A Work or Cocktail Dress?

When I look at images of dresses such as the one above (left) from the YSL S/S08 show, my usual reaction is probably', 'oooh, that looks nice and structured.' But since it's not like I can actually afford YSL, my thoughts just stop there. It was until I saw similar highstreet designs that I started wondering where do people actually wear dresses like this to? The YSL dress looks thick (material-wise,) grey and structured like YSL's suitskirts, so I just assumed it was a work dress. But now that I think of it, who would actually wear a strapless, low-cut dress to work? No one right? So is it a cocktail dress? Actually, Victoria Beckham is the only person I can think of who would walk around in something like that during daytime.

The highstreet dress that I mentioned was this grey dress from Miss Selfridge, (which is a UK chain store for those of you who aren't familiar with UK highstreet stores.) My first thought was that it looked cute, thanks to the bubbly-tulip skirt bit. It's a great way (and a very affordable way -28 pounds,) to add a structured item into my wardrobe. But then it occured to me that it has the same problem as the YSL dress -it looks very 9-to5-workclothes-y, especially with that black patent belt. And I certainly don't want to wear a business-like dress casually because it'll just make me uncomfortable -kind of like when I see certain celebrities wearing this kind of dresses around casually, or just for something not work-related. (I think Lauren Conrad did so before.)

But wait, can one actaully wear this dress back to the office? It's pretty low-cut and I'm not sure it actually goes past the knees. Hmm, I suppose it's ok wearing to work if you work somewhere that's semi-business-formal, and you can just wear layers to make it suitable, like wearing a turtleneck-top underneath or just a plain, long-sleeve white tee underneath. Where would you wear this sort of dresses to?