Whether you're fresh out of college and looking to land your first job or you're already halfway up the corporate ladder, there are a few fundamental pieces that I think every career-driven gal should have in her wardrobe. My office environment is pretty casual unless there's a special meeting or event but I know others can require strictly business dress all the time. No matter your dress code, though, make these pieces the foundation of your work attire and it'll be easy to fill in the spaces with things that showcase your personal style.
1. Pencil Dress. You might have to go back and read that again. Yes, I said pencil dress, not pencil skirt. I love skirts but dresses are so much easier when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. It's an entire outfit in one piece and very slimming, especially if you look for one with vertical color-block panels on each side. If you're like me and get tired of the same thing all time, you can easily switch things up with different colored cardigans or shoes!
2. Ankle pants. Nine times out of ten, if I'm wearing pants to work they're going to be ankle pants. They're more modern and fresh than your typical dress pants, perfect for all of you #girlbosses out there. They pair great with either flats or heels, and flowy or fitted tops too, depending on how dressy or casual you want to look. That versatility means that you have endless outfit possibilities that can be built from this basic piece. I'm all about color so I own a rainbow variety, but neutrals work just as well.
3. Button-down Chiffon Blouse. You can never go wrong with a button-down when it comes to your work wardrobe. After all, you can wear them with any and every skirt or pair of pants if you ever find yourself in a pinch and needing to get out the door quickly. What I don't like, though, is stiff and boxy fabric. Enter the chiffon button-down. It has the looser fit that I crave but looks polished and put together at the same time. My absolute favorite is the Portofino top from Express, and of course I have a rainbow variety of these as well. They also come in fun prints and patterns, which look great layered under sweaters in the cooler months.
4. Comfortable Heels. The amount of walking you do in a work day is probably more than you think, from the car to the office, back and forth to the printer, you get the idea. I know everyone talks about sacrificing comfort for beauty, but please do yourself a favor and leave your feet out of that! You may think you're fine an hour in, but come late afternoon those four-inch spike stilettos will be off your feet. Whenever I buy a new pair of heels, I test them out around the house to be sure I can stand in them for long periods of time. Just be careful not to scuff the soles so that they can be returned if necessary.
5. Trouser Jeans. For casual days at the office, a pair of trouser jeans will keep you from wavering too close to that line between sloppy and relaxed. I know I said I was all about ankle pants earlier, but sometimes you have to let your ankles breathe! You'll be amazed at how different wide-legged pants look versus skinny pants, but sometimes a change like that is necessary to keep your wardrobe updated and you feeling inspired about what to wear.
What are your must-have pieces for your work wardrobe?