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The Baltimore Sun

Ever wished your favorite dress was more user-friendly? Sure, it's pretty, but wouldn't it be nice if it treated you like your best pair of jeans and came with a set of handy pockets for your cash, cell phone and lip gloss?

Designers have figured out that today's woman wants more from her clothes than just good looks. Many of the hottest looks in dresses for summer and fall conveniently come with pockets.

So ditch the heavy handbag and go hands-free in dresses such as these local favorites:

1. Camille dress by Dace



Wear it to work; wear it to a party or just out for the day. This ultra-chic dress is a sexy but comfortable shape and comes in a gorgeous, versatile color: chocolate brown.

Where to get it:

Holly G Boutique, 1018 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill;

Why we love it:

The wool blend makes this dress perfect for fall, which is nipping at our heels, believe it or not. And depending on your mood, you can wear it with a turtleneck, tee, tank or blouse. The feminine white blouse shown is also by Dace.

2. Vivienne Tam Aphrodite dress



This strapless silk taffeta dress is best for evenings, when you'd rather use your hands for holding that glass of champagne and dancing the night away.

Where to get it:

Form, A Designer's Boutique, 1115 W. 36th St. in Hampden;

Why we love it:

The colors! This dress is like a bowl of exotic sorbets you can wear. The gathered bust is in an iridescent blue; the waistband is an eggplant silk satin and the full skirt with side pockets is in a deep forest color. It's delicious.

3. Walter Baker Metallic Shift dress



This cotton Lurex keyhole shift dress with a stone collar is the ultimate in decadence. The neckline is edgy, the shine says sexy and the pockets say "too cool."

Where to get it:

Doll House Boutique, 525 N. Charles St. in Mount Vernon

Why we love it:

Baker's dress has it all - elegance, sex appeal and that little something that will set you apart from all the other girls at the party. Plus a place to put your cell phone. What could be better?

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