Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
Fit and flare work dresses are having a moment – so I thought I’d round some up. Unlike more structured sheath dresses, which have generally been around for this entire website’s existence, fit and flare work dresses tend to come in and out of fashion (even though a lot of curvy readers prefer them!).
Readers, which are some of your latest favorite fit and flare work dresses? What shoes are you wearing them with; what cardigans or jackets?
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This dress from Eloquii reminds me of the Black Halo one we featured last month (also one of last month’s most-bought items!). I love that stand collar and the simple, flattering cut. It’s available in navy and white online in sizes 14-28 for $99.95 full price ($49 today with code!) — check your local store for other colors.
Other options for plus-size women include this Eliza J dress (back in stock after it sold out in the NAS!), this City Chic dress (10 colors!), this more fluid dress from Eloquii, and this simple one from Maggy London. Wrap dresses can sometimes be flared, as well — check out this best-seller from Kiyonna.
Ann Taylor has a number of flare dresses right now in their best-sellers (including a trendy faux leather one!) — this midi dress has been a best-seller, and comes in regular, petite, and tall sizes 00-14 for $159 full price.
Eliza J is one of the few brands that I would say almost always has a fit and flare work dress in the offerings — they often come in inclusive sizes, as well, in a variety of solids and prints. The flared sweater dress pictured above isn’t my favorite, but has a ton of sizes and colorways in stock. (I tend to prefer this one from the NAS, but it’s down to lucky sizes only. From the archives, this Eliza J dress was so popular for a while that it was in our Hall of Fame!)
Other likely suspects if you’re hunting for fit and flare dresses, as mentioned by the readers in our previous discussions on the best fit and flare work dresses: Maggy London and White House | Black Market. Note that eShakti can also be a great source for fit and flare dresses, particularly if you want to customize your measurements or other aspects like pockets, sleeves, neckline, and length.
This M.M.LaFleur washable wool dress is lovely, and a bit more on the swingy side of things. It’s available for in 3 colors in sizes 0P-18 for $365-$465; two of the colors are down to lucky sizes only but the brownish “haze” still has all sizes left.
Others in this price range include the Elie Tahari dress we featured a week or so ago (now down to $336!), this Theory one, and the Black Halo dress we featured last month. This super simple Vince flared dress is also lovely and only $265.
Oooh: I’m drooling over this feminine fit and flare work dress from Carolina Herrera — I love that it’s different but still classic, somehow. It’s down to lucky sizes for $2,190.
How to Wear Fit and Flare Work Dresses
Curious what to wear with fit and flare work dresses? Because the length of a regular blazer usually hits at a voluminous part in the skirt, they often don’t work well. Some of our best suggestions are cardigans, Chanel-type jackets, or cropped sweater jackets like this one.
In terms of shoes, a heel tends to look best, whether it’s a pump or a knee-high boot — even if it’s a low heel. The mid-calf boot is also very trendy right now in both flat, platform, and heeled versions — know yourself and your office.
Our Favorite Chanel-Type Jackets to Pair with Fit and Flare Work Dresses
Our Favorite Classic Cardigans to Wear with Fit and Flare Work Dresses
Readers, have you bought any fit and flare work dresses lately? How are you wearing them?
Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!