As the seasons come and go, you may find yourself saying, “I have nothing to wear” when getting dressed for work in the morning. The fact of the matter is that you actually do have clothes to wear, but you’re just tired of wearing the same clothes over and over again, especially when other women in the office seem to look trendy and fashionable. It is natural to want to mix it up a bit, especially as style trends come and go. But when the trends do come and go, a lot of people make the mistake of assuming they have to overhaul their closet and buy a bunch of new clothing items. The truth is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a wide variety of work clothes to choose from; you just need to know how to mix and match the essentials so you can transform them into an entirely new outfit. If you want to revamp your work wardrobe, here are the must-have essentials to keep around as the items you should allow yourself to splurge on seasonally.
There’s a reason why Christian Dior was so successful: He invented the timeless pencil skirt. It is not only flattering, but it is also very professional looking. A pencil skirt is a snug (but not too tight) fitting skirt that usually has a small slit at the bottom. Most pencil skirts hit at the knee in terms of length, but some hit just above or even well below the knee. For the office, you’ll want a knee length skirt to keep it professional, yet stylish. Wear it with a tucked-in blouse or a cropped cardigan sweater with a camisole underneath.
Women’s blouses are other essentials that never go out of style, although the collar style and color trends might change now and then. One type of blouse that has never gone out of style is a simple, well-fitting, button-down white blouse. You can wear it with any color bottoms, any color jewelry, and any color accessories. Find a thin one you love for summertime and a thicker, warmer one for wintertime, like one made of brushed flannel for extra comfort.
Cardigans never go out of style, especially when they’re made of high-quality material. That’s why professional women should own a long cashmere cardigan. It is the perfect business casual staple and will be the envy of every woman in the office due to its soft, luxurious texture. It’s sort of like owning a diamond. Nothing can take the place of it.
Pant styles tend to come and go quicker than most people can keep up with. One year they’re skinny, the next they’re straight, and the next they’re flare (or bell-bottom) style. That’s actually the case this season, as high-waisted flare pants are all over the runways. If you want to keep up with the ever-changing pants scene, splurge on a really good pair that you love so you can update your work wardrobe. If you can work from home, you may even want to treat yourself to some high rise jeans instead of proper work pants. That way you can stay stylish while working and head straight out for a night on the town without having to change.
Another trend that comes and goes in terms of work apparel is the way we wear blazers. Women’s blazers have definitely changed in style over the years. Just think back to the ‘80s when they were oversized and had shoulder pads. Yikes! Although you may not want to see that trend ever again, you’ll want to have a pulse on what type of blazer is in style at the moment if you like to keep up with changing trends. Now, it’s all about being cropped. A short blazer that hits at the waist is not only in style but easier to wear than its longer counterparts since you can sit down without having to worry about wrinkling it. You can wear it as professionally or casually as you like too: either over a blouse or over a basic women’s T-shirt.
You can’t complete an outfit without talking about footwear. While you can certainly count on some essentials to keep your work wardrobe functional, shoes do scuff and get to the point where they no longer support your feet, so why not treat yourself to a new pair now and then? Right now, ankle boots are a popular option. They could also easily become an essential in your wardrobe year-over-year if they’re made of high-quality material that lasts without scuffing.
When you know what essentials to keep on hand and which items to allow yourself to splurge on, it’s entirely possible to update your work wardrobe without spending a fortune.