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(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

Why you should add this dress to your summer wardrobe Add to ...

The trench coat may be synonymous with sleuths, but it doesn't take one to figure out why the garment maintains such a dedicated following. Its many incarnations - including the trench dress - are classic enough to take the mystery out of office dressing but also sharp and sleek. Here's how to wear it at work.

1. The best part of this dress is that it's incredibly easy to style: All you've got to do is add a pair of high, neutral heels (like at Yves Saint Laurent, above left) and a structured bag.

2. Minimize the effect of looking like a flasher by switching up the accompanying belt. Instead, cinch up with a brown or black version that boasts plenty of hardware to exaggerate those masculine lines.

3. Speaking of masculinity, keep your hair, makeup and accessories soft and feminine to counterbalance all that toughness. A sweep of lipstick, bangles or a neck scarf should do the trick.

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