In the past 100 years, workplace fashion has evolved and transformed radically – from the early ’20s when women used to wear formal gowns to work, to the minimalist pantsuits of the 2000s. But the same old question remains to this day: what to wear to work? While the times when women used to wear their most beautiful pearl bracelet and most expensive pair of earrings to work are long gone – comfort being a key word for office attire these days – there still are a few work-wardrobe staple items which every career woman should own. Read on 10 Items Every Career Woman Needs in Her Wardrobe.
10 Items Every Career Woman Needs in Her Wardrobe
Arguably the most recognizable office staple, the tailored blazer has the power to instantly transform a casual look into an office-appropriate one. Menswear-inspired outfits for women became a trend in the ’80s, when broad-shouldered blazers and power suits rose in popularity. While classic black is the most preferred color for an office blazer these days, navy blue, brown or grey are also great choices. This versatile piece can be worn in many different ways – from dark denim to dressy pants – as long as it is perfectly tailored to your body.
Women started wearing pants to work in the ’70s, as the colorful pantsuit trend emerged – as a symbol of equality – and took everyone by surprise. As women started to ditch work-appropriate dresses in favor of comfortable pants, more and more designs began to appear. While a relaxed-fit pair can make an office outfit look effortless, high-waisted pants are very flattering for almost any silhouette. A classic pinstriped trouser is an office style staple which should find its way in your work wardrobe. A navy pair with thin white stripes or a classic gray and white combo are forever classics, perfect for a modern working woman.
White Button-Up Shirt
While the white button-up shirt has its origins in the menswear-inspired aesthetic, it is a must-have for any successful woman today. This piece may be a bit too office-like for some women, but it doesn’t have to be a go-to everyday piece. A work-wardrobe staple, which is definitely a solid piece to start with, this classic shirt is ideal for those meeting-packed days at the office, when you need to look polished and put-together, but also powerful and in control.
From the traditional gowns of the early 20s, to the less formal and more adventurous patterns and silhouettes of the 40s and 50s, dresses have always been a work-staple for women. Today, the forever classic midi dress is probably the most effortless and chicest choice around. Whether it’s a belted shirtdress or a pleated poplin midi number, invest in dresses which can carry you through more than one season. Stripes, colorblocking and polka-dots are timeless prints which can help you create an amazing workwear style, while a colorful dress can help inject some brightness and personality into your work wardrobe.
Timeless Trench Coat
When functionality meets style, the trench coat shows up. This eternally chic outwear piece is ideal for any stylish career woman, as it is perfect for chilly days when you have meetings to run to. A timeless beige trench can pull-together a look, even if you are rocking a casual outfit underneath. Double-breasted, slightly oversized or well-fitted, in dark colors or bright neutrals, we can never get tired of a good-quality trench coat.
With the global denim market size estimated at $77 billion, it’s no wonder that our beloved jeans are one of the most popular items of clothing in the world. Every woman needs at least one good-quality pair of jeans in their capsule wardrobe – a pair that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. A well-fitted pair of black or dark-wash jeans is cool and comfortable, and the ideal piece for an effortlessly stylish work look.
Structured Leather Bag
A practical, yet sophisticated, day bag is essential for any career woman. Opt for a classic leather (or faux leather) piece that looks professional but is big enough to accommodate documents and a laptop. A basic structured tote would do the trick, as it is versatile enough to carry you throughout the day, from meetings to shopping and beyond.
Nude shoes are a work-wardrobe staple that you can always count on. A chic pair of lightweight ballet flats, comfy loafers or a stylish pair of nude oxfords will be kind to your feet and make your work life a lot easier. Plus, you can pair them with anything from jeans to dresses or even a stylish pantsuit.
The classic sweater became a popular look in the ’50s, when working women started to say goodbye to dresses and embrace separates for their office looks. While a basic sweater is not necessarily a fashion statement, maritime pieces are forever stylish. A classic navy striped sweater should be a part of every woman’s wardrobe, as it is versatile yet sophisticated and can make an outfit look more expensive.
While it may not be a must-have, a watch is necessary for any career woman. A sophisticated timepiece can not only help you get to your meeting in time, but also elevate an outfit, bringing a touch of personality to your look. Invest in a good-quality classic piece that can bring timeless elegance to your looks for many years to come.