A Twist on the Work-Shift

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.

12 A Twist on the Work Shift

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.

22 A Twist on the Work Shift

Mix it up from 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, take-me-seriously aspect of the dress.

3 1 A Twist on the Work Shift

This dress is not only classic, it can be worn year-round.  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.

Have you worn a shift dress before?


Photography credit: Erica Hampton

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What did you think of this article? I’d love to know your comments, feedback or personal experience. Leave a comment below!


  1. That is so cool! A very practical way to get dressed and still look spiffy and cool :)

  2. I haven’t actually heard about shift dress before.. This is nice.. Thanks for the share, Heidi!

  3. Carrie Ann says:

    I remember my mom telling me about shift dresses being the trend during her prime and now she’s seeing a lot other women still wearing them these days. I guess that’s one thing great about shift dress, it never gets out of style.

  4. Raiza Shane says:

    That inset-belt tie sure does the trick! I like the shift dress you’re wearing. I guess I’ll be buying one for myself soon!

  5. Raiza Shane says:

    yes, that is indeed a very fins shift dress, I like it, too!

  6. it’s a great concept dress, really. you can never go wrong when you wear a shift dress, on any occasion.

  7. Yes, ease of movement is what I always wanted to achieve whenever I wear my clothes. And shift dress is something that helps me move with ease in my cubicle at the office.

  8. I own at least 3 different shift dresses and I’m so thankful to have bought these because not only are these easy to wear, these also give me peace of mind, not at least giving me worries as to what to pair them with..

  9. Matilda JOnes says:

    Haven’t worn this. But I think I bought one two months ago. Thanks for the tips!

  10. Aaliyah Jane says:

    I’ve seen a lot of shift dresses being worn these days, even in my office. My colleagues told me it feels comfortable and hassle-free wearing that outfit.

  11. I think shift dresses come in handy. I liked it and prefer to use it in the office because it also never comes out of style

  12. Wow, this is so cool! I think I’m gonna be a fan…

  13. Susan Armstrong says:

    That Gerard Darel dress you’re wearing is really nice, I like the inset belt-tie detail, it made the whole shift dress look more interesting and not boring :)

  14. I actually like that shift dress you’re wearing, Heidi, looks very chic and sophisticated and classy :)

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