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I’m looking for an LBD that I can wear to my magazine’s casual holiday party, but then will also be able to wear to work layered over a turtleneck or long-sleeved shirt. I’ve tried this velour Uniqlo dress ($19.90) on, and it’s great, but a bit too much of a slip style for my old-school newsroom. This one from Everlane ($70) is nice, but I’m a little worried about the fit. Any suggestions? I want to stay under $75 if possible. —Oset, Boston
This is a question that I, and probably a ton of our readers, can relate to. An LBD is already a classic you can keep for years, but finding one that can be casual or dressy and that you can wear to work is pretty much the holy grail.
I love both of the dresses you already considered! Too bad about the slip, and for Everlane, I’d say the brand runs pretty big in my experience; order a size down and try it out! Otherwise, your first stop should be Mango, which has dozens and dozens of black dresses, including a bunch that can be both evening- and work-appropriate. For example, this flowy-hem dress on sale for $39.99 would be super cute with a collared shirt underneath, while this V-neck option ($59.99) — which has a really similar silhouette to the one you’ve already picked out from Everlane — would look great over a turtleneck, T-shirt, or sheer blouse.
Mango also has a bunch of long-sleeved LBDs, which you wouldn’t even have to layer to wear to work — just add a blazer or coat. My favorites include this knotted hem dress for $39.99, this pleated bodice dress for $49.99, this knotted shift dress for $79.99, and this not-yet-in-stores satin wrap dress for $99.99. (And honestly, I could have kept going.)
If you can go up slightly in price (but still less than $100!), Aritzia has some good options right now too. This off-shoulder sweater dress is really pretty, and not bad on sale at $87.50. If it’s too much skin for your office party, wear a sheer or lace crewneck underneath; you could wear it over a white oxford shirt for work. This long-sleeved Sirena dress is the same idea, with slightly less skin, for $70. I know you said no slip dresses, but the silky Harietta dress is too good not to include, and it’s on sale for $49.99 (from $135). It’s a slip dress with off-shoulder sleeves, so maybe it works? I would wear it to work over a turtleneck or long-sleeved lace or silk blouse.
And hey, for everyone else: Aritzia makes our favorite low-price slip dresses. The Felicity dress is a very nice midi slip for $80; the Mauricio dress is a great square-neck ’90s-style mini slip dress for $98; the Atro is another midi option for $88; and the Ignace dress, on sale for $80 from $118, has a beautiful sheer textured overlay of a leaf print. (I think you could get away with one of these if you layer with something fun, like the way Artizia styled the Atro dress above.)
Last but certainly not least, check out ASOS, which is offering 30 percent off partywear right now. This Boohoo twist-front dress is only $53, but looks way more expensive. This $29 ASOS T-shirt dress is very casual, but the open back makes it party-appropriate (just add heels). This $40 cotton-poplin ruffle-sleeve dress by Monki would be great for parties (add fun earrings) or work. There are also some other options from Mango not on the US site right now, like this mod shift dress for $70. For something a little different, check out this $48 tuxedo mini dress, which I think is a very festive party idea.
Any way you go, you’ll definitely wear this dress again!