Most “desk-to-dinner” pieces in my closet are siblings of wardrobe basics–that is to say they are, by and large, identical to a wardrobe basic (and almost uniformly black in color) but feature one or two (or three, but rarely more) playful details.

I’m partnering with Ann Taylor today to share a desk-to-dinner piece that I am excited to pack for my next “bleisure” trip (to relieve the drapey jumpsuit that I have been wearing often): the Bow Strap Sheath Dress. I can foresee this being a closet workhorse this season as the material is lightweight and breezy enough for even the warmest summer day. The shoulder bows are understated and easy to hide under a jacket, but not so inconspicuous that the detail is lost in the dark fabric. I opted for the dress in “regular” for extra length that further relaxes the dress without rendering it completely unprofessional. I would not recommend sizing up more, though, as the fit is already somewhat relaxed for a sheath dress.

It will require a pretty thorough steam if it comes to you wrinkled in the mail, but has proven mostly wrinkle resistant for daily wear (the 7% spandex in the material and the dark color help).

There is still a day remaining in Ann Taylor’s summer sale; use code SUMMERSTYLE to take 50% off everything.

My picks:

Floral Lace Shirtdress I am not entirely sure what an instant classic is, but this dress comes to mind when I think of the term. I like a white shirtdress for summer, and this one, with floral lace details that add visual interest to a wardrobe staple, is an easy sell. The dress also has deep pockets and a hidden front placket that prevents gaping. The fit is true to size, but tailored, so if you are buxom you should consider sizing up.

Rope Belt V-Neck Jumpsuit I loved this jumpsuit on just about everyone I saw it on, from a bubbly sales associate at Ann Taylor to a striking amazon that I crossed paths with on the street over the weekend. It sold out in nearly all sizes at the Ann Taylor that I visited last week so I didn’t get to try it on myself. Will be ordering it online as I, well, love all things green.

Textured Fringe Sweater Jacket As I mentioned in a separate post, this little jacket is now on sale and an extra 50% off with the promotion. I picked one up for my mom as well, as she complains often about the lack of cute warm-weather jackets that pair well with summer dresses. I do want to note that the jacket is medium-weight so probably not suitable outdoors in the current heatwave. The fit is true to size but the cut is boxy so you may not want to order any size larger than your normal Ann Taylor one.

Rainbow Tweed Shift Dress Were it not for the fact that I am trying to get my tweed-hoarding-tendencies under control, this dress would be in my closet. The vibrant color mix breathes new life to tweed, which can look matronly. It is perfect for work in the summer and would work well with the Textured Fringe Sweater Jacket mentioned above. I couldn’t find this dress in my size to try in store but based on how the next size up fit me I think the fit is true to size.

Tropical Toile Halter Tie Waist Flare Dress The print is cheerful but not loud. I like that the neckline is somewhat adjustable: the hook-and-eye closure in the front can be undone to reveal a shallow v-neckline or fastened for deeper-cut armscye. But, despite its online description, the dress has no pockets. I found the fit true to size but the cut is slightly relaxed so if you are in between sizes you can opt for the smaller size.

The Tropical Floral Flutter Linen Tee This lightweight tee is done in the same print as the halter dress that I mentioned above. I have a few printed linen tees from Ann Taylor collected over several seasons and couldn’t pass this one up as the flutter sleeves make them a little dressier than your average tee. I look forward to styling it with bright white jeans or a short flared skirt. The fit is true to size but the cut is relaxed so you can size down if you like a closer fit.

Some more sale picks:

Thank you Ann Taylor for partnering on this post!

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