The shift dress term comes from the idea that it’s easy to “shift” in a shift-dress. It’s about ease of movement. I also suspect it’s derived from the idea that women need a comfortable dress they can move around in, in case they survive a full “shift” at work.
Which is why I believe it’s imperative for every working woman to have a neutral shift-dress in her closet that can be her go-to outfit. In a morning rush? Forget the hassle of matching blouse to skirt to jacket. Throw on a simple, yet elegant dress and you’re good to go.
This dress by Gerard Darel fits the bill. Plus, the inset belt-tie adds some shape and brings the shift into the 21st century.
Mix it up week to week by varying your accessories. Here, I’ve added a Prada purse and black peep-toe slingbacks as well as a Kate Spade bracelet that emphasizes the classic cut of the dress.
I love how the dress is not only effortless, but can be worn year-round as well. While I find it perfect for these hot summer months, I can also wear it into fall by adding tights, boots, and a great blazer. Come to think of it, perhaps the real meaning behind the term shift-dress is that it can shift from season-to-season. Ah, ha!
Photography credit: Erica Hampton