Get a shift on! One great dress, four ways to wear it

The versatile Ponte Shift Dress is a favourite of ours. With the expert help of our in-house stylist Rachel, we show you how to create a series of different daytime and evening looks with it.

Our stylist Rachel has a canny way with dresses. She can take one simple shift and turn it into a myriad great looks to suit any occasion. I think it’s some kind of magic that stylists must be born with. Their ability to transform an outfit in seconds with a mere swish of a scarf here, a change from ballets to cute boots there, a clever twist, a surprise element, an unusual colour pop – things that you would never dream of putting together, that look, well… amazing!

We challenged Rachel to come up with 4 great looks for our classic Ponte Shift Dress.

OK, she has a really nice blank canvas to work with – it happens to be a fabulous dress for starters. Ponte jersey fabric has a magic of its own – it’s a beautifully soft yet substantial double-knit blend. Firm and dense with a good dose of stretch, it holds you in, skims over curves, flatters from every angle – and is the absolute favourite of designers and wearers alike.

Take the Ponte Shift Dress in point – it’s simple, elegant and, crucially, versatile. As Rachel says…

“I love the simple lines of this dress. They are quite cleverly constructed to flatter just about any figure. In part that is down to the way the darts are angled, as are the welt pockets… the resulting V shape creates an illusion of a shapelier waistline. And this lovely dark green shade is such a beautiful colour. It suits a lot of complexions – and is also perfect paired with either classic colours or pops of bright – as long as you choose the right tone.”

The perfect equation for a woman on the go! 

Trench coat + leather tote + leopard flats + favourite dress = Chic Commuter. It’s the way we all want to look – put together, smart, sassy, stylish – and it’s beautifully easy to accomplish, too. The rain mac is a classic, perfectly proportioned Trench Coat (every woman should have one) and this bag is to drool over! Let’s face it, an exquisitely soft pebbled leather tote bag is on every woman’s wish list.

Post your ‘out-of-office’ sign –
it’s the weekend!

Think shopping sprees, art galleries and lunch dates with friends. This dress transforms easily with the addition of a cute blue denim jean jacket and ankle boots – takes it way beyond the office into weekend territory in seconds. The boots I chose just because they are so adorable with their pretty scalloped edge and divine shade of neutral (it’s called Vicuna, which I believe is the more exclusive cousin of the llama – not that our boots have anything to do with either – we just liked the name ;).  Adding a pop of artful colour by way of a vibrant scarf completes the look.

Tame that leopard for the purrrfect date night

Eating al-fresco (while you still can) means probably throwing on a soft cardigan as the evening cools. Don’t plump for any old cardi though… show your wild side with this fabulous leopard print Supima cardigan. A touch more exciting than plain, yet not too garish, it works almost as a neutral over the deep green of the dress – but has that pop of light you need to bring it to life. Complete the outfit with gorgeous scalloped ballet flats – perfect for evening. Accessorising with a belt will help to define your waist and give this look one extra element of sophistication (and you can always loosen the buckle a notch if dessert gets the better of you).

This dress means business!

I love the idea of pairing the dress with a button down shirt underneath. It instantly showcases the versatility of the dress from date to boardroom. Here I’ve gone for our iconic Oxford shirt (Class 1 honours among women’s shirts, guaranteed) and rolled up the sleeves to loosen up the vibe. Add in a beautifully tailored blazer to elevate it straight to the top floor! This one has a slightly shorter, super-feminine cut – single button fastening and classic revere collar. Timeless. And of course, boardroom heels and a pair of on-point glasses will have them eating out of your hands.