My favorite work dress (with no exceptions) is the Black Halo Jackie O Dress in Stretch Gabardine. I almost always pack it for work trips because of its versatility; it’s dressy enough for after hours socializing but also demure enough for day.

Black Halo Jackie O Dress in Stretch Gabardine (also here, and here) | Coach Borough Bag in Pebbled Leather | Zara Court Shoes

The Jackie O is Black Halo‘s most “classic” dress and is released every season in five basic colors–black, navy, cobalt, red, and white–and a few seasonal colors, as well as in two-tone and prints. The drape neck detail and tab sleeves create the illusion of a smaller waist, making the silhouette especially flattering on rectangular figures.

The dress in size 0 fits me reasonably well; if I were pickier I would probably take issue with the gaping at the décolletage, which occasionally resulted in the dress slipping off one shoulder. It’s generally not an issue for me when fashion tape is used but for those of you with narrower shoulders, this may be a problem.

The finely woven, slightly stretchy gabardine fabric–62% Polyamide, 32% Viscose, 6% Spandex–is mostly wrinkle resistant. I’m kind of (okay, exceptionally) lazy and will, nine times out of ten, choose the fabric that can be steamed rather than ironed.

This style skews small compared to mall retailers so size up if you are between sizes or are more pear-shaped. Size 0 measures 42.25″ long, 12.5″ across the waist, and 17.5″ across the hip. The original design is meant to end just below the knee but on 5’2 me falls a few inches below. I ended up having the dress hemmed about 4 inches so that it falls at the knee, but no other adjustments were necessary.

The dress opens in the back with an invisible center back zipper. One detail that’s kind of lost in darker colors is the v-shaped curved seam in the back that gives the skirt additional shaping.

The Jackie O is also available in a mini length, with 3/4 sleeves, as a romper, and as a jumpsuit.

Buy the Jackie O from Black Halo (in a rainbow of colors), ShopbopAmazon, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale’s.

Happy shopping!

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