Whether you’re just making your way into the business world or you want to revamp your current wardrobe for a promotion, there are some basic office essentials you should have at the top of your shopping list. Especially if you’re on a budget, you can get away with only buying these staples because they look classy, and you’ll have a good base to expand upon in the years to come.
A Well Tailored Suit (Or Two)
Chances are, you already wore a suit when you nailed the interview, so you should only have to buy one more for now (unless your company requires you to wear one everyday). Investing in a high-quality suit will pay off in the long run when it still looks as good as new 10 years down the road. Black is the most common color, but if you want something a little different (that shows less lint), opt for charcoal gray or navy blue.
You should have at least three pairs of dressy trousers for those days that you won’t be wearing a suit to work. It’s probably a good bet to choose neutrals, such as tan, gray, or black so you won’t have to spend much time in the mornings expertly matching them with your shirts and blazers.
These look professional on their own and also sharp under a suit jacket or blazer. For the office, you should stick to mostly solid color shirts and maybe a subtle striped one. White is the most professional color, so keep at least two of those in your closet along with light blue, gray, and mauve.
This is where you can add some personality to your outfits. You’ll still need to keep your ties tasteful and relatively simple, but why not buy a plaid one or one with small polka dots? You have even more leeway if your workplace is casual. If you work with mathematics or computers, find a quirky tie that has the quadratic equation on it!
A Good Pair of Shoes
Last but certainly not least: a sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes should be your biggest investment. You’ll be walking around in them all day, every day, so why not purchase a pair that doesn’t make your feet hurt? The look of the shoe is also important in the professional world, so find a neutral leather dress shoe in chestnut brown or black.