Simplify Your Work Wardrobe with these Stylish, Classic Staples

The last thing you need to worry about when rushing to get ready for work in the morning is what you’re going to wear that day. Having a simple, streamlined work wardrobe can save you time, effort, and not to mention money—rather than buying new clothes every time the styles change, you can invest in some classic, flattering staples that never go out of style and tweak them by adding new accessories each season.

Here are some of the basics that every businesswoman should have in her work wardrobe:

Well-tailored pants in solid colors. Get yourself a pair of black, brown, and gray pants, and you’re ready to combine them with practically any top in your wardrobe—summer and winter! Make sure they’re comfortable and fit your body in all the right places. A good pair of professional pants in neutral colors will never go out of style.

Tasteful skirts in solid colors. Another great “base” for any outfit, neutral-colored skirts can go with anything and let your flashier pieces (like a floral top or big jewelry) really stand out. Choose cuts that work for your body type, and don’t hesitate to get several skirts in the same color. I’ve made it through several summers with a rotation of black skirts in pencil-cut, A-line, and flare styles.

Versatile dresses. There’s nothing simpler (or more put-together-looking) than throwing on a dress and heading out the door. Get the most for your money by buying dresses that can work for several seasons (just add a cardigan, and it’s ready for winter!) and dresses that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion (take off those heels and throw on some boots and cute earrings to go from boardroom to happy hour!).

White button-down shirts. I know—boring, right? Not necessarily. The classic white blouse comes in a million different varieties—you can get a wraparound one that ties on the side, one with lacy vintage accents, one with quirky buttons, one with a pointed collar or a rounded collar or a Mandarin collar…There are plenty of ways to show a little personality with the basic white shirt—which can be paired with pretty much anything in your closet.

A professional coat. We don’t always think about our coats as being part of our work wardrobe. I mean, don’t we already have perfectly good coats we’re already wearing?

But if you’re the sort whose normal off-hours style leans toward camo-colored jackets with faux fur hoods or hipster pea coats with “pre-warn” details, you may want to consider investing in a more professional-looking coat for your workday. It’s hard to be taken quite as seriously when you walk into the office wearing a bright pink ski jacket over your neat black power suit.

Kelly Gurnett writes for QuickQuid, the UK's premier short term loan lender, and runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do.




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