Basic dresses!
July 19, 2011 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Looking for dresses that are basic, comfortable, and versatile.

I am looking for dresses similar to this one. Looking for something basic that I can wear to work in the winter with a cardigan, or just on its own in the summer. Easy to take care of, that sort of thing. Something on the less-sporty side would be great.

I'm 5'2", 125 lbs, if it matters. I'm very pale so no light or neon colors. I work a desk job at a university and commute by foot, bus, and train to campus every day!
posted by little_c to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Target has a variety of dresses that may work for you in its "wear to work" category, here. I like these two especially.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:33 AM on July 19, 2011

I'm a big fan of Asos for this sort of thing.

Here are a few great examples - and there are tonnes more on the site.
posted by guessthis at 7:34 AM on July 19, 2011

The Patagonia Banda dress is very similar to the one that you linked. I have it in 5 colors and love it. It is of "bathing suit" material, sort of, which turned me off at first, but once you're wearing it, no one notices that it isn't cotton.

I'm also a fan of the Margot dress from Patagonia, which is cotton. It looks great with boots or tights or with nothing on your legs. I have that one in like... 10 colors. I buy it every season in plain or print.

I also recently got one of these wrap dresses from Patagonia. The fit isn't like the Banda or Margot, but it is a nice plain dress.
posted by k8t at 7:46 AM on July 19, 2011

Lole and Prana are my go-to brands for this, though they can skew a little sporty. Going to Zappos and looking for one of those brands, then searching for similar styles may give you what you are looking for though.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 7:53 AM on July 19, 2011

If you're near an H&M, I just got a simple navy jersey dress there for about $15. It might be a little lightweight for the dead of winter but it'll be good for fall and spring.

Also, a word of warning about Target: for me, slightly taller and heavier than you, their clothes are cut too big or too small. Try everything on.
posted by hydrobatidae at 7:55 AM on July 19, 2011

Watch Eddie Bauer for these. They have crinkle dresses on sale right now (just snagged one for $40) which are probably a little casual for the office even with a cardigan, but I picked up a knit dress last year that looked almost exactly like your example and would be quite fit for workwear.
posted by immlass at 8:24 AM on July 19, 2011

You might find you like some of the dresses at Land's End.
posted by lemniskate at 9:41 AM on July 19, 2011

REI's house brand has basic, easy-to-care-for dresses that do okay from season to season.

My personal go-tos for basic, easy-care, all season dresses are Icebreaker (one, two) and Ibex. Initial outlay may be a little higher, but they pay off in longevity. The wool is comfortable up to 90 degrees and some humidity and really nice in the air conditioning.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:41 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have a Fig dress that is very versatile. I wear it year round and it is 4 years old and still going strong. The cotton is quite thick so you don't need a slip/sheath. I'm a couple inches taller and about the same weight as you.
posted by Cuke at 12:06 PM on July 19, 2011

posted by kmennie at 4:27 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Acacia has some basic wrap dresses on sale, spandex like the one you linked.
posted by PY at 10:22 PM on July 19, 2011

You can work a shift dress to death.
Something in a neutral color will see you through every season. You'll want it to be sleeveless so you can wear a cardigan without bulk. You get a completely different look with no belt, a skinny belt, big belt or corset belt. A statement necklace would look great and right on trend. Heels and flats (as long as they aren't too dowdy) look fine, even boots with tights when it gets cold would be chic.
posted by like_neon at 11:13 AM on July 20, 2011

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