Professional, Smart & Chic – How to Wear a Pretty Fall Floral Dress to Work

A work-appropriate look you can get excited about.

It feels like fall this morning in Atlanta! I’m forging ahead with today’s post about this delightful Tossed Bouquet Dress that’s earned a spot on my Fall/Winter 2012 Wish List on Pinterest, but it also seems appropriate to feature some layering pieces and accessories that would keep the dress comfy well into the fall.

I’ve been “visiting” this dress on Anthropologie’s website to admire its understated, feminine design and the fresh retro-floral print. This dress combines lovely vintage-inspired details to create a dress that is clearly contemporary. The navy-based fall floral print is charming, but it is neither too busy nor too girly for the office. The fit is also perfect for work: the dress is fitted and tailored, but not tight. I also love the design of the flared cap sleeves and the pretty, modest V-neck. The dress is machine washable – hooray! The Tossed Bouquet Dress by Hi There by Karen Walker is $144 from Anthropologie (available online only).

Anthropologie shows pictures of the Tossed Bouquet Dress with and without the beaded belt that is featured in the picture above. I love the dress both ways, but the belt certainly adds texture and interest. This belt is no longer available, so I found a couple other options. First, I love the texture and metallic copper color of the Elegantly Waisted Copper Blake Belt (shown to the left), which is $98 from Neiman Marcus.

Second, this Kate Spade Thin Bow Belt in Cobalt Patent leather is a more feminine option that will blend in with the dress’ navy background. If you prefer more contrast, the Bow Belt is also available in Bright Red. The Kate Spade Thin Bow Belt in cobalt or red is $78 from Kate Spade. The Bright Red belt is also available from Zappos for $78.

Ann Taylor Navy One-Button BlazerThere is room to play with other colors and even some prints, but the best bet for a blazer to wear with this dress in a professional setting would be classic navy. I like the simple and easy design of this Compact Doubleweave One Button Jacket in Navy (also available in Light City Taupe). The Compact Doubleweave One Button Jacket is available in regular and petite sizes for $158 from Ann Taylor (available online only).

Special Promotion: You can currently receive 30% off your full price purchase from Ann Taylor with the code 30FALL.

For footwear, I would choose either sleek neutral pumps or a riding boot in rich dark brown. My favorite simple pumps are far and away the Calvin Klein Dolly, which comes in a wide array of colors and usually costs around $69. The Dolly has a 3 inch heel, but I’ve found this shoe to be amazingly comfortable and durable. The Calvin Klein Dolly in Mink Patent (the lovely neutral shown here) is $69 from Zappos. The Dolly is also available in Cobalt Suede (as well as a wide array of other colors and textures) from Dillard’s for $69.

As for the boots, each year I notice at least one pair of riding boots by MICHAEL Michael Kors that are dressy and refined and look much more expensive than they actually are. This year I love the Hamilton Boot with gold hardware, which is available from Nordstrom in beautiful dark brown “Coffee” (shown here) or Black for $274.95.

And don’t forget about tights!

SPANX Tight End TightsTights work with pumps, and matching the color of your shoes and tights will make your legs look longer (see Exhibit A on the left). If you want to tone down knee high boots at the office, you can also pair them with tights in the same (or a similar) color. For my money, the way to go here is definitely the Spanx Tight-End Tights (shown on the left) or Spanx Tight-End Tights High-Waisted.

These tights cost a little more ($28 and $38 respectively), but they feel fantastic, look great, come in lovely fall colors, are extremely durable and are Made in the USA! The Spanx website has the best online selection, and you can get free shipping with the promotion below.

Special Promotion: Free Ground Shipping at! Offer valid through December 31, 2012.

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If you would like to see more floral print clothes and accessories that have been featured on Commandress, please click on the tag for Floral Prints.

Looking for even more ideas? Please check out my Pinterest board, Floral Prints – Smart & Chic.

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Dillard’s, Kate Spade, Neiman Marcus, NordstromSpanx, and Zappos.


  1. Carrie says

    What a beautiful dress! I just wish cap sleeves didn’t make me look like a linebacker or I would buy this in a second.

    • Commandress says

      Hi Carrie – thanks for your comment! I’m not sure if you’ve already tried a similar style and know it doesn’t work for you, but this dress could be surprisingly flattering. I generally avoid cap sleeves too, but recently discovered that cap sleeves that are loose and flowy can be flattering because the larger opening and extra fabric make your shoulders and arms look smaller and more delicate. If you love the dress, it may be worth trying it on!

  2. Vanessa says

    Great post, Commandress! I love that you’ve given us all the pieces to make the outfit — very helpful. I hope to see more posts like this!

    • Commandress says

      Thank you Vanessa! It was also fun putting the clothes together – you’ll definitely see more posts like this in the future.

  3. Kika says

    I second the request for more posts with the whole outfit put together for me – that’s what I need. :)