You are probably on the way to work right now, as your job calls on you to leave the house and go to the office. If you do this every day, you will eventually need to start dressing for work. If you are like most people, you probably don’t think much about what you wear when you leave your house in the morning. You just got out of the shower, you had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and a cup of coffee. You don’t think about what you are going to wear until you get to work.
For over 15 years I’ve been wearing suits—and I’ve tried just about every type of pant, trouser and shirt in the world. I’ve tried every fabric in every color imaginable. And while I do have a collection of pieces that I’ve worn for years that have become mandatory staples in my wardrobe, I have lots of items that have only been in my collection for a few months or less.
Your work wardrobe should feel like a second home, rather than an environment that can be stifling and intimidating. And there’s no better way to establish a regular routine than by having a well-fitted work wardrobe. This wardrobe should have specific pieces that you can wear to different events throughout the week. A well-fitted work wardrobe will help keep you warm and comfortable, and it’ll allow you to feel more confident while you’re at work.
As we bid farewell to the WFH-era style that has dominated the last year (read: sweatpants and leggings), we welcome back an office-friendly outfit. With many of us returning to an in-person workweek, there will certainly be a lot to get accustomed to and comfortable with once again. Fortunately, dressing up doesn’t have to be so difficult.
According to Liz Teich, a professional stylist located in New York City, “dressing for an office environment may be more motivating to get work done.” “It can also communicate professionalism when interacting with clients,” she adds, which is something that has been forgotten in the age of Zoom meetings and presenting from our beds.
We’ve polled experts to get their opinions on anything workwear-related. Whether your workplace has a business formal or casual dress requirement (or anything in between), we’ve gathered up 39 items for both men and women that are all under $200 and ideal for refreshing your office wear wardrobe.
Husband Shirt by Nonoo Misha ($185; mishanonoo.com)
Shirt for Misha Nonoo’s Husband
A timeless wardrobe essential, a basic button-down is a wonderful item to have on hand no matter what your workplace dress code is. This made-to-order option may be tailored to your exact specifications, including fabric, hardware, and monogram customization.
Teich explains, “It’s a fun, stylish take on the humdrum button-downs most people possess.” It also comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from XXS to 4XL, which is always a win in our opinion.
Turn It Up Pants by Aday ($165; aday.com)
Turn It Up Pants a Day
Teich advises, “Everyone needs a nice pair of basic black pants in their collection.” “These versatile pants are a mix of fitness and workwear that can be worn in any situation.” Not only do we appreciate how versatile these pants are, but the elastic waist and stretchy material make finding your ideal fit a breeze.
Buvette Pearl Pants by Studio in a small space ($115; petitestudio.com)
Buvette Pearl Pants by Petite Studio
These cropped trousers have a little more dramatic flared shape and beautiful pearl embellishments if you’re searching for a basic black pant with a twist. These trousers, like all of Tiny Studio’s apparel, are made to fit and flatter petite people, which is a big plus since (as most of us know), finding dress pants that fit can be difficult, particularly if you don’t want to have to have modifications done.
Express’s Supersoft Twill Boyfriend Blazer ($128; express.com) is made of a soft twill fabric.
Boyfriend Blaze in Express Supersoft Twill
Amanda Watkins, a stylist and content producer who has worked in the corporate finance industry for the last 12 years, says, “A fitting blazer is a classic wardrobe staple.” “It will take any boring office attire and turn it into something extremely stylish and professional.” While slouchy blazers are trendy, Watkins suggests saving them for outside the workplace since they may be viewed as unattractive in certain situations.
The Perfect Pant, Hi-Rise Flare ($148; spanx.com) is a high-rise flare pan from Spanx.
The Perfect Pant, Hi-Rise Flare by Spanx
Watkins explains, “Wide-leg or flare pants are a universally flattering approach to stylish trousers in the office.” Spanx’s choice is composed of a smoothing ponte fabric that is ridiculously comfy. We really like the pull-on style, which eliminates the need to fiddle with buttons or clasps. The size range is very comprehensive, as is the case with many of Spanx’s goods, with tiny, regular, and tall cuts spanning in sizes from XS to 3X.
Leopard V-Neck Top by Vince Camuto ($48.90, originally $74; nordstrom.com)
Leopard V-Neck Top by Vince Camuto
“Animal designs are a great way to add an immediate pick-me-up to an outfit,” Watkins says. This blousey V-neck shirt looks great layered under a jacket or worn alone with dark denim. It’s also very simple to wear outside of the workplace – pair it with a leather jacket and combat boots for an edgy, ultra-stylish look.
Rosalia Blouse by Babaton ($138; aritzia.com)
Rosalia Blouse by Babaton
Another easy way to dress up a plain blouse? Choose a unique material, such as Japanese satin. This shirt has a high mock collar, balloon sleeves, and ruched waist, as well as a drapey, glossy, and super-luxurious-looking fabric. The outcome is a simple but eye-catching shirt that we can’t get enough of.
The Madison 12-Hour Pump from Republic of Bananas (beginning at $59; bananarepublic.gap.com)
Madison 12-Hour Pump by Banana Republic
“Comfort is essential for everything from getting a cup of coffee to rushing out to meetings,” Watkins says. “That is why I choose pumps for the office that are both practical and fashionable.” She recommends owning a pair of black, navy, and flesh-colored heels, all of which are neutral colors that you’ll get a lot of use out of. Flexible leather, injected insoles, comfort pods in the sole, and skid-resistant outsoles are all characteristics that help keep you comfy all day long.
The Zhou Culotte by M.M.LaFleur ($195; mmlafleur.com)
The Zhou Culotte by M.M.LaFleur
When it comes to work pants, what is Teich’s trifecta? Wrinkle-free, machine washable, and, most importantly, comfy. “I dress these up for meetings with a button-top and heels, or down with sneakers, a shirt, and a denim jacket,” Teich says. “In any case, I feel put-together and unfussy.”
Pleated Midi Skirt by Max Studio ($29.97, originally $98; nordstromrack.com)
Nordstrom Rack is a retailer that sells clothing and accessories
Pleated Midi Skirt by Max Studio
Watkins says that midi skirts are ideal for the workplace in a variety of ways. Not only are they comfy (most have a flexible waistline), but the hem is always suitable for the workplace. Watkins claims it’s “immediately flattering to any body type” and “helps your waist look smaller while accentuating your natural curves.”
The Woolf Jardigan by M.M.LaFleur ($195; mmlafleur.com)
The Woolf Jardigan by M.M.LaFleur
Because offices are notoriously chilly, having a dependable sweater on hand is always a good idea. “Rather than a sloppy sweater, it’s a good idea to go for a refined item like this one,” Teich advises. A more comfortable alternative to a blazer is this “jardigan,” which combines the ease of a cardigan with the polish of a jacket. It also has detachable shoulder pads and is wrinkle-resistant.
The Chiller by Ayr ($195; ayr.com)
The Chiller in Ayr
A pair of super-high-quality dark wash or black jeans is the ideal essential for more informal workplaces. “Avoid jeans with distressing, embellishments, or big logos,” Watkins recommends. She also recommends wearing jeans with a dressier top, such as a shirt or a button-down. Ayr’s sleek, slim jeans are very comfortable and ideal for a more relaxed work environment.
James Draper Scattered Hearts Wrap Dress ($135; draperjames.com)
Wrap Dress in Scattered Hearts by Draper James
A trusty midi dress may be worn for a variety of occasions and dress requirements. This choice is not only comfy and breathable, but it also looks sophisticated enough for a business casual workplace when paired with heels. Keep it comfortable by wearing a dressier shoe to a job with a more casual dress code.
Av Norden is a fictional character created by Av Norden is a fictional character created by Av Norden Diana Romper is a romper designed by Diana Rom is a romper designed by Diana Rom ($67.50; av-norden.com; originally $135)
Av Norden Diana Romper
Jumpsuits are a quick and easy way to appear put-together, according to Teich, who confesses to live in them these days. For a more luxury feel, this elegant alternative has a stylish cropped, wide leg and is constructed from super-soft organic cotton. “I like to wear a blazer over this for a more professional appearance, or a denim jacket in more informal work settings,” Teich adds.
Gutsy Garnet Suede Flat ($195; verishop.com) by Shoes by Ally
Ally Shoes Gutsy Suede Flat in Garnet
Is there a way to make your workplace outfit more interesting? Watkins advises, “Utilize bursts of color.” “It will assist to balance out a neutral color scheme.” “If your workplace permits it, have fun with color, patterns, and particularly with your accessories,” Teich says. These gorgeous suede shoes have a pointy toe, which is usually more formal than a rounded toe. It also comes in four different widths, allowing you to select the ideal fit that will keep your feet happy all day.
Blouse by Wilfred Valencia ($98; aritzia.com)
Valencia Blouse by Wilfred
Another easy way to add a splash of color to your wardrobe? Your blouse is the solution. This mock-neck, puff-sleeve shirt is on-trend and comes in a lovely yet understated pink hue.
Lulus Westwood Black Sheath Dress with Half-Sleeves ($58; lulus.com) Lulus Westwood Black Half-Sleeve Sheath Dress ($58; lulus.com)
Lulus Westwood Black Half-Sleeve Sheath Dress
Watkins says a sheath dress is “the ideal foundation later to build an ensemble from or wear on its alone.” She recommends getting one in a solid neutral hue and combining it with patterned or brighter items for a more dynamic look. She claims it can “transport you from the boardroom to date night.” “You get a lot of use out of the dress.”
Body Contour Double-Layer High-Neck Thong Bodysuit (express.com; $25.50, originally $34)
Double-Layer High-Neck Thong Bodysuit by Express Body Contour
When it comes to workplace, a bodysuit may not be your first choice, but Watkins has a very good reason for recommending it. You won’t have to worry about a bodysuit bunching or getting untucked as you might with other shirts or blouses on days when you’re rushing about the workplace. This tank comes in a variety of colors and is ideal for layering under a cardigan, blazer, or jacket.
The Cashmere Polo by Everlane ($135; everlane.com)
The Cashmere Polo from Everlane
A semi-dressy sweater like this one is a must-have for more informal workplaces. Combine with a slip skirt or dark wash jeans for a look that is both professional and comfy.
The The Easy Blazer by Everlane ($128; everlane.com) is a casual blazer by Everlane.
Everlane The Easy Blazer
“A high-quality, fitted but casual blazer can immediately elevate any outfit and make it office-ready,” adds Teich. Everlane’s somewhat larger alternative comes in ten sizes and is composed of 100% Lyocell, a smooth, drapey fabric that provides a comfortable, loose fit without appearing sloppy.
Collarless Anne Klein Jacket ($189; nordstrom.com)
Collarless Anne Klein Jacket
If you already have a traditional blazer, a jacket in a different material or with a colorful but professional design is a great way to spice up your workplace appearance. Watkins suggests this textured-weave jacket with fake pearl buttons that is collarless. It works well with more formal attire, but it may also be utilized to spruce up jeans.
Abercrombie & Fitch Cozy Duster Cardigan ($65; abercrombie.com)
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch Cozy Duster Cardigan
Watkins, who considers a long duster cardigan like this one a must-have piece in any professional’s wardrobe, says, “Just like a jacket, a cardigan can immediately spruce up a more casual outfit.” For a dressier appearance, she recommends combining a neutral color choice (like this one) with a pencil skirt and shell tank top, or with jeans for more casual settings. A garment like this is also an easy and elegant method to stay warm in chilly workplaces.
The Modern Loafer by Everlane ($100; everlane.com)
The Modern Loafer by Everlane
A loafer is a fantastic alternative to a flat or a pump for a shoe that isn’t a flat or a pump. Everlane’s version is composed of buttery soft leather that looks refined without sacrificing comfort. Padding, a foam-cushioned footbed, and a thicker stacked heel are all included. Reviewers love how comfortable these shoes are and how well they perform in a business casual environment.
Stellar Straight Crop Pant by Athleta ($129; athleta.gap.com)
Stellar Straight Crop Pant by Athleta
Watkins advises, “A well-fitting, cropped ankle pant in navy, khaki, or black is a terrific foundation for any workplace ensemble.” They’re the ideal adaptable essential that you can dress up (with heels and a button-shirt) or down (with sneakers) (with a tee and flats or sneakers). This mid-rise choice comes in 14 regular-length sizes, nine tall sizes, and eight tiny sizes, so you can skip a trip to the tailor no matter where you fall on the height range.
Aero Zero° Carbon-Neutral Shirt by The Ministry of Supply is in charge of distributing goods. ($125; ministryofsupply.com)
Ministry of Supply
Aero Zero° Carbon-Neutral Shirt from the Ministry of Supply
“This brand produces the most sustainable and high-performance button-downs for men,” adds Teich, who appreciates how machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and comfy Ministry of Supply shirts are. They’re especially useful for business travels or for those who have to travel often for employment. Teich explains, “I had a famous customer carry this across the nation in a bag.” “He wore it on the red carpet without requiring me to make sure he didn’t have any wrinkles!”
Bonobos Suit Jacket for the Daily Grind ($100; bonobos.com; originally $275)
Bonobos Daily Grind Suit Jacket
A traditional suit like this one is ideal for anything from business dinners to workplace presentations to client site visits. “Navy is such a powerful hue in the workplace,” says Watkins, who recommends breaking up your suit jacket and matching pant into pieces to create a variety of styles.
The Performance 5-Pocket Pant by Everlane ($78; everlane.com)
The Performance 5-Pocket Pant from Everlane
If your workplace dress code permits it, “performance pants are the way to go” when it comes to comfort, Teich says. A four-way stretch fabric is used to create these office-friendly performance trousers. Everlane refers to them as “chinos for jeans people” since they are sweat-wicking and quick-drying.
Portofino Oat Canvas ($198; koio.co) by Koio.
Oat Canvas Koio Portofino
A white-soled sneaker is a terrific go-to shoe for a casual workplace, according to Watkins. These monochromatic canvas shoes are handmade from recycled and organic cotton-canvas and manufactured with eco-friendly materials from Italy. They’re sleek, comfy, and very fashionable. If you’re ready to spend a little more money for a dressier appearance, Koio’s Capri Triple White shoes are a great leather option.
Pio Cesare Wrinkle-Free Shirt from Untuckit ($99; untuckit.com)
Pio Cesare Shirt Untuckit Wrinkle-Free
Collared shirts are a must-have in every man’s closet. But collared shirts that are comfy, wrinkle-free, and appear professional even when they aren’t tucked in? Untuckit shirts are our go-to brand for casual to business casual tees since they have it all.
Suit Jacket for Selected Homme ($150.95; asos.com)
Suit Jackets for Men Selected
When it comes to men’s workplace, well-tailored suiting makes all the difference. Teich says, “This business produces the best inexpensive and responsibly produced office-friendly pieces and suits.” She likes this suit jacket since it has a neutral yet distinct color that most guys don’t have in their wardrobes.
Stretch Washed Chinos from Bonobos ($99; bonobos.com)
Stretch Washed Chinos from Bonobos
The bestselling chinos from Bonobos are so popular for a reason. They have a super-comfy stretch and a distinctive curved waistband for a superior fit that feels and looks. You may choose the fit and pocket liner style, in addition to the waist and length of the pants. Furthermore, these chinos come in a variety of vibrant hues. If your job is more laid-back, it may be a fun way to inject your own flair into this timeless pant.
Cap Toe Oxford by Cole Haan Williams ($119.95; colehaan.com; originally $220)
Cole Haan Williams Cap Toe Oxford
It’s always a good idea to have a pair of black and brown oxford dress shoes in your closet. Watkins says, “These two shoes will take you through all business situations, formal occasions, and whenever you need to appear smart.” Cole Haan’s traditional choice is available in black and brown, as well as in medium and wide widths.
Cotton-Linen V-Neck Sweater by Untuckit ($88; untuckit.com)
Cotton-Linen V-Neck Sweater by Untuckit
As previously said, workplaces may become chilly, so having a professional but comfortable sweater on hand is always a good idea. A V-neck pullover like this one is ideal for layering over a button-down since it still looks professional. To add some color to your outfit, go with a traditional navy or a more distinctive hue like the brand’s green or purple.
Basic 5-Pack from Teeth that are clean and fresh ($75, originally $85; freshcleantees.com)
Fresh Clean Tees
Basic 5-Pack of Fresh Clean Tees
If you work in a more informal workplace, the ideal tee is a wonderful item to layer with sweaters, jackets, or simply wear on its own. It’s only important that they fit well and are in excellent condition, which means you may need to change them often. This five-piece set is extremely soft and comfy, with crewneck and V-neck designs with sizes ranging from small to 3XL. The variety of neutrals is excellent for mixing and matching with various shirts and bottoms so you’re not wearing the same color every day.
Jean Leather Belt by Ted Baker ($65; nordstrom.com)
Ted Baker is based in London. Leather Belt in Jeans
“A well-made belt is something that many guys overlook,” Teich explains. “It may make or break an outfit when it comes to appearing professional and not sloppy.” This leather belt is ideal for wearing with chinos for a relaxed but polished look.
Bloomingdale’s Men’s Store Cashmere Half-Zip Sweater ($198; bloomingdales.com)
Cashmere Half-Zip Sweater from Bloomingdale’s Men’s Store
A half-zip or quarter-zip sweater, like this one, is another excellent choice if you’re not layering. Watkins says, “A good sweater that fits correctly may be one of the most flattering things you can wear.” With almost 5-star ratings from over 130 reviews, this cashmere sweater is a popular favorite. It’s also available in a variety of elegant, neutral hues that go well with a variety of bottoms.
Garment-dyed blazer by Wills ($198; huckberry.com)
Garment Dyed Blazer by Wills
Even guys who work in a more informal environment, according to Teich, should invest in a nice blazer. This one is composed of a stretchy, lightweight fabric that is pleasant to wear all day. Teich says it’s ideal for moving “from behind the cubicle to meeting with a customer in an instant.”
Trim Fit Sport Coat from Nordstrom ($199; nordstrom.com)
Trim Fit Sport Coat from Nordstrom Tech-Smart
“A sport coat is probably one of the finest of all the staples,” Watkins says, citing a number of advantages to owning one. She explains, “It’s one of the most adaptable clothes that allows you to appear smart and put together with little effort.” It’s also ideal for a variety of events outside of the workplace, including weddings, family reunions, and everything in between.
Watch Fossil Fenmore Midsize Multifunction Smoke Stainless Steel Fossil Fenmore Midsize Multifunction Smoke Stainless Steel Fossil Fenmore Mid ($67.60, originally $169; fossil.com) Fossil Fenmore Midsize Multifunction Smoke Stainless Steel Watch ($67.60, originally $169; fossil.com)
Fossil Fenmore Midsize Multifunction Smoke Stainless Steel Watch
A watch, according to Watkins, is a must-have item for every man’s outfit. While she admits that it will help you stay on track for appointments and meetings, she believes that “its true worth is in putting together an ensemble and demonstrating the essence of a man’s style.” This timeless choice from Fossil comes with complimentary engraving, allowing you to really personalize it.
As a businessperson, you have a job that is naturally filled with little moments of flair and flair ups. But, with so many of these moments happening in the workplace, you can easily get overwhelmed. That’s why, whether you work in an office or a startup, you should be using these 39 work wardrobe essentials. Whether you are a casual dresser or an executive, you should have something to unleash the confidence in you.. Read more about what to wear to the office post covid and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need for a work wardrobe?
You will need a pair of black dress shoes, a dark brown belt, and a navy blue suit.
What are basic wardrobe essentials?
A good pair of jeans, a nice shirt, and a comfortable sweater.
Where can I get good wardrobe basics?
You can find a lot of good wardrobe basics at Forever 21.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- work wardrobe essentials
- work wardrobe essentials list
- casual work wardrobe essentials
- work wardrobe post covid
- vogue work wardrobe