~original photo c/o pink pot~
Work wear for women is such a unique & interesting area of fashion because of it’s comparative ‘newness’. What is considered ‘work appropriate’ has changed so drastically as women have taken over the work force the past few decades and have, in turn, challenged traditional dressing norms. That being said, it can be tough as a young woman to build up your wardrobe of wear-to-work basics. Today I I am bringing you 10 essential items for dressing for the office.
The Top 10 Office Wear Essentials
A comfortable, quality pair of black pumps is a wardrobe staple. You don’t need to spend a fortune on pair, but you do need to find ones that are comfortable to you. Check out my Guide to the Best Heels for Work.
2. Well-Fitted Black Blazer
Black blazers are the jeans of the office world. They go with everything. The key is making sure your ‘staple’ black blazer is an excellent fit on you. The look of a polished blazer makes all the difference in a work day outfit. If you’re struggling to find the best cut of blazer for your body, be sure to read my guide on How to Find the Best Blazer.
3. Comfortable Flats
As much as you need good pumps for work, there will always be days where you just want to give your feet a break and wear flats. The good news is that with all the stylish options out there now, you can wear flats and still look completely professional and polished. I recommend sticking with a pointed toe shoe to keep the look professional. Having a black pair (like the one above) and a nude pair (I adore these) is ideal. You can also have fun with your flats. I like these & these to add a bit of drama to your outfit!
4. Nude Pumps
I firmly believe that if you have a pair of black and a pair of nude pumps you are set to match any work outfit you can come up with. I love the Charles by Charles David pumps above, because the nude color is perfect on my skin tone. There’s a ton of great nude pumps out there so you can find one that is actually ‘nude’ on you. Again, refer to my guide to comfortable heels for work if you need to find a comfy pair!
5. Pencil Skirt
A black pencil skirt that hits just above the knee is ideal for any office environment. Go for materials with a bit of stretch to give yourself comfort and a flattering fit. There are also great options for wrinkle resistant pencil skirts (this one is a favorite of mine) which are a life saver during busy work weeks!
6. Trench Coat
A basic tan trench is a classic piece that just does not go out of style. The Burberry (above) is the dream – such an iconic piece – but there are also affordable options that will keep you stylish and professional looking. I love this one (under $100!) and this one (with a hood!).
7. White Button Down (Cotton or Silk)
Many people will say you need the ‘classic’ white button down shirt – meaning a stiff cotton shirt. In my opinion, you need the look of a white button down – it is timeless afterall – but there is more flexibility today in terms of material. As someone with a larger chest, I constantly face the ‘button gap’ problem, so I find a silk button down shirt (like this one) to be a better closet staple.
8. Structured Handbag
A structured handbag looks professional with any outfit. One that fits a laptop is essential for work. If you have followed LLB for a while you know that I cannot get enough of this bag – I use it nearly every day for work!
9. Cashmere Sweater
Offices are notorious for being over air-conditioned. A light cashmere sweater will ensure you stay warm but still look professional (leave your baggy hoodie at home!). They also make a great layering piece – I love wearing a plaid or checkered button under a cashmere sweater in the winter.
10. Sheath Dress
A black sheath dress is another timeless piece that you can turn to over and over for a classy work day outfit. I love the DVF one (above) but in general, I’ve also had luck finding sheath dresses at affordable prices at both J Crew Factory & Banana Republic.