If you’re just starting out in your career, it’s absolutely vital to make a lasting impression. So channel your inner Olivia Pope and get ready to shop. To look both professional and fabulous in the office, you really only need to splurge on these five classic wardrobe staples.
- The Perfect Blazer
If you only buy one thing for the office, it needs to be a blazer. Blazers are the cherry on top of the perfect business professional outfit, and they’re cute enough to wear out to happy hour after work, too. Blazers can be a bit expensive, but the perfect one can be worth the splurge because you will pair it with about 98% of your outfits.
- Comfortable (But Cute) Shoes
Despite popular belief, you don’t really need sky-high heels to look fabulous. For a more comfortable – but still cute – approach to office fashion, opt for one or two-inch heels or, better yet, a cute pair of comfy flats. To cover the basics, it’s best to get a pair of black shoes and a pair of nude so you’ll be able to wear them with most outfits.
- Pencil Skirt
Pencil skirts are the perfect balance between powerful and feminine. Paired with a simple white blouse, a blazer, and the right shoes, you will easily look like the most powerful (and fashionable) person in the office. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when picking out the best pencil skirt, though: they must end just above the knee (no miniskirts allowed), and they should be fitted enough that you can still move comfortably.
- Work Pants
Except for the days when you wear pencil skirts or work dresses, you’ll be wearing work pants most days. If your office is business professional, you’ll need to invest in a nice pair of work pants. To be on the safe side, you should cover your basics and buy them in different neutral colors like black, brown, and cream or tan. If your office is business casual, however, you need to make sure you’ve got some comfortable skinny jeans – preferably in dark washes or even black.
- Work Dresses
Some days, you just want to feel extra fabulous – and that’s when you’ll need to throw on your favorite work dress. Work dresses should be the perfect balance of professional and classy, so plunging necklines are a definite fashion don’t. Too much skin is also a no-no, so pair your work dress with a cardigan and a scarf when the weather gets chilly. When choosing the right work dress, look for peplum styles and solid colors as opposed to prints.