Crafting the perfect work wardrobe

9-5

Chances are, you won’t have much to wear besides an interview outfit once you’ve landed your first full time corporate job. Fresh out of college and entering the working world, it’s time to retire your sweatpants and build a versatile wardrobe that functions for both work and play. The pieces you buy should compliment each other so you can mix and match your essentials to create multiple outfits. Since I’ve successfully built my own versatile work wardrobe, I wanted to pull together a few key investment pieces for anyone shopping for their own:

  1. Classic blazers: Invest in 2-3 blazers in neutral tones (black, grey and beige are all classic colors that will pair well with anything). A blazer adds instant class to any ensemble, and when worn with a sequin tank and skinny jeans it’s perfect for the weekend.
  2. Gold jewelry: Gold never goes out of style and it also goes with everything. This basic jewelry will go a long way.
  3. Utility blouses: They’re easy to outfit, versatile and look incredibly polished. Tucked into trousers, a pencil skirt or worn underneath a blazer, these blouses always result in a chic and professional look.
  4. Pencil skirts: Any good work wardrobe contains a skirt that fits and flatters. While the pencil skirt is an obvious choice, any knee length skirt will do.
  5. Ankle trousers: Unlike a full length trouser, ankle trousers can be easily dressed down for weekend wear. Try pairing them with a blazer and printed blouse for work, and flats + a basic tee for a put together weekend look.
  6. Ballet flats: You’ll be glad you invested in these after a full day of running around the office. Consider trying a chic pair of cap toe flats – your feet will be comfy and you’ll be right on-trend!
  7. Printed blouses: To avoid looking bland, you’ll want to break up your neutrals with pieces that add interest. Adding a fun printed top underneath a neutral blazer and pencil skirt will add both color and visual interest to an outfit.
  8. Cardigans: You can never have enough of these! Start with a mixture of neutrals and fun colors (try cream, mustard yellow, navy and green) to make your collection more versatile.
  9. Nude pumps: Every once in a while, dress things up with a pair of classic nude pumps. These pumps will take any outfit to the next level and the neutral shade will lengthen your legs. What’s not to love?

What are your must-have pieces for a work appropriate wardrobe?

If you enjoyed this post, follow twenty-something with bloglovin’ for more!

60 thoughts on “Crafting the perfect work wardrobe

  1. Jenn

    I wish I had this when I was first building my work wardrobe! I spent a lot of money buying pieces that didn’t last long before finding what I really wanted to wear.

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      I definitely made a few mistakes my first time around too! I went for dressier pieces and then realized they weren’t really functional outfit outside of the office. Now I go for things that can function both in and out of the workplace, it’s a much better way to spend my money!

      Reply
  2. albucco10

    I love buying classic pieces for work and mixing them up with jewelry and shoes–it makes it so much easier to get dressed in the morning! I don’t wear a ton of cardigans, but blazers are definitely my thing. I also love silk blouses–they instantly look put together and go with literally anything!

    -Alyssa
    The Glossy Life

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Me too!! Don’t even get me started on blazers…they are practically exploding out of my closet. I need to invest in some silk blouses, I don’t have any but you are making me want one (or 5) 🙂

      Reply
  3. Amy Shaughnessy

    Somehow I have created a work-appropriate wardrobe even though I don’t have a job that requires the clothing. (I teach dance. Leotards & tights are my work attire.) But I think it is always good to have these things on hand because you never know what opportunities will arise! Blazers and nude heels are my 2 big must-haves.

    Amy

    Fashion and Beauty Finds

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Very true! I work in a business casual environment, so while it’s not entirely necessary for me to own all of these pieces, I’ve built a wardrobe with them anyway because I like looking polished and professional for work. Blazers are one my biggest must haves too, they are just so versatile!

      Reply
  4. yesitskris

    The only thing I would add is to keep an extra pair of heels under your desk and a cardigan or blazer on the back of your chair just in case you have to dress up your outfit in an instant! I also keep a pair of dress pants hanging on the back of my office door in case someone important stops by on casual day.

    Kristina

    Kristina does the Internets

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Agreed! Blazers are a must have for me, especially since they help dress up even the most basic pieces! I get a ton of wear out of my blazers so I never feel guilty buying new ones.

      Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      I definitely have my jean days too, but try to dress up a little more often than not. And I agree, blazers cardis and pencil skirts are staples for any wardrobe, not just for work!

      Reply
  5. Katie

    I love all these things! especially that necklace! I wear dresses all the time! Even ones that are a little more summery I wear them with tights, boots and a sweater.

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Yeah I love the necklace, you can never go wrong with statement jewelry! I wear a ton of dresses too – they’re quick and easy to outfit in the morning when I’m stumped on what to wear to work.

      Reply
  6. thestatestreetedit

    I couldn’t agree more with your picks! That pencil skirt is unbelievably sharp. I’m also a big fan of Tibi’s printed blouse, since it adds so much personality to a look without overwhelming. Love it, Stephanie!

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thank you so much Jessica! You’re definitely one of my blogging role models, so your comments go a long way 🙂 I am obsessed with the printed blouse too, I am officially going on the hunt for a slightly more affordable lookalike!

      Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thank you so much! I can only hope someone stumbles upon it and finds it helpful 🙂 I totally agree with your choices, blazers are literally a number ONE for me when it comes to work and weekend wear and you can never go wrong with a classic pencil skirt.

      Reply
  7. Emily grapes

    Would you please come over and help me shot for these things? I have the same things that change up, but I really should invest in ankle trousers…I’m too scared cause I think they look like high waters, and we can’t have that!

    I’m all about the staple of black or dark gray pants…saves me from having to shave, ya know what I’m sayin’?! 😉
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Of COURSE! Seriously, if I could be a personal shopper I would. It’s all about finding the right length of ankle trousers that works for you, if they hit right above the ankle they look great! You should definitely get some, they’re so much more versatile than full length dress pants. And yes, totally hear you on not shaving your legs….;)

      Reply
  8. Sarah

    I wish I had managed to find that first professional job so that I COULD be acquiring great work pieces. Instead, I had to find a different (albeit better) food service job for now.

    Reply
  9. Bree

    Fabulous post! I think many people have a really tough time creating their perfect go-to work wardrobe, this will definitely help out! <3 Great post!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *