Ever slipped into a dress (a work dress!) and thought “This. Is. Perfection.”?
If not, now’s the time.
Meet The Iris.
Dreamed up in something like a drab finance cubicle and, eventually, built in New York, this dress is business casual magic.
I’ve been following MM.LaFleur for a while. I often spend many months getting to know and following a brand new to me before biting the bullet on a new piece for my collection. This was no different.
MM.LaFleur entered the world in 2013, born out of the minds of three women pining for a more inspired, stylish, versatile and dynamic work wear wardrobe. After a couple years of honing their ideas and product lines, they now offer a host of upscale professional pieces for women that are remixable, sophisticated and easy to wear as well as easy to maintain.
They desire to make personal professional style as easy as possible for busy, successful women. Consistent with that mission, MM.LaFleur not only offers individual products but also sets up each client with a stylist who can create an individualized Bento Box comprising classic and versatile pieces to make an entire outfit (including accessories and jewelry). Try everything on home, debate each piece for up to four days, and pay for only what you keep.
So far, I’ve only tried this Iris dress. I’m totally in love with it, and even had to “brag” about it to my colleagues the first day I wore it to the office.
I haven’t yet tried the Bento Box. I’m not currently in need of any work wear pieces now, though I may give it a shot down the road when I’m ready for a wardrobe refresh. This dress, however, is an amazing investment piece that I expect will reside in my closet for many years to come.
After months of receiving their newsletter (which, by the way, is great), I fell for the bait and bought this dress when they gave me a “you’ve been on our list for a while without buying; here’s a discount to try it” opportunity. Now, here I am spreading the word about the great dress I finally own.
To give you a slightly better feel for the dress, take a look at four ways I wore it to dress it up, dress it up, and just let it shine like the beauty that it is.
Four Ways to Remix Your Wardrobe Investment Pieces
You can see the dress is a very basic investment staple on it’s own. This makes it a perfectly classy piece that’s worth a little extra expense because it will last long, not look outdated, and can be remixed in a host of ways for maximum versatility in your closet.
The dress is made of thick fabric yet still has some stretch. It’s very soft and offers a flattering fit without being too tight. The thickness of the fabric also conceals “uneven curves” more than many other dresses I’ve tried that are made of somewhat less forgiving fabrics.
Upon opening the box, I found the dress nicely packaged in a nylon bag and the box decorated with great inspirational reminders to step up and go for it at the office (or wherever you wear the dress).
Not all of their pieces are made in the United States. But they include in the description of each piece on their site whether or not it’s made domestically. I chose this dress not only because I loved it but because it also met my Socially Conscious Style Challenge criteria.
Look 1: Colored Tights ~ Investment Piece + Pop of Color + Neutral Heels
As a neutral base, the dress makes a great canvas for adding color with a pair of tights. Many people feel nervous wearing colored tights to work. I definitely don’t blame them. A lot of colored tights (depending on the color) would look completely foolish and childish in a business casual corporate environment.
Darker, more subtle colors, however, can often be great to add a little pop to an outfit, especially when there isn’t a lot of color competition in the outfit. You can check this entire post I wrote about making colored tights work at the office. While colored tights aren’t fail-safe, they’re definitely doable.
For the record, this belt knotting trick really does work. I wore this exact belt, knotted all day at work without fidgeting with it once. Knotted belts aren’t just a faux-facet of the blogger world.
Dress – M.M. LaFleur (Made in the USA) | Tights – Target | Shoes – Saks Fifth Ave Black Label
Look 2: Monochromatic ~ Charcoal Dress + Black Blazer + Black Flats + Black Tights
Sometimes you need a style combination that’s really conservative. Or maybe you just don’t feel like getting creative on a particular morning and opt for all black and gray. This makes getting dressed incredibly easy.
I also love this option for a day when you might need to wear a suit. While it’s not technically a suit, it will definitely pass as one.
On that note, I’m working on a post all about alternatives to suits. In today’s corporate environment, very few of us actually need to wear a true suit to the office. I kept my old suits for way too long.
A combination like this one, that can be mixed and matched with so many other pieces in your closet, is a far better investment in a “suit” than the traditional option, if you rarely dig it out from the back of your closet.
Blazer – LOFT (thrifted via Salvation Army) | Dress – M.M. LaFleur (Made in the USA) | Tights – Target | Shoes – Cole Haan
Look 3: Pattern Mixing ~ Investment Piece + Patterned Blazer + Patterned Heels + Solid Neutral Tights
Because the dress is such a clean, blank slate, it can withstand a little more aggressive pattern mixing without being too bold for the office.
Also, the distance between the two patterns makes the combination slightly more fail-proof. If you’re a little nervous about mixing two patterns, particularly at work, don’t wear them next to each other. Even a little distance between the two helps limit the perception that they are competing with each other.
Look 4: Dressed Down ~ Investment Piece + Faux Leather Jacket + Boots + Scarf
The beauty of the basics; they can be dressed up but also dressed down. This could work for a more casual day in the office or transition right into the weekend or a dinner with some girlfriends.
This outfit also exemplifies the ability to create an interesting outfit with all neutrals. Color certainly isn’t a requirement to have a complete combination. In this case, the varying textures of the dress, scarf and jacket provide plenty of contrast.
Want more ideas about wearing all neutrals? Check out this post about four ways to wear all neutrals to the office and this little number that includes my third update on my 90/10 Socially Conscious Style Challenge.
Jacket – Target | Dress – M.M. LaFleur (Made in the USA) | Tights – Target | Shoes – Aerosoles
So that’s that. One dress. Four looks. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. This dress will definitely be popping back up on the blog many more times in the future.
Have you tried MM.LaFleur yet? If so, what’s been your experience?