Work It Out.

Choosing an outfit for the workplace is a tight-rope walk; you need to keep it appropriate and tasteful, but without sacrificing your personal sense of style.

You likely spend more time at the office than you do at home/out on the town/running errands. When you’re hitting the office 5 days a week, every week, all year long, it’s important to breathe a little personality into your work-wear. You don’t want to lose yourself in a sea of nude-colored pantyhose and heavy polyester mustard-colored pantsuits.

Use these key staples to build an office wardrobe: the trouser pant, the blazer, the stiletto, the ballet flat and the A-line dress. Take these and match them with your closet favorites to put your own style spin on things. Maybe you’re a scarf person, or you never met a statement necklace you didn’t immediately love, or you live for the color red, or you have a favorite watch that you wear rain or shine. Your favorites + these classics = your personal work wardrobe.

The trouser.

A pair of trousers in a classic neutral (black, brown, khaki, navy, gray and the newly-minted neutral olive green) can be paired with anything. Go preppy-chic with a button-down, girly with something ruffled, all-American with a fitted tee, cozy with a chunky knit sweater, demure with a cardigan, powerhouse with a blazer, etc.

The blazer.

I love a good blazer. It’s a year-round piece for me (movie theaters and restaurants are always cold, even in high summer), and I pair it with everything from the aforementioned trousers to dresses. You don’t have to stick to the classic black blazer, either. Maybe for the fall and winter, you choose a great dark herringbone jacket. For summer, a lightweight blazer in seersucker. Roll the sleeves or not; buy cropped or boyfriend. Such a versatile piece.

The stiletto.

The stiletto market is like the biggest, best sushi bar in the world. So many choices, so many combinations, all so yummy (if sashimi isn’t your thing, insert “salad” or “ice cream topping” for “sushi”). You have a variety of materials (leather, patent, suede, etc.), heel heights (rock a modest threeย inches or kick some serious stiletto ass in a pair of six-inchers), and styles (round toe, open toe, pointed toe, platform, etc.). Sidenote: please don’t ever wear anything lucite to the office (or ever, for that matter).

The ballet flat.

Not everyday is a Stiletto Day, even for those of us who are completely dedicated to high heels. A ballet flat is an equally chic option. It pairs well with dresses, skirts and trousers. You have a buffet of ballet flat choices, too: from basic black to fun prints.

The A-line dress.

An A-line dress is a dress that fits narrowly at the top (typically through the waist) and then flares toward the bottom (creating a general A shape). This style works wells on almost all body types, and is a great cut for the office. Wear it alone with sandals in the summer, add a vest and a lightweight scarf for some boho action, dress it up with a blazer, or dress it down with a pair of flats and a flyaway cardigan.

Work it Out

You don’t need to have a completely separate wardrobe for the office. Investing in a few staple pieces and then mixing them with elements of your closet you already love will provide you with endless office-appropriate outfits.

What do you think? What are you work-wear staples?


  1. I love this post!
    Great idea to use a couple basics and combine them with your own wardrobe (rather than buying all new stuff).

  2. Those cream and black ballet flats are so cute! I love them! I’m a ballet flat girl- I’m on my feet all day, so most of the time heels aren’t an option.

    I like the idea of using a few basic elements to punch up your work wardrobe, and also utilizing stuff you have in your closet that you already love. I have a pretty extensive cocktail ring collection that I could probably start working in- who says they’re only for date nights? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Flyaway cardigans are my new thing- they’re a great light layer! I have so many- they’re just so handy because my office is always freezing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Great post!

    I have a few pairs of dress pants that I wear all the time- a black pair, a gray and a light brown/khaki. They’re totally my office uniform! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Thank you for making this post!! Helps so much. Looks like I need to find a blazer and trousers. For some reason, I have always had the hardest time finding pants that fit correctly. I like the “curvy” jeans from Gap, so maybe the “curvy” pants will have the same fit. *fingers crossed*

    Side note… I’m REALLY happy that olive green has wrangled its way into the neutral category. I live for olivey-army greens.

    I’m ready for a shopping trip now!

    Thanks again for the post, lady!

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