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A guide for layering sleeveless dresses

When summer turns into fall, those sleeveless dresses we loved so much during the warm months aren’t as wearable anymore, right? Wrong! Or maybe the company you work for has guidelines that that discourage going sleeveless to work in the middle of the summer.

Layering is a key method for looking appropriate and professional in any office, or for transitioning your wardrobe from hot temperatures to cooler ones. It’s an especially effective way to continue wearing that sleeveless sheath dress you love and any other sleeveless frocks you have in your closet. It should go without saying that bandage dresses, spaghetti straps and dresses that may expose any cleavage are best reserved for the evening, not the office.

But if you want to dress your outfit up, or your work location pumps the AC a bit too much in the summer, or a fall chill is in the air, there are many layering options for your dresses, which means you can get a variety of different outfits out of just a few pieces of clothing. Need a little inspiration?

Here’s a guide to layering those sleeveless garments this season:

A blazer or jacket

Do you wear your sleeveless dresses to work? How about out for happy hour? If so, pair one of them withAre you able to wear your sleeveless dresses to work? How about out for happy hour? If office rules apply, you can pair a sleeveless dress with a blazer or jacket for meetings and such, or simply for extra style when you’re out. There are tons of styles of blazers for women, many of which look flattering and professional when worn over a dress. Opt for one with a hemline that hits at or above your hips along with a cinched waist for an instant hourglass figure. For chilly fall evenings, switch your blazer out with a cool, stylish jacket. Whether you’re a cool leather jacket kind of lady or you prefer something a bit more polished, the overall effect will be trendy and sophisticated.

plus-size model wearing a cream jacket with jeans and a white purse.

A classic button down

And speaking of sophisticated, layering a button-down blouse underneath your dress is another way to look polished and professional.

Quick Tip: Make sure the shirt is fitted so that it doesn’t create any bulges or wrinkles underneath your dress. If you’re feeling a bit more fashion-forward, pair your dress with a blouse that has a tie neck – the addition of the bow at the dress’s neckline is charming.

Plus size model wearing a navy floral long sleeve top with jeans, holding a blue purse.

A fitted tee

If you like the idea of layering underneath your dress, opt for a fitted three-quarter- or long-sleeved tee. These offer a slightly more casual look, while keeping your arms warm and your outfit stylish. There are even flattering undershirts with sheer sleeves specifically made for this purpose! Keep in mind that layering underneath a dress works best when the dress has a high neckline – that way, the necklines of both garments won’t clash.

plus size model wearing a black top with ripped jeans and a necklace.

A cardigan

Whatever outfit you’re wearing, you can’t beat the layering power of a cardigan. When pairing one with a sleeveless dress, you have a couple of options. For a more professional style, choose a fitted cardigan with a hemline that hits right at your hips. For a more casual weekend look, go for something long and loose. Feeling trendy? Wear a knee-length cardigan to stay fashion-forward this season.

A pullover

For casual style, make a faux skirt out of your sleeveless dress by pairing it with a pullover sweater! Be careful with this, though. If the skirt of the dress is voluminous and you pair it with a bulky knit sweater, it could add the appearance of a few extra pounds. Instead, pair your heavier knits with fitted dress styles.

Plus size model wearing a pink top with a black skirt


And finally, it wouldn’t be fall without a few fashionable pairs of tights! Keep your legs warm by wearing tightAnd finally, it wouldn’t be fall without a few fashionable pairs of tights! Keep your legs warm by wearing tights under your sleeveless dresses. Complete the look with a pair of boots or some loafers, and you’ll be ready for anything.

Comments (3)

I am on dialysis. My left arm looks like cross ties on a railroad track. I am a Minister at Church, so I need my arms covered.


I have a sheer under top that covers your arms and is short over your bra ,are u still selling g it,thank u

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