Building a Workwear Wardrobe from Scratch? Start Here

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Photo: Courtesy of Jazmin Ortiz

You’ve nailed the interview, gotten the offer letter, and signed on the dotted line – and now one very important question arises. What do you really need in your wardrobe upon entering the work force for the very first time? From the perfect blouse to power suit, we’ve shortlisted the ten key pieces that will instantly upgrade your closet to grown-up status – even if you don’t feel like one yourself.

1

The Perfect Blouse

One essential of any workwear wardrobe is a quality silk blouse. When in doubt, go with white. The added benefit of a pussy-bow style is that it’s professional, yet offers leeway to put your own twist on it.

Photo: Courtesy of @WeThePeopleStyle
2

A Versatile Blazer

Over a dress, with a pair of slacks, or rounding off a bootcut-jean-and-white-tee combination – a structured blazer is versatile enough to go with virtually anything. Instantly making every ensemble more professional, a fitted or tailored blazer is just what you need to look like you know what you’re doing (even if you don’t).

Photo: Courtesy of @ShayMitchell
3

A Winning Watch

A symbol of punctuality, the watch is a simple way to look polished and professional – even if consider it more a fashion accessory than anything else. Yes, the latest smartwatch will tell you when to stand up and send you message notifications, but it will never match the class of a good old-fashioned timepiece.

Photo: Courtesy of @KendallJenner
4

A Power Suit

Inspired by menswear, the suit is the perfect ensemble to show that you mean business. Go monochrome in black or navy blue – coordination of this sort communicates a look of preparedness for any day of the week.

Photo: Courtesy of @TommyTon
5

A Professional Pencil Skirt

This isn’t your mother’s pencil skirt – it’s the upgrade. Accessorize with a matching belt à la Amal Clooney, and avoid an overly tight fit to stay comfortable. Just opt for a midi or knee-length silhouette to keep it appropriate for the office.

Photo: Courtesy of Splash News
6

A Basic White Tee

Yes, you can be comfortable and professional at the office if you style things right. A white tee with a crew neck is always in style, and won’t look sloppy if worn with tailored slacks or a structured pencil skirt.

Photo: Courtesy of @OliviaPalermo
7

Beautiful Black Pumps

The right pair of shoes can elevate any look, but it has to be the right pair. Black pumps transition seamlessly from day to night, from the boardroom to dinner. And, like many of the essentials on this list, can be matched with just about anything.

Photo: Courtesy of @Moeez
8

Fail-Safe Slacks

Part of making a good impression at your first job includes dressing for it, and a well-tailored pair of trousers can lead the way. A cigarette cut will work with heels or flats – and on the weekend. Win-win.

Photo: Courtesy of Streets of Vogue
9

A Dress to Impress

In a neutral hue or simple print, a sheath dress can be accented with a few accessories to express your personality – just because you’re being a more corporate version of yourself doesn’t mean you can’t still be you!

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Photo: Courtesy of Memorandum
10

A Chic Carryall

Long gone are the days of the backpack; it’s time to invest in a bag that tells everyone you’re a professional woman with style to spare. A chic and roomy black tote that is big enough for a laptop, some folders, your keys, and a wallet will help you on those days when you feel like you’re carrying the world – and those important documents – on your shoulders.

Photo: Courtesy of @Filis_Pina
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