What you should wear to work greatly depends on where you work and what dress code is preferred. Some offices insist on traditionally professional clothes, while others don’t. The general rule is that you are expected to look sharp and professional in any case. If you want to express your individuality and style and get out of lifeless office attire, a trend called business casual is the way to go.
Business casual is somewhere in the middle between very formal and casual, but the spectrum is large. Normally, you can mix traditional office clothing with more relaxed pieces and add a personal touch, while still keeping the business look.
The best way to build your work wardrobe is to get all the essential pieces and make smart combinations. Here is our checklist and some suggestions.
When you find the perfect pants, you are half way there. They should always be sharp and professional, with a slim, bootcut or trouser silhouette, and in solid colours. In case jeans are allowed, stick to dark washes or black jeans. Avoid any prints and embellishments, striped or checkered pants and bright colours. You can combine classic work pants with a matching jacket and pumps or boots, and you’ll have more room for colour and style with your blouse.
A basic blouse is a staple in any woman’s work wardrobe, and you should choose something in solid colours or very simple prints. Building around your white, pink and baby blue blouses is a great start. You can layer them with a cardigan, a blazer or a jacket. You can wear them tucked in with dark jeans for a more casual look and get more colourful if your workplace allows it.
Skirts and Dresses
Skirts and dresses are a great alternative to the work pants. An elegant pencil skirt can be worn with shirts, blouses, cardigans and blazers. Work dresses are the perfect choice to express your femininity and corporate chic. They are usually short sleeved or sleeveless and worn with a blazer. Both skirts and dresses can be worn with flats and pumps, or boots in the winter. Depending on the situation and the season, go for bright or darker tones, but always choose something toned down.
Nothing emphasizes the professional look more than a work suit, and it can be a pants suit or a skirt suit. Suits provide you with many more options than it might seem at first. You can wear them as matching sets with an interesting blouse, or you can split them into separates and combine jackets with different skirts for example, which gives you plenty of room for creativity especially if you move out of the monochromatic scheme.
Blazers and Jackets
These are also staple pieces in your work wardrobe, and you should probably have a wide selection of them from basic to business. If your office prefers a formal dress code, a universal structured blazer with one or two buttons will be perfect. If you have more room to be casual, you can go for an unstructured silhouettes, soft jackets, or longer looser jackets for a fashion statement. You can even wear a cropped blazer if it matches well with a work dress for example.
Remember to always wear something that fits you well, and flatters your body shape. If you really want to add a personal touch to your work clothing, do it via accessories and jewelry, but never go overboard. It is all about combining well and matching colours.