The Power Dress

Professional on the top, and a party at the bottom, the Shona Joy Isabelle Dress is one of my ultimate work pieces. My office style definitely plays with the boundaries of smart casual, where my favourite slogan tee creeps in on a Monday and my sneakers on a Thursday. However, when I'm needing a bit of confidence, pizzaz and a 'listen to me' statement, I put this on with a pair of heels and rule the world. There's something about this shirt dress that ticks all the boxes: serious yet fun, strong yet feminine.




1. second hand

I'll admit, I got pulled in by a Suprette End-Of-Season Sale. You know the one, that they plaster on Instagram, Facebook and slide into your email that convinces you 70% off will mean you'll find a $99 gem? Normally, there's never anything for me, as the selection is a little too street and steep (if you know what I mean). But as luck, or un-luck(?) would have it, I spied this dress and was totally in love. I screenshotted it to a few friends, searched it up on Insta for some outfit inspo and got all excited... Until I finally came to terms that it was out of my budget and out of my size. I closed the window and forgot all about it.

But that was not enough to convince me that it was forever gone from my life. So I did what any hopeful fashionista does, and began trawling second-hand internet sites. I didn't think I'd be successful, but on first-hit, I found it on Trademe, in my size, in Auckland, for about half the sale price. I took these all as 'meant-to-be' signs. The previous owner had only worn it once, so I saved it from hanging in her wardrobe and gave it a second life. 

2. highly versatile

In and out of the office, this dress also works during the weekend paired with sneakers, and in the evening paired with heeled boots. This item is definitely one I can dress up and down, and it is the only shirt-dress I own.

3. Locally made (sort of)

Shona Joy is designed and made in Australia. I like that the production chain is a little closer to home and supports the brand's local industry, however they do not have a sustainability or ethics statement on their website. A quick search on Google comes up with shopping listings and not much else, and a search on the 'Good On You' app comes up with a 'not rated yet' status. If I bought another item from Shona Joy, I would definitely carry out a more thorough investigation!


Dress: Shona Joy Isabelle Drawstring Mini Dress from Trademe
Heels: Silver Mules from TOPSHOP
Photographer: Bryan from Optic By Law