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

By Rebecca Daly
March 15, 2016
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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.
| Credit: Sascha Pflaeging
Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.

Credit: 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.