You don't have to break the bank to accrue a stylish office wardrobe. In fact, if you invest in a few key pieces, you'll have the makings of a complete look to get you from Monday through Friday and maybe even transition into the evening and weekend. The key to purchasing an office wardrobe is to buy quality pieces that you can mix and match to come up with lots of different looks. Which five pieces should you buy?
5: Black Pencil Skirt
A simple and elegant black pencil skirt is a staple for any woman's wardrobe. You can couple it with something on the casual side like a blouse or a sweater or something a little more formal like a suit jacket. And because a black pencil skirt is a versatile piece of clothing, you can wear it with a variety of tops in one week, and your co-workers will be none the wiser.
4: White Blouse
A crisp white blouse is an essential item to complete your office look. While a variety of white blouses, from the ruffled front to the short-sleeved version, are perfect for the office, nothing beats the classic tailored look. Make sure to pick a style that flatters your figure.
You can pair a white blouse with a skirt or trousers. After the work day or on casual dress days, you can pair it with dark denim jeans.
3: Wide-leg Trousers
A pair of wide-leg trousers in a neutral color is a go-to office piece. Khaki, navy, brown or gray will go perfectly with a variety of professional tops.
The wide-leg cut flatters most figures and looks stylish and sophisticated. When picking out a pair of trousers, avoid pleats and extra pockets; simplicity is key. Just slip on a tailored blouse, fitted sweater and thin belt, and you'll be set for a day at the office. Or match your trousers with a more casual top for a sophisticated weekend or after-work look.
2: Black Pumps
Black pumps are the most versatile shoes for the office. You can wear them with almost everything, from skirts to trousers to dresses. The key to picking out a pair of pumps for the office is comfort. Designers like Cole Haan and Kenneth Cole design pumps that incorporate the technology of running shoes to ensure comfort. When picking out a pair of pumps, avoid super-high heels and aim for foot coverage. Go for a round toe, peep toe or pointy toe look to keep things simple.
1: Elegant Handbag
Even if you don't carry a briefcase to work, you'll want to make sure that the bag you're toting around is stylish and sophisticated. A high-quality black or brown leather handbag can both serve as a purse and give you room to bring home files or other office essentials. A tote or satchel is the perfect size for paperwork, phones, day planners and other items you're likely to carry to and from the office.
Lots More Information
- 10 Office Wardrobe Crimes
- Buy This, Not That: Summer Style Edition
- 10 Trends We Wish Would Die Already
- What does business casual mean for women?
- "10 Work-Wear Essentials." Marie Claire. http://www.marieclaire.com/fashion/tips/what-to-wear/work-wardrobe-basics
- Ruiz, Nicola. "Top Spring Wardrobe Tips for Working Women." Forbes. March 28, 2008. http://www.forbes.com/2008/03/28/style-spring-fashion-forbeslife-cx_nr_0328style.html
- Scarborough, Eliza. "School Run to Working Mum." Daily Mail. Nov. 26, 2009. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1230941/School-run-working-mum-The-wardrobe-essentials-gates-office.html
- Sherman, Laura. Wardrobe Essentials for the Young Professional." Forbes. July 8, 2008. http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/09/cities-professionals-young-forbeslife-cx_ls_0709style.html
- "Wardrobe Essentials." The Chic Fashionista. http://www.thechicfashionista.com/wardrobe-essentials.html
- Williams, Nicole. "Four Work Wardrobe Essentials." Huffington Post. Oct. 15, 2009. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicole-williams/four-work-wardrobe-essent_b_321122.html