Dressing for your Age: Dresses

As you all know by now- We love dresses! They are universally chic and are one of the easiest ways we know to achieve sophisticated and professional style. We have done a video about styling vintage dresses, written countless blogs, tweets, and created unique polyvore sets. Through out all this, we haven’t discussed dresses for your age. While 20 something’s look chic in loose tunic styles, 50 something’s would prefer a more polished style. So which of these dresses is right for you?
We Love Dresses!
We Love Dresses! by Workchic featuring Marc by Marc Jacobs dresses

We teamed up with Polyvore.com to answer that question. Check out our guest blogon their site to see how to create Workchic outfits with the right dress for your age. Below you can find some more dresses we love broken up by office type.

If you are in your 20’s have fun with your work wardrobe. Play with color, pattern, and silhouette. The key to keeping it professional is staying covered up. That means no cleavage and nothing to short. Wearing a cardigan also helps complete your look.  We picked out The Tess Dress for a Casual office, the Art Gallery Dress for a Business Casual office, and New York & Company Women’s City Style Sateen Belted Ruffle Shirtdress – Auxiliary Green for a Business Professional office.

The Tess Dress Art Gallery Dress New York & Company Women's City Style Sateen Belted Ruffle Shirtdress - Auxiliary Green

In your 30’s you can still have fun with color, but we recommend toning down the silhouettes and go for something more fitted to counter bold colors. Select one item in your outfit to make a statement with. For a casual office we like this Darling by Day Dress in khaki and white, for a business casual office we think this Women: Silk printed wrap dress – Jade is a lot of fun,  Women: Graphic-print sheath dress – Black is ideal for a business office.

Darling by Day Dress Women: Silk printed wrap dress - Jade Women: Graphic-print sheath dress - Black

In your 40’s we minimized the bright colors, but did not loose them entirely. The first two dresses could be casual or business casual depending on your office environment; Robbie Bee Printed Matte Jersey Dressicon and Marc by Marc Jacobs Crepe Twill Dress.  For a business office try this Women: Lightweight wool sheath dress – Charcoal with a jacket.

icon Hanii Y Shift Dress with Belt Women: Lightweight wool sheath dress - Charcoal

In your 50’s keep the silhouette of your dresses sophisticated. Unique necklines draw the attention up toward your face. Wrap dresses are also key, they are the perfect place to play with pattern and even some color. Try one for your next casual day at the office, Women: Printed wrap dress – Sculpture grey. Try a Donna Morgan Belted Dressicon for business casual. For a more professional office wear a Women: Origami sheath dress – Black.

Women: Printed wrap dress - Sculpture grey iconicon Women: Origami sheath dress - Black

Remember dresses will make your life easy in the morning. The key to looking professional and age appropriate is color, pattern and silhouette. In your 20’s and 30’s play with color in your dresses, in your 40’s and 50’s move the pop color to your accessories. It’s always flattering to accentuate your waist and have skirts that float away from the body. You can purchase dresses that have a tied waist or add your own belt to personalize the look. Blazers and cardigans also go a long way toward completing your professional image. Put these pieces together and your image will say successful every time!

Be sure to pop on over to Polyvore and check out our full outfit suggestions.

View ‘Dresses’ on Polyvore


  1. says

    Thank you for changing this. The Polyvore set “dresses at you 40’s” is horrible and offensive to women at their 40’s. I’m 40 and the bow neck thingy was something that was really popular when I was a kid. My granny might wear things like that, I would not. The suggestions on this blog are a lot better :-) Thank you :-)

  2. says

    While I don’t disagree with your choices for each age group and do find that they will be helpful for many women; one important point was not taken into consideration or even mentioned. That is personal style. As a woman fast approaching 50 who has always had a unique sense of style, the dresses chosen for my age group would look awful on me. Aside from not suiting my personal style, they don’t suit my personality either. I’m not someone trying to look like I’m in my 20’s (thank goodness I haven’t succumbed to — nor will in the future — chasing youth by disfiguring my face or body with injections or surgery), yet I can wear many of those styles, and always get compliments on how I look. A lot of it has to do with confidence, which, as we get older, we [hopefully] grow more secure by not giving in to every trend or fad that perhaps a younger woman would without regard as to whether it suits their body type or sense of style. Nearly my entire adult life I’ve been involved in the fashion, art and music scenes, so my aesthetic is quite different from the “norm”, but it suits me. I’ve actually had friends giggle or ask what was wrong when I tried going more “age appropriate” as it’s so far from my personal style. Perchance I’m in the minority, but the edgier the better works for me! The confidence to know what works for me, along with conceivably accessorizing differently than a younger woman would, as well as knowing my personal style and limitations (trust me, I’m not walking around in crop tops or micro-mini’s) goes a long way in presenting myself as a professional, confident, and stylish woman. There is a wonderful blog called “Advanced Style” that shows some of the most stylish older women (and men) I’ve come across — and most wouldn’t give a fig for any “rules” for dressing appropriately for their ages — confidence and joie de vivre go a long way towards looking fabulous at any age!


  3. admin says

    We love getting feedback on our posts. Every women and every office is different. It is very important to consider body type, personal style, and office environment when creating your work look. These are just a few of our suggestions and by no means exact rules every woman should follow. We are not telling anyone to forsake style, we love having fun with fashion. Just consider the looks you are putting together. We can all admit some items just are not age appropriate as some items are not office appropriate no matter your age! For more help on dressing to impress, be sure to check out our Fitting Room Series!

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