Published on December 23, 2012, by in Fashion.

We’ve all been there. Your friends want to meet downtown for drinks on a Friday evening after work, and you don’t have time to run home for an outfit change. How to find a piece that will take you from the office to a cocktail bar and keep you looking stylish? The answer is to find a dress that is both stylish and work appropriate.

The pencil dress is the ideal piece for those days you want to mix enjoyment and business. With its flattering cut and calf-length skirt, these frocks will give your ensemble a glamorous vintage style. Being inspired by Mad Men’s Joan Holloway – the shocking redheaded secretary – this style is classy for the office and yet on trend for after hours.

Pencil dresses come in a variety of colours, but the key trend for this fall is the Peplum. Giving the style an 80s twist, the peplum is a fun addition that flatters the waist and keeps the trend interesting. They epitomise pin-up glamour, and can be further accessorized with a waist belt if you so wish. Another update to the style corresponds with a look that has been hot for the last few seasons – the embellished collar. No need to worry about adding expensive jewellery, these pieces that often include sequins, ornate beading and stunning metallic tones give your outfit a luxurious feel, yet don’t seem too ostentatious for a professional look.

The peplum trend has caught on madly with stars clamouring to exhibit their fave pieces that manage to look fresh and classic at the same time. From Kim Kardashian in her clean, white and nominal peplum top coupled with leather leggings, to Kate Middleton in an extraordinary forest green peplum dress with waist belt and beret accessories, those under the spotlights are aware of how flattering and beautiful this style is. Swap Kim’s trend led leather for a rather more classic pair of cigarette pants, and either of these styles would be excellent for the boardroom or the dance floor.

The peplum pencil dress can also fundamentally be seen as a blank canvas. They come in a variety of colours, skirt lengths, sleeve style and neckline. Hot Fall colours such as oxblood and plum are peplum favourites; pair with patent courts for a classic and current ensemble. Or if you’re still in a Summer mindset, opt for pretty florals or nautical stripes, and complete with slingback kitten heels in lovable, attention-grabbing shades. You can easily make this trend your own, in ways that will be acceptable for day and evening wear. That’s the great thing about vintage inspired dresses: the sophistication and nostalgia of decades past that they allude to, allow for a look that is both smart and obvious of a devotion to fashion and style.

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