There are a few golden rules to follow: always make sure your underarms are covered – sleeveless is generally out. Also, you risk looking unserious in a floaty, unstructured get-up, so choose a dress with a waist and in a good, firm material. A belt can bring something lacking in shape together – or a belted dress like Debenhams’ pictured here looks both neat and elegant.
Poppy Frill Front Dress, Top Shop, £35,
Playful but modest and very summery. Not suitable for senior staff or board meetings, though.
Twill Shift in Pink, by Debenhams, £44
Perfectly smart for work: fitted and elegant. Very versatile.
Multi-Floral Dress, Dorothy Perkins, £28
Just long enough at the arm, this accentuates curves in style.
Print Dress, Banana Republic, £95
This dress screams individuality but just stays within the lines. An elegant outfit.
Yellow Dress, M&S, £45
Paired with a light cardi this goes from “garden party” to “office ray of sunshine”.
Paul and Joe Frill Collar Bi-Coloured Dress, £335
The satisfying match of a sharp skirt and shirt in the convenience of a dress.
Green Originals Maya Dress, £160
Utterly feminine, with a hint of exoticism restrained by the empire waist and black bottom.