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Ask Belle: Business Casual Eyelet

Hi Belle!

I’m craving a white eyelet dress to wear this summer. I work in a casual office so it would be great if I could find a dress that would work there and on the weekends. I love the look of fit and flare, but I’m having trouble finding something that doesn’t make me look like a pre-teen. This Old Navy dress is the closest I’ve come but it makes me look like I’m 12 (and I’m nearly 30). Any suggestions?

Thanks! Meghan

Casual or not, I don’t think spaghetti straps are appropriate for the office.  Even if you’re wearing a cardigan over it, you might need to take the sweater off at some point, which would leave you over exposed for the workplace.  Let’s see if we can’t find something better.


Vince Camuto Square Eyelet Dress ($179) // Michael Kors Eyelet Shirtdress ($150) // BR Eyelet Sheath ($130)

For something feminine and flirty, don’t miss this Vince Camuto sleeveless dress.  With a natural waist and an a-line skirt, it should be flattering on many figures.  I also like this Nine West dress with a v-neck for $70 and this French Connection dress in a floral eyelet print.  Plus-size? Try this Eliza J dress in a fit and flare shape.

I love this shirtdress from Michael Kors, the scroll print and the slim shape is fantastic.  I also found this Eliza J belted shirtdress and this black Shoshanna shirtdress.  Petite?  Try this Spense shirtdress in white or black.

For the ease of a shift dress, try this short sleeve dress from Banana Republic.  This Adrianna Papell dress has an elbow-length sleeve with a large woven pattern.  I also found this dress with eyelet stripes from Ivy & Blu.



  1. Chloe says:

    I might also try to find something that’s not ALL eyelet, like Belle suggested. I’ve seen a few dresses that have eyelet just at the bottom, with a more structured top, which seems to age the dress a bit better. I did just buy a fit and flare eyelet dress from the Limited while it was on sale – and now I’m seeing it on ever-y-one.Not sure if it’s still online.

    May 27, 2014/Reply
  2. Erin says:

    Old Navy also has this one, and it gets good reviews. I’ve been eying it for awhile:

    May 27, 2014/Reply
    • Rachel says:

      I’m actually wearing that dress right now and love it. It’s a good length and has a good structure (especially for Old Navy). Doesn’t help that it’s super cheap, and comes in other colors (navy and pink).

      May 27, 2014/Reply
    • AM says:

      I have this dress in “electric youth,” which is the red/coral color, and I highly recommend it! It ran a little large, but I threw it in the wash and it shrunk down so that it was true to size.

      May 27, 2014/Reply
  3. Meghan says:

    Some great options. Thanks, Belle!

    May 27, 2014/Reply
  4. Joules says:

    I like the BR dress, but I’m not sure it’s worth that much. Maybe if I wait for one of their big sales…

    Style by Joules

    May 27, 2014/Reply
    • B says:

      Everything at BR is 40% off today, if that helps.

      May 27, 2014/Reply
  5. Liz says:

    Belle is right! Spaghetti straps in the office aren’t appropriate!
    Thank you for reinforcing this.

    May 28, 2014/Reply