Work dresses under $150

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Several of you got on my case about how last week’s post on work dresses was on the pricey side. I thank those of you who sought to defend my choices, and reminded the peeved parties that I am not their personal shopper, cause I’m not. I include on this blog items I love, and as it turns out, my taste has always skewed pricey. The reason I’m giving myself a re-do here is that usually when I show expensive  items, I balance them out with more affordable ones, and in that particular post I didn’t do the greatest job of that. So here are some reasonable options, starting with this pretty floral number.

I’m not crazy about the ribbon belt here, so I’d sub it out for something dark, because I think the dress is really cute.

Super-simple but very sophisticated.

This dark floral looks so perfect for days when your only priority is to feel comfortable.

The draping here is quite convenient for campuflaging stomach junk.

I like the slouchiness of this blouson option.

I like when something girly, like a floral print is executed on a nice clean shape, like here.

Another simple but sophisticated shape. I’d throw on a stack of bracelets to add a little interest.

the balloon sleeves here are really chic.

A classic wrap dress in a nice, deep plum hue.

And finally, for the precious remaining summer Fridays we have left: a fun beachy print.

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28 Thoughts on Work dresses under $150
    Tammy Madsen
    21 Aug 2017
    9:21am

    I love all these selections, but the beachy & Other Stories dress in particular, since it reminds me of all the blue tiles I saw last month in Portugal.

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      Darcy
      23 Aug 2017
      6:09pm

      Proceed with caution. I actually ordered this 2 mos ago and the cut was totally awkward unflattering. Looked cheap, no way to be saved by a seamstress either. I’m 5’10” and 140lbs, hourglass type. Returned immediately.

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    Kate
    21 Aug 2017
    9:58am

    Just FYI….I wish you were my personal shopper! Love your choices and love the variety!

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    DeDe
    21 Aug 2017
    10:03am

    You are solid gold, Kim France.

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      KimFrance
      22 Aug 2017
      11:43am

      Thanks, DeDe. Love you.

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    Suzanne
    21 Aug 2017
    10:30am

    Kim, I rather like your expensive taste! If there were one closet I’d like to raid, it would be yours!

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    Mary Alice
    21 Aug 2017
    10:48am

    Jeez, can people just relax? Looking at pictures of great looking clothes is fun. I can’t wear or afford half the stuff here and I still look forward every morning to seeing what you’ve shared with us. I’ve gotten so many good styling ideas from you. Lighten up , people!

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      Alix
      21 Aug 2017
      5:14pm

      Before we start jumping on the peeved people… I was interested to see just what sort of kerfuffle had gone on, so I looked up the comment thread in question.

      The commenter who first “got on Kim’s case” went out of her way to explain that she wasn’t trying to be a Bitter Betty, she appreciated Kim’s blog, etc., she was just a bit frustrated sometimes at not being able to afford all the gorgeous things shown. Then other commenters chimed in and among them, they pretty much decided that yeah, not everything was going to be affordable, but all items shown provided inspiration, and they’re all big fans of the blog.

      Then Kim graciously joined the discussion and said that she hadn’t mixed in enough lower-priced options this time, but would try to amend that quickly. Everyone was quite lovely to each other, so I was rather surprised by the somewhat cranky tone of this morning’s post.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        22 Aug 2017
        12:40am

        I hear you, Alix, and understand the frustration of some readers. But I try to put myself in Kim’s shoes, too. She really puts herself out there for us so she often has to field criticism of her choices while trying to please all of us! Not an easy task.

        I don’t know what the solution is, but I’m sure it has something to do with being more forgiving and accepting of one another, and given this community of super-cool women, I know that’s possible! ❤️

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          layla
          22 Aug 2017
          7:50am

          While I am a long-time reader of Kim’s blog, and generally love it, I too am bit surprised by the tone of this post. As stated the initial discussion was very cordial and gracious. Given that these blog posts contain affiliate links that provide a commission to Kim, I don’t think that the feedback on providing more affordable options is unreasonable. It stands to me that if a blogger is profiting from the reader’s clicks then the readers are allowed to state their preferences for more affordable options!

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    Mimi
    21 Aug 2017
    11:06am

    Being exposed to well-designed, often expensive clothes is the best way to educate your eye and elevate your style. When you see and appreciate the best you can get better at recognizing less expensive versions. So thank you Kim, for showing us what you think is good.

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    Linda
    21 Aug 2017
    11:55am

    That black dress (third from the top) is just lovely. It would be perfect both for big-deal work meetings and a funeral.

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    Tamara WINAWER
    21 Aug 2017
    1:54pm

    Ummmm…you sorta ARE my personal shopper Lol…whether I’m splurging OR saving 😉

    For the record, I think you rock a pretty nice balance between the 2!

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    Heather
    21 Aug 2017
    3:10pm

    Kim, I appreciate that you included this Boden shirtdress, as I imagine much of the Boden lookbook to be very much NOT your taste! 🙂

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      marjorie
      21 Aug 2017
      5:34pm

      Heh. Love Boden!

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        Heather
        21 Aug 2017
        7:36pm

        As do I, though my taste tends to skew girly-vintage. Reading this blog has helped me mix things up a bit.

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    c.w.
    21 Aug 2017
    4:28pm

    I would wear the gathered H&M dress. Looks really flattering. Also the print on the “beach dress”––while it isn’t my style I thought it amusing. Would probably wear that one too.

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    marjorie
    21 Aug 2017
    5:37pm

    I adore that first H&M floral (poppy?) dress. I’m a size 16 but fwiw, fellow big girls, a thing I have learned from a few plus-size bloggers is that a number of H&M things every season can fit up to a size 20 or so. Even though they’re not marked as such. This pretty one is so flowy, I suspect it would fit someone larger than a size 14 (the biggest size listed).

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    Debra K
    21 Aug 2017
    7:13pm

    We should be able to talk openly about how much things cost and it’s ok to say something isn’t affordable. I don’t think anyone was really upset about prices as much as the frustration of not being able to afford some of the pieces. Happens to the best of us no matter how much money we earn. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that money is not the point. The beautiful thing about this blog is that it is about inspiration and ideas and fashion and celebrating the idea that we are not invisible – not what’s in our bank account.

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      karen
      22 Aug 2017
      11:05am

      Well said, Debra–but watch out, you will no doubt be labeled “peeved party,” for such a cogent and well said comment. Glad you sandwiched it with a compliment about her blog, I really should have done that in the last post…

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        Debra K
        22 Aug 2017
        12:44pm

        Karen, take a chill ok? Don’t passively aggressively throw me under the bus and stop being a bully. Kim is right, keep it civil.

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    Kim
    21 Aug 2017
    8:17pm

    You’re always spot on with your dress recommendations – I appreciate your regard for the longer length, now that I’m not 25. I love the H&M flowered number because it’s not too “frilly.” I can’t usually wear floral, but I like that one.

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    karen
    22 Aug 2017
    11:03am

    “peeved party” here! for the love of god–i guess since i did not explicitly state, i in no way think of you as my personal shopper, i guess that makes me one of the people who thinks of you as their personal shopper.

    what i was hoping for was to comment on and have a conversation about the nuances of trying to find things that look as fab as the 500 dollar dresses at a price point that is sustainable for humans who were not lucky magazine editors. perhaps even a conversation about sustainable fashion vs. fast fashion or even just a dress with goddamn sleeves that looks chic that could inspire something other than–oh, i guess i could pay my bills this month, or buy this dress.

    clearly–my admiration of you from your sassy days to present has been misplaced because oh boy, do you ever beat a dead horse to the ground if anyone, anyone dares to write a comment free of the bow and scrape–bless your heart.

    thank you for this post about dresses. thank you for not being our personal shopper. thank you for being better than every single goddamn one of us.

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      KimFrance
      22 Aug 2017
      11:42am

      Sorry to Karen and everyone who was offended by the tone of Monday’s post. I was cranky when I wrote it, and that crankiness has nothing to do with any of you and everything to do with some things I’m dealing with personally. I welcome criticism always, because without all of you, there is no need for GOACA to exist. But let’s keep things civil, OK?

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    rebecca
    22 Aug 2017
    11:11am

    I love the idea of lower priced options, but let’s also talk about quality. I saw the H&M dress in real life and it is really bad.

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    laura
    22 Aug 2017
    1:43pm

    I don’t often comment, but I do love your blog and always read/look. And while I am often bummed when I love something you show and it is way out of my price ballpark, I wouldn’t change a thing. It is great for inspiration. And who doesn’t go shopping and find things they love but can’t afford! So thanks.

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    Charlie
    25 Aug 2017
    12:21am

    I ordered the plum H&M wrap dress and it’s great — thanks! It does run large, for anyone who’s intrigued. Also, thanks to the commenter who posted the H&M dress with the crane print, which I also got — so nice! And made of a nice challis, not that combustible stuff.

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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