soles. If that applies to your job, look for pretty shoes that meet the requirements — there are even non-slip pumps out there now!  

If your footwear is your choice, it’s still a good idea to leave those mile-high strappy evening shoes in the closet, and done a more professional pair instead. Simple ballet flats, wedges, pumps or even dressier boots are all great choices with a longer dress. Do make sure the hem of your dress is off the ground — you don’t want to make a grand entrance by tripping your way into the office because of a too-long skirt!

It’s All About the Balance

When it comes to making your personal style work for the office, balance is the key. Combing traditional elements like jackets or pumps with more edgy fashion choices will allow you to build a look that works where you work.


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