Everyday work outfit essentials: 8 workwear staples that are office-friendly

All the ingredients you need to make your workwear work for you

Models wearing workwear

by Scott Wells |
Published on

When it comes to work outfits, it can be a mission to reinvent and decide what to wear.

Over the years we have seen the definition of what workwear is changing due to the ever-evolving trends and styles taking over the high street. Gone are the days of well-tailored suits, flat shoes and a briefcase. Now the boundaries are a lot less lenient as relaxed blazers, wide-leg trousers and oversize shirts become part of the norm.

If you feel a tad confused on where to start, it’s all about creating a capsule wardrobe that will provide you with all the essentials. Choose lighter fabrics such as cotton and linen for your summer work outfits and sport heavier knits to make the transition to your winter work outfits a smooth one.

Of course, when building yourself a capsule wardrobe, you should take your body shape into account. If you find you have broad shoulders, then flared trousers will effortlessly even out your proportions. If you carry your weight around your waist, choose a high-waisted style bottom and add a belt to cinch you in and break up the outfit.

If you’re petite, then a pencil skirt or dress will create the illusion of a taller silhouette. If there is something, you find that isn’t in your size then a tailor will become your best friend. Having your items tailored will make them perfectly fit and show off your body. Better yet, learn the skill yourself as not only will it provide you ease of fixing your garments in no time, but it will save you money also.

What should be in your workwear wardrobe?

1) A suit

A suit is an absolute must and can create the foundation for a solid wardrobe. Just like denim, you can choose a range of styles of trousers from cigarette-style where they taper in as they go down to the hemline to, straight, wide or skinny. And then a matching blazer will perfect the look.

Another great thing about a suit is that all the pieces can be worn together or separately so you get more cost per wear and can get three looks out of one outfit.

2) A shirt

A classic shirt is one of the most versatile staples to own and workwear shirts for women are now more than just a piece of cloth with a collar.

Whilst we are big fans of a crisp white option, nowadays there are countless patterns, prints and block colours to choose from. You can also have different designs in terms of surface details like pleats, ruffles and appliqué, and even different sleeve options such as puff, trumpet, and balloon. These are all great ways to add some of your own personality into your outfits.

3) Heels

You can’t go wrong with a pair of heels to give an outfit a smart and sophisticated edge. Whether you chose classic courts, slingbacks or mules, these are brilliant accessories to elevate your ensemble. Knee-high boots with either a dress or skirt are one of our favourite combinations.

4) Flat shoes

Flat shoes can be just as stylish as a heel with the likes of ballet pumps and loafers providing a fashionable edge as well as comfort. However, it is now acceptable to even finish off your attire with nice, clean trainers which whilst adding a more casual edge, doesn’t take anything away from the clothing.

5) A skirt

Pencil skirts are making their return to the high street alongside slip skirts which are flattering on most body shapes as they gently hug the figure and immediately look expensive. Whether you choose a midi or mini length depending on your personal preference, they can be a great way to start an outfit and style your additional pieces around.

6) A dress

Dresses can easily remove the time and stress of putting a look together. As well as this, it can be layered with a long-sleeved top underneath and a blazer to take you through all the seasons so you can get more wear from it.

7: A co-ord

Whilst some might not see co-ords as a part of workwear, over the years it has become more and more popular due to how high street stores are designing them to be suitable for a range of occasions. Like suits, a co-ord is another brilliant investment which can be worn together for a fashion-forward ensemble or separately.

8) A Coat

The finishing touch to any outfit is of course a sleek coat. Whilst you don’t wear it in the office, it will still give you style points on your commute and entrance into the workplace. From trench coats, leather jackets and even an everyday denim jackets are fantastic options to mix with your workwear and weekend outfits.

It might seem like an overwhelming task to get all of this together, but you will find that you already own components to build the ultimate workwear wardrobe. So, before you hit the shops, take a moment to edit through what you have and put aside the things you like and anything that doesn’t work, can be stored away, or donated. But most importantly, when piecing it all together, make sure to have fun.

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