Work wardrobes can be a bit of a drag. You wear your work clothes more often than anything else in your off-duty wardrobe, yet what you put on every morning often gets labeled as “oh, it’s just for work” – AKA, it doesn’t really matter.
But at Shop It To Me, we think it does matter. In fact, we think it matters a lot.
When we feel good in what we’re wearing, we feel more positive, productive and even happier. So, even if work fashion is not your end goal, maybe glamming up for the office could actually help you have a better day at work. Worth a try, right?
Plus, there’s nothing like nailing a work meeting in a power outfit that ups your confidence.
So – here, we’re taking our stylist’s top 7 work wardrobe rules to nail your work looks and dress like the BOSS you are – including picks from Shop It To Me’s partners to start your closet renovation right now.
1. Nail ultra-sleek basics
This is the best place to start. Never underestimate the importance of having the right work basics in your wardrobe as they can help you create the smartest, chicest and most stylish looks instantly.
We’re talking fitted, long-sleeve and high-neck bodysuits, rollnecks, and tees. Get them in black, white, nude and any other neutral tone you love and they’ll go with EVERYTHING.
You should be wearing this type of thing with anything from a full trouser suit to a floaty midi skirt. Simple, smart, chic and timeless. Plus, this sort of sleek basic keeps your look minimal-looking which adds impact without you even trying.
Unlike a statement print shirt or bright knit, when it comes to these types of basics, you could wear the same one 3 times in one week with a different look each time and it would always look different.
A simple and classic white tee in a luxe and thick fabric is essential.
Get all the bodysuits. Because they’re comfortable, they go with everything, and they look great on all shapes.
Commando is incredibly talked-about right now. And for good reason. The brand is a Basics queen.
2. Don’t underestimate tailoring
Tailored clothing adds a power-dressing edge to your wardrobe in an instant. If you’re used to throwing on knits and loose-fit skirts or even denim, think about adding some sharpness to your wardrobe and you’ll be surprised how quickly it can give you the boost you’ve been looking for.
Two-piece trouser suits are very on-trend at the moment, which means that finding a great suit has become so much easier. But tailoring isn’t just about finding suits. It can also mean investing in a beautifully cut pair of trousers that you can style in several different ways or opting for a bold power blazer. Here, we’re looking at both.
When it comes to suits, it’s all about finding the right cut for your shape and also making sure you choose contemporary features to stop you looking dated. We wrote a blog this time last year all about how to choose the right women’s suit and it certainly still applies.
Classic suits will always look good.
Or opt for a statement suit if you’re looking for real impact. Remember, you don’t always have to wear it as a full suit. You can mix and match with other pieces in your wardrobe and wear the trousers and blazer separately.
Also, chic separates are a great choice and offer a versatile take on tailoring.
These statement blazer jackets are all winners.
Style tailored trousers with anything from a chiffon blouse to a simple white tee or rollneck.
3. Play with different silhouettes
If you’ve fallen into a work style rut, start looking at the silhouettes you usually choose and make some changes. If you wear skirts a lot to work, what shape do you tend to opt for? Never really thought about? Look how different ‘skirts’ can be…
A sharp pencil midi skirt oozes power and confidence.
A-line pleated adds femininity and keeps your look on-trend. It’s also super flattering on literally every shape.
Bias cut is the perfect balance of ‘90s and now. Style with an oversized, boxy blazer for this season’s biggest look.
Asymmetric adds some detail to your everyday and is super flattering.
Mini skirts can also work for work. Choose shapes that aren’t super tight and opt for patterns and prints with a grown-up edge. The thicker the fabric for a work mini, the better. Style with tights and sharp ankle boots for a modern look.
4. Prepare for days of comfort
Let’s face it, sometimes we just want to be comfortable at our desks. But that doesn’t mean we give up on style all together that day. Today, the fashion brands have caught on – we like comfortable and smart and we want it at the same time.
The best way to do this? Cashmere joggers. They’re so chic and because they’re knitted, you can get away with styling them with a coordinating knit sweater and a blazer or even with a crisp white shirt and no-one will notice that you’re wearing joggers to work. Perfection.
Smart joggers in a suit-like print can also do the job perfectly.
If you want the comfort of wearing yoga pants in a work-appropriate option, go for flared leggings. They’re sooo comfortable and yet, paired with a plain tee and a sharp blazer, you still look dressed to impress.
5. Choose this season’s colors
It’s not all about trends when it comes to work wardrobes. Plus, if you stock up on trends too much, you’ll find you want to replace things way too often. So, how to look on-trend without being overly ‘trendy’? Choose a couple of the season’s key colors and work them into your wardrobe.
Lilac is huge and a bright way to freshen up your looks.
Yellow continues to be a hot color for 2020.
Bold red is back with a bang for spring this year.
6. Opt for 80/20
Heard of the 80/20 rule? Some apply it to trends – ie. Buy 80% classic and 20% trends. Some apply it to spending – ie. Buy 80% sustainable and good investment pieces and 20% random seasonal pieces you just love. Here, we’re applying it to work wardrobes. Shop and wear 80% classic ‘work-appropriate’ pieces and 20% of your own personality.
This really works because then you always look smart and powerful but you also always have a flavor of your own style thrown in.
Choose very classic pants.
Style them with classic, office-appropriate shoes.
But mix it up with a statement print shirt that shows off your style. Rather than a simple or plain one which might not give you all the feels.
Style a classic crisp white shirt…
and timeless black knee-high boots…
… with a statement and colorful skirt.
7. Choose power jewelry for a subtle statement
Our last style rule for being best dressed at work is all about your jewelry. Simple and dainty jewelry always looks chic at work but it doesn’t have to be your only option. Opting for statement yet subtle jewelry is a tricky balance but it adds spice to a simple outfit without being inappropriate. Our rules, stick to chunky styles but don’t venture into color.
Change chunky hoops for these futuristic ones from Alexis Bittar.
Or pair something more ‘evening’ like these Paco Rabanne earrings with a sharp suit.
Don’t do bold colors. If you want to edge away from gold and silver, stick to neutral and chic tones, like warm tortoiseshell.
A thick choker can work but make it chic and contemporary. The fit needs to be on the collarbones rather than the neck and it works best layered over a high-neck top or knit instead of on the skin for a modern look.
Fancy taking the title of best dressed at work? No problem. Follow a couple of our top 7 fashion rules for dressing for the office in style and you’ll be dressing like the boss until you actually are!
If you’ve yet to sign up to Shop It To Me, this is the number one thing you need to do if you’re planning to reinvent your work wardrobe. Get high-end, luxury and beautiful quality designer work clothes at a fraction of the price without having to scour the web for it. That’s just what we do!