Whether you’re returning to the workplace full-time or working from home, looking your best is still one of the most important aspects of feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin at work. If you’re anything like me, you appreciate putting together a wardrobe that works for the office (and beyond), then this piece is for you. Today, we’ll look at the 10 major work wardrobe necessities, which I feel will be required for most women who work in an office setting.
By the end of this article, you should have a good understanding of any potential holes in your work wardrobe, and you should be able to budget for and plan out any workwear purchases you need for the coming year. Over the years, all of these pieces have become the core of a work-appropriate wardrobe that also smoothly flows into weekend attire. Let’s take a look at some crucial workwear items that can help you put together a sleek and professional work wardrobe.
Skirt with a Pencil
A pencil skirt is a workwear-suited piece you will reach for throughout all seasons for many years to come. It is a structured separate that will make you feel ready for work. They’re adaptable because they go with a wide range of clothing, including shirts, blouses, and knitwear. Invest in a simple, neutral colour to make styling a breeze. Choose from a number of distinctive styles, including lace overlays, prints, and patterns.
A collared shirt is a true workhorse in everyone’s wardrobe, and it’s one work wardrobe necessity you’ll find yourself reaching for on a regular basis. This is one of the go-to style elements for any corporate or office atmosphere since it exudes a sense of professionalism. Switch things up by playing with a range of colours, styles, and prints. While a simple white shirt is often touted as a must-have, try experimenting with a variety of colours, styles, and prints. A collared shirt is a practical and evergreen style standard, with everything from gingham check to clever stripes, ruffles, and embellishments like cufflinks.
A Pair of Slacks
Trousers are a safe bet for work on days when you don’t feel like wearing a dress or a skirt. They don’t have to be boring, and, like collared shirts, they can add a dash of personality to your overall look. Wide leg, cropped, slim, straight, paper-bag waist, high-waisted, flares are just a few of the style possibilities available based on your body shape.
When it comes to trousers, one crucial piece of advice is to choose the greatest quality you can afford. Over the years, I’ve noticed that the appearance, feel, and longevity of trousers varies greatly. For obvious reasons, a low-cost pair purchased on the high street may endure a season or two, but they will not wear as well as a higher-cost pair. So, if you’re seeking to invest in a pair for work, finding a pair that will feel and look as good as new years after their initial wear will pay you in the long run.
A Simple Top
Patterns and prints are fun, but when it comes to workwear, they’re not so much. When it comes to tops, I’ve discovered that solid colours are the most flexible, as they’re the ones I reach for year after year. When it comes to putting together ensembles, having a few solid color simple tops in your work collection pays off. This is especially true when it comes to those “I have nothing to wear” times that we all have! If you choose a couple of tops in neutral tones like white, black, navy, tan, or grey, you’ll be able to wear this piece with practically any skirt or pair of pants for work.
Knitwear is one of my favorite categories in this article, and I adore it! On a physical and emotional level, they can be one of the most soothing – as well as attractive – pieces of apparel. Knitwear is another example of getting what you pay for. This is why I recommend investing in knitted garments made of wool, alpaca, or cashmere, with the higher the content of these fibers, the better.
Cashmere knitwear feels like you’re wearing a cloud, and it looks well with more statement pieces like pleated skirts or trousers. Turtleneck sweaters are a traditional option that has a touch of preppy vibe to them and looks fantastic with pants or denim. Chunkier knitwear made of wool or alpaca is a must-have for the winter season and can help to balance out a slender physique when worn with fitting or straight-leg trousers.
Jeans are probably not a category you’d expect to see on a work wardrobe necessities! Nonetheless, with office dress requirements growing more flexible over time and casual Fridays becoming commonplace, a good pair of jeans is a must-have. Whether your business permits you to dress however you like on a daily basis, or you’re constrained to a stricter dress code Monday through Thursday with casual Fridays, jeans are more acceptable than ever.
I’d recommend getting an excellent pair (or two, or three!) of shoes. When it comes to working, I definitely like a dark blue / indigo wash. While I have jeans in white, light blue, and black rinses, I find myself pulling for a pair in indigo the most. Darker colours appear more professional, and they’re especially appropriate for fall and winter. They’re also slimming!
A Trench Coat
Of all the things on my work wardrobe necessities, I would strongly advise you to spend the most money on this area. To begin with, it’s simply practical: a decent quality coat will protect you from the elements, be useful, and, if you buy carefully, should last you for many years. Second, during the cooler seasons, your coat is generally the first thing people notice about your overall outfit.
The first coat I bought in my early twenties almost cost me my whole paycheck at the time, but I wore it for over a decade in the fall and winter! It was a mid-thigh-length cream wool/cashmere blend coat with a wide wrap-around neck and practical pockets. I loved wearing it, and it kept me warm on my commutes to and from work, as well as during my overseas vacations.
A trench coat is another alternative that will certainly provide you with a fantastic cost-per-wear. I’ve kept mine for almost a decade since it’s so adaptable. It’s not only great for going to work, but it’s also great for weekends. If at all possible, choose a neutral colorway that will go with a variety of outfits. I got mine in black from British label Jigsaw, and it’s been great, especially for those slightly chilly or windy days that come with the transitional seasons.
A few projects Dresses that are appropriate for the occasion are a must-have in your closet. Dresses are really convenient to wear because they are practically one outfit. Unlike separates, you won’t have to worry about color coordination or if a top will go with a specific skirt or pair of pants! Dresses are another fail-safe option that is ideal for those days when you are unsure what to wear.
However, with so many styles to select from, finding the appropriate dress for the office can be difficult. To ensure that you look and feel good, there are a few crucial aspects to consider. The first concern is that the outfit must be appropriate for the workplace; hemlines, design, color, and bust-line all play a role here. The second factor to consider is your body shape; you must know what type of body shape you have in order to choose a dress style that is appropriate for your body type. Third, prints – ultra-bright or age-inappropriate prints or patterns might draw attention away from what you’re wearing and force it to focus on what you’re wearing.
I tend to gravitate towards shift, sheath, or A-line dresses because I know they flatter me and are also “work” suitable. Solid colors, particularly white, black, and navy, are another factor I favor. In terms of style, I prefer a knee-length hemline with a rounded or bateau neckline. At the end of the day, it’s crucial to infuse your outfit with your own sense of style, as long as you’re dressed adequately and feel comfortable. My own style is conservative, so when it comes to working attire, my choices will reflect that.
A collared shirt can feel too formal for meetings, while a tee can feel too casual. This is where blouses come in as a must-have for the office! A blouse is a beautiful way to give a sense of your personal style whether combined with a skirt or pair of trousers, and it is unquestionably a feminine choice when it comes to separates. They also have a variety of style elements including sleeve lengths, neckties, pussy-bows, and other features. For almost a century, the combination of a blouse and a pencil skirt has been a go-to business uniform.
Skirt with Pleats
Another of my personal style favorites, but perhaps not one that comes to mind when thinking of workwear. Pleated skirts made a comeback a few years ago, and I’m all for it! Sunray pleated skirts are the epitome of elegance and femininity for me – in fact, this piece is so adaptable that it can be dressed up or down with a little change of top and footwear, allowing the pleated skirt to easily move from work to after work, to weekend.
They’re also a good choice if you like floaty skirts to fitted ones like the pencil skirt. Despite the fact that a pleated skirt is not structured, it yet manages to emanate a sophisticated look.