Fashion Winter/Fall Workwear

Work to Weekend: The Bell Sleeve Dress

September 7, 2016

Fall is one of my favorite times of year, but I can’t help but get butterflies in my stomach during all of the back-to-school hoopla. I used to be a teacher and memories of setting up my classroom, preparing curriculum for the school year and meeting my new students comes rushing back. I thought it would be fun to do a fashion inspired post for all of the teachers out there who are heading back to work. Really, this post is for any woman who works and wants to get the most out of her wardrobe. There’s been a casual shift in the workplace dress code which means that with a little creativity, you can wear “work clothes” on the weekend and visa versa. There is no need to have two completely separate sets of clothing.

I came across this Madewell dress (which was just marked down to $69!) and it is the perfect piece to easily transition from work to weekend. It has the teeny, tiniest bell sleeve detail that makes it stand out from it’s more basic alternatives. Bell sleeves are EVERYWHERE this season, but they can be difficult to wear because there is so much material. For teachers who are using their arms a lot that could be distracting, which is why I was drawn to this miniature bell sleeve version. It’s eye catching, but not distracting which is exactly what you want when you have to hold the attention of 25 kids for 6 hours on end;) Oh, and I should add that it is super comfortable too – it’s made of a “substantial jersey” fabric AND is machine washable to boot. (Also comes in a striped version here)

For Work:

madewell dress, workwear, bell sleeve dress

If I were to wear this to work (perfect for back-to-school night) I would keep it simple by adding a necklace and a dressier shoe. But for teachers, it’s all about being comfortable so I had a little fun and went with lace up oxfords (these are the ones from Ellen Degeneres’ new line – I can’t not love anything she does!). Teachers are always on the move which makes difficult to wear heels. Plus, remember being a kid on the first day of school and seeing a teacher tower over you? These shoes are a little more… approachable? That being said, you can pair pretty much any shoe with this dress and it just works.

EED by ellen degeneres shoes, oxfords

madewell dress, workwear, bell sleeve dress, oxfords

For Weekend:

Take this dress with you on the weekend by adding a blanket scarf  for a more laid back vibe (the one I’m wearing is only $11!), and dressing it down with booties (or even sneaks).

madewell dress, workwear, blanket scarf, booties

And you guys!! A friend just let me know that these Bashina booties that have been sold out EVERYWHERE are now available at Dillard’s in this same shade (brindle) and in most every size! Nordstrom has a few left in more colors – you can find those here.

And one note about this backpack. It was an NSALE purchase and it is everything. I have been eyeing it up for years, but the classic black was a bit too edgy for me. Once I saw it in this shade I knew I had to have it, but GAH, of course it just sold out! But don’t fear, it comes in several other fringe-less varieties here. Those might be more practical? Anywho, it holds just enough for an outing with the kids and the external zipper allows for quick and easy access. Most importantly, since it’s a backpack, you can be hands free.

madewell dress, bell sleeves, backpack

(Those toes!!)

Teachers, I wish you the BEST of luck as you go back to school this year! This post is the first in a little mini-series I’ve created for those heading back to work so stay tuned for more!

Follow me on Instagram for more fall style inspiration! 

Get the look here:

*For size reference, I’m wearing an XS in the dress and the shoes all run true to size.

Shop Other Bell Sleeve Dresses:

Photography by Alison Cornell

  • Nicole
    September 27, 2016 at 8:05 am

    I just came across your Insta and blog and LOVE it! Your style is very much my own and as a boy-mom, I can totally relate!
    Can you tell me how this dress runs? I am 5’9 170lbs, short torso. I love the look of it.

    • Lindsey
      October 1, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Hi nicole!! Thanks for reading! The dress runs true to size. I am wearing an XS if that helps??

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