You’ve landed a new job – CONGRATS! You’ve worked super hard to get here and of course, you want to make a great first impression and then you’re haunted with the daunting question of what workwear is appropriate.
Men sleep easy knowing that button-down shirts, dress shoes, and variations of the suit will always work. Women often navigate vaguer rules and stricter guidelines with the disadvantage of not having the same “office uniform” as men do.
To help you ace any work environment, here’s a list of workwear staples you can never go wrong with:
White Button Down
The simple white button-down is a workwear staple because of its simplistic elegance, but also great for a dressier night on the town. You can pair it with a pencil skirt for a more professional look, or you can tuck it into dark jeans with a blazer for a more casual workplace ensemble.
Every woman should have one plain white button-down in the closet that isn’t too tight or too sheer. If you want to spice up the look you can add blouses with a few ruffles, a unique collar, or a small print to add a little flair to an otherwise very simple shirt.
A fitted black blazer is all you really need to turn any outfit into a workwear piece. The blazer can take any casual piece – even a t-shirt or tank top – and make it look more professional.
For a few extra bucks, I’d highly recommend getting your blazers tailored. There’s something about how clothes that are tailored to your specific body make you look (and feel) like a million bucks.
You can also switch it up and get a few nice colored blazers that help you stand out in a room.
Office tip: Keep a blazer at your desk. If you spill coffee on your shirt or the office gets chilly, you can throw on a black blazer to stay professional and warm.
Comfort is key, which is why we love pumps for the workplace. Platforms make them easier to walk in, but you still get the beauty and power that comes from the stiletto.
Regardless of if you don’t need to wear heels every day or not, it doesn’t hurt to have a go-to pair of pumps for a big meeting or a job interview.
We love a pair of nude pumps because they’re casual and professional at the same time. Nude pumps work especially well to dress-up work jeans.
Care tip: Clean your pumps with petroleum jelly to keep them fresh and shining.
On those days where heels aren’t wanted or necessary, you’ll want a pair of professional loafers. Loafers are nice because they’re a notch up from ballet slippers or sandals. There’s also a ton of variety available in loafers from colors, styles, buckles, and so much more.
A warm, versatile cardigan is always included in my workwear staples list. Like a blazer, it can instantly dress up a more casual outfit. A cardigan can also dress down a fancier outfit. It’s perfect to make sure you always fit right in with the “business casual level” of those around you.
Besides, a cardigan is one of the most comforting pieces of clothing you can own.
Black pants are one of the most versatile items in your closet. Pair these workwear staples with a white button-down for a chic look or a graphic tee for an expressive ensemble.
It’s easy to want to wear your black pants everywhere because they’re so versatile. But, make sure you have a pair of gently worn pants for work that aren’t faded from regular use.
Business casual almost always includes dark denim. That means a pair of dark wash is a must for your work wardrobe essentials. Pair with a blouse, blazer, and pumps for a commanding and stylish outfit. Or pair it with a sweater for a laid-back, warm look.
If you’re still mainly working at home, check out my blog, The Perfect Workwear Outfit For Working From Home, for inspiration.