As the fall season approaches, many businesses are preparing to welcome their employees back to the office. However, after a year or more of working from home, many of us are finding that our work clothes don’t’ fit quite the way they used to. Others are discovering that the office dress code has loosened, and they no longer have appropriate work clothes. Whatever the reason, if you find that your wardrobe is in need of refreshing, here are four back-to-work outfits that are perfect for fall.
A pencil skirt paired with a button-down women’s blouse is a classic look for a reason: it’s simple yet elegant. Depending on how you style it, this combo works with any office dress code. If your office calls for a more formal look, choose a blouse in silk or some other luxe fabric, and top it off with a fitted blazer.
For a more casual look, you can wear an oxford blouse or even a T-shirt; if your office gets cool, throw on a cardigan over your top. If you spend most of your day sitting, be sure your skirt is a material blend that has some give and doesn’t wrinkle easily. Accessorize your outfit with tasteful jewelry. Pencils skirts, and heels go well together, but choose lower heels if you’re not a fan of stilettos.
If you’re one of these individuals who likes to sit with one or both of your legs crossed, you’ll need a skirt with a little more give than a pencil skirt. Instead, chose an A-line skirt, which is a looser cut but just as flattering.
Office code permitting, leggings—particularly black leggings—have become the go-to bottom of choice for many working women. Versatile and flattering, leggings come in a variety of lengths and materials. You’ll want to be sure any pair of leggings you plan on wearing to work is not so stretched when worn that they become see-through. Moreover, given that you’re wearing your leggings to the office and not the gym, you’ll want to be sure that any top you wear with them is hip length or longer to be sure your bottom is covered. Because of their longer length, tunic tops are the perfect top to wear with leggings. Most tunics come with either a curved hem or side vents so that the hem doesn’t pull when you sit down. Change things up—instead of wearing solid leggings and, say, a plaid tunic, go for print leggings (be sure they are still work appropriate; save the sports team logo designs for the weekend) and a solid top. Leggings work almost any style of footwear, from ballet flats to loafers to ankle booties and more, so choose a pair of shoes that fits both your comfort level and your office dress code.
If you’re not a fan of tunics—and not every person is—try a sweater instead. For a chic retro look, pair your leggings with a longer-length cashmere turtleneck sweater . Add some longer chains, a small cross-body bag, and black flats; or, for a bit of contrast, match your shoes to your sweater. This look will take you from the office to happy hour meetups with your friends.
The latest trend in pants is the wide leg, a style that is flattering on almost every woman. Although these pants are available in standard, ankle, and cropped lengths, the ankle pant is the perfect transition length between summer’s cropped styles and winter’s full-lengths (because “I like when my ankles freeze” said no woman, ever).
Whether you choose pants made of denim or another material, a women’s white blouse (of which every woman should have at least one in her closet!) pairs perfectly with wide-leg pants. To best complement the high-waist cut of most styles of these pants, tuck your shirt in. If your pants have belt loops, be sure to wear a belt for a look that is crisp, clean, and utterly professional. Add a pair of boots or loafers to finish the look.
The days when most work dresses had to be dry-cleaned are behind us; today’s wash-and-wear fabrics make dresses an easy option for those days when you’re not in the mood for pants. Whatever style of dress you prefer—sheath, fit and flare, shirt, etc.—take your outfit to the next level with a fashion scarves. If you’re wearing an open collar dress such as a shirt dress, tie a silk scarf around your neck to draw the eye upward. Longer scarves can be worn in multiple ways. Drape one around your shoulders and tie a loose knot either in front or to the side. Wear your scarf as wrap, with one end thrown over a shoulder; you can add a pin to keep the scarf in place. For an on-trend look, wear a solid-color midi dress with a longer print scarf—then fasten a belt over the scarf. Add a pair of boots for a look that will take you from fall right into winter.
These four, simple back-to-work outfits will help you transition back to the office. More, they will help you remember that you can wear something besides loungewear to work. Happy styling!