Would You Wear a Prairie Dress to Work?

I spent nearly half my life on stage. Theater camp, dance school, community theater … The best part of the production schedule—no matter the medium—was, hands down, the day we got to see our costumes.

To me, the more elaborate the better. Example: a distressed prairie dress that I wore playing Dorothy in The Wiz. Puffed shoulders, apron-front, ankle length … it was an extremely literal interpretation.

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As I peruse Net-a-Porter and Nordstrom, I’m struck by how many dresses are akin to my Dorothy dress: prairie dresses in bright patterns and bold florals. Thanks to designers like Ulla Johnson, Zimmermann, and Isabel Marant boho-chic is in. All you have to do is walk the halls of the InStyle offices to find out.

Sure, we work in fashion so we have a bit more leeway when it comes to what we wear to the office, but you’d be surprised. You can barely pass a row of desks without someone in a floral print or puffy sleeve. 

“I love prairie dresses because for some reason I enjoy looking like I run a farm in 1890,” our very own Editor-in-Chief Laura Brown told me on the day she received an estimated 24564 compliments on a new DÔen dress she got. “I just love them because they are super flattering, feminine and easy to funk up.” The styling trick? “I tend to wear red or white boots with mine, or if I really want to girl out, gold Mary Janes.”


I would like to announce that my @shopdoen dress is the best dress in the world. This week. (The @dolcevita boots aren’t bad either).

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Shop our favorite work-friendly prairie dresses, below.

Tiered Printed Chiffon Midi Dress

Tiered Floral-Print Georgette Dress

Lace-trimmed floral-print silk midi dress

Bianca Printed Silk Crepe de Chine Maxi Dress

Larissa Floral-Print Cotton and Silk-Blend Maxi Dress

Laelia floral-print linen maxi dress

Lace-trimmed broderie anglaise cotton midi dress

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