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How To Take A Shift Dress From Desk To Dinner

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January 22, 2008

The shift dress first appeared decades ago, but has proven its staying power by returning to hang from the shoulders of fashionistas year after year. What do we love the most about this style? Well, there's the super flattering shape, which works wonders at hiding the bumps and buldges you'd rather the world didn't see. And then there's the fact that, while some fashions are only good for a particular time of the day, this one can easily transform from office outfit to sexy date wear. Here's how:

1) Start with a basic black dress, like this Robert Rodriguez Beaded Collar Sheath Dress (was $396, now $158).

2) Day: Make it work at work by layering a long sleeve tee underneath (as shown in the photo–vary the color depending on how funky you're feeling). C&C California makes incredibly soft shirts ($64) that will hug your torso and be soft against your skin, but the Gap also has a great alternative ($15) on sale now. Add some opaque tights ($12.50), a cute pair of Bernardo flats ($130), and you're ready to tackle the morning meeting.

Women: Opaque tights - Black Women: Bernardo Brad - Pewter glove

3) Night: Tranform for a hot dinner date by stashing the t-shirt, tights, and flats in the Marc by Marc Jacobs Totally Turn-Lock Terri Tote ($428) you carried during the day. This bold-colored, oversized bag holds everything you need for work but also looks classy enough for dinner. Then strap on a pair of sexy heels (were $95, now $66), add a pair of eye-catching earrings ($28), and you're ready to go.

Women: Enzo Angiolini Maylie - SilverWomen: Mother-of-pearl drop earring - Silver

4) Beauty tips: Pack your purse with goodies that do double duty. Stella McCartney's Night and Day Purse Spray ($58 for spray and refills) has two scents–a fresh, rosy fragrance for the day and a more sensual amber version for the night. Another great product to keep on hand is Vincent Longo's Day/Play Duo Compact Powder Blush ($35), which has a lighter, more natural shade to wear to work then a darker, more dramatic version for the evening. Finish off your face with Jean Paul Gaultier's Natural Lip Balm & Lip Stain Duo ($25). The streamlined pen has a nourishing, colorless lip balm at one end and a more dramatic stain on the other.

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