While at work, you want to look professional, but still be stylish. Of course, fashion changes season to season, but there are always essentials that you will need in your closet. And yes, different offices have different cultures and regulations on what you can and cannot wear, but there are always things you could use in your closet. Here are a few women’s business closet essentials you’ll want to be sure you own!
Women’s Business Closet Essentials
Blazers have always been a business wardrobe staple, but in the last two years, they have grown considerably in popularity – both for the workplace and outside the workplace.
There are a number of different ways you can wear a blazer, and it is so easy to dress it up or down -depending on your place of work. My current favorite? Cupcakes and Cashmere’s Thames Double-Breasted Boyfriend Blazer. Since it’s an oversized blazer, I pair it with a more fitted look underneath – a tank top and skinny jeans. The end result? A comfortable and relaxed style look that works for work or after-work cocktails.
A comfortable tank top is a must-have – and when you find it, you should buy several – maybe even in a few different color combinations. If you have shirts that are low cut or a little on the sheer side, adding a tank top or camisole underneath can help make it more work appropriate. You want to be sure it fits just right though, so you’re not having to pull it down – or up – throughout the day. My favorites? I love the Spanx tank top pictured above, but my go-to is Target’s Merona tank tops.
Wearing heels every day is just not feasible for everyone. But having a pair of go-to flats for work or dressy occasions is a must.
You want these shoes to be comfortable and easy to slip on and, of course, walk in (or even dance in – again having a pair of flats for work can also double for dressy occasions). You don’t want your feet to be killing you at the end of the day or at the end of a wedding where you danced the night away. My favorite picks? Frye’s Carson Ballet Flats (I wore them non-stop on my trip to Paris. They weren’t only stylish – but I didn’t have any blisters after walking 10 miles!), they’re just incredible for numerous occasions.
You should have at least one pair of heels – even if it’s a low heel. Whether you wear them here and there or only for special occasions, they are a staple of workwear.
Despite being one letter off from the word “hell”. Heels don’t have to be uncomfortable. Clarks actually makes some super cute ones that are by far the most comfortable ones I’ve experienced. Considered about twisting your ankle? It’s a real concern for me as I have flat-feet and my ankles cave all the time. If you’re like me, consider a shorter, thicker heel – and perhaps one that has a strap across your ankle for additional stability.
Need some more options? Here are some suggestions from Oprah’s Magazine that are considered to the best heels for work.
A nice pair of dress pants is another closet must-have. Even if your company allows you to wear jeans, leggings, or other pants to work, having a pair of dress pants on hand is always useful. Plus, just because they look nice doesn’t mean they are uncomfortable.
When it comes to dress leggings, I’m a massive fan of Spanx and its offerings. They also have a great pair of slacks that feel almost like workout pants – but look far from it. Another great brand for dress pants (that feel like yoga pants) is Kit and Ace. They position themselves as designers of technical apparel – clothing for professionals on the move – whether that means you’re biking to work – or just moving around a considerable amount.
Sometimes a dress can be far more comfortable than a pair of pants. Maybe you’re feeling a little bloated or it’s that time of the month – dresses can give you a little more room to breathe without feeling restricted. It’s also nice to have some variety in your workwear, not just for functional reasons like this – but also to help you feel more confident in your style. My favorite go-to, Black Halo’s Jackie O dress (pictured above). It’s been around for years, and it’s still as in style now as it was 8 years ago. It’s worth the investment!
Everyone has a different style, but here are a few options for great work dresses to get you started!
Business Backpack or Work Tote
A business backpack or work tote is an item you’ll use every day. Depending on everything you need to bring with you to and from work – you may need a bigger or larger size. I’m a big fan of having a large tote that you can throw your laptop and a notebook in (for day-to-day usage), but also having a backpack for travel or a longer work commute (for example – if you use public transit) – as it feels a bit more secure and you can just throw it on your back and go.
What other women’s business closet essentials do you have in your closet? Drop us a comment below and let us know!
Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.
Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site FanBolt.com