15 Business Dresses for Women

What's the key to a no-brainer office look? A dress. Real Simple sorted through hundreds to find the smartest new options.


Textured Calvin Klein Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

As long as the fabric is substantial (read: not too sheer or filmy), white can work year-round. Add black tights and heeled boots in fall and winter.

To buy: For a similar product: $60, macys.com.


Antonio Melani Gwen Peplum Twill Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

Channel Claire Underwood’s perfect-for-the-office brand of minimalist chic. An angular neckline and peplum draping add visual interest.

To buy: For a similar product: $295, nordstrom.com.


The Limited Printed Textured A-Line Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

Don’t shy away from prints—they can look just as professional as solids if you stick to modest hemlines and pair them with simple, neutral accessories.

To buy: For a similar product: $168, nordstrom.com.


Donna Morgan Vivian Jacquard Shift Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

The sophisticated dot pattern on this heavyweight jacquard makes this dress look so much more expensive than it is.

To buy: For a similar product: $107, nordstrom.com.


Gap Linen-Cotton Fit & Flare Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

Ideal for warmer weather, this linen-cotton blend adds a little texture (and means you can wear a classic LBD all year).

To buy: For a similar product: $134, macys.com.


White House Black Market Denim Sheath Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

Denim is totally ok! In a crisp sheath, there is nothing “dressed down” about spring’s most on-trend material.

To buy: For a similar product: $60, macys.com.


Talbot's Blue Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

The vertical piping on this dress creates a slimming, elongating effect. Pair it with nude heels (or even flats) for a no-fail office look.

To buy: For a similar product: $102, bloomingdales.com.


Tommy Hilfiger Memo Shift Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

A wardrobe workhorse, this neutral shift goes with anything, and is appropriate for nearly any situation.

To buy: For a similar product: $188, jcrew.com.


Sangria for SimplyDresses.com Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

In deep, muted colors, this cool geometric pattern works for the office, but is also fun enough for happy hour.

To buy: For a similar product: $79, macys.com.


Banana Republic Gray Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

No longer just for grannies or professorial blazers, tweed is reimagined in this cute fit-and-flare. Go the extra mile by pairing it with of-the-moment lace-up flats.

To buy: For a similar product: $129, lordandtaylor.com.


Ariana Rockefeller Nadia Tunic Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

Go ahead, wear flats. Most dresses look just as good with them as they do with heels—the key to pulling the look together is a sleek, pointy-toed shape.

To buy: For a similar product: $88, nordstrom.com.


Club Monaco Eliska Ruffle-Sleeve Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

A traditional flared silhouette with pretty details is suitable for work, work dinners, and events that have nothing to do with work at all.

To buy: For a similar product: $70, saksoff5th.com.


L.L. Bean Signature Poplin Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

For the most flattering fit (no tailor needed) opt for a dress that adjusts to create a custom waistline. You’ll never find yourself stuck between sizes.

To buy: $109, llbean.com.


The Limited Colorblocked Sheath Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

It doesn’t just look stylish—this black and white color-blocked number elongates your torso and defines a waist. It might just become your favorite go-to.

To buy: For a similar product: $90, macys.com.


Eliza J Crepe Fit & Flare Dress

Photo by Sascha Pflaeging

Elevate your everyday work dress: A light blue crepe fabric, beautifully tailored with princess seams and cap sleeves, feels just right for spring.

To buy: For a similar product: $29, nordstrom.com.