Workwear: Business Casual Staples

Recently someone asked about my workwear staples and without hesitation I immediately launched into my go-to list. Overly dramatic hand gestures included. And while I may not be able to share my unnecessarily enthusiastic pantomime here – I swear I’ll have my YouTube channel up & running soon! – What I can share are pictures & recommendations for helping solve this common problem.


Dress Codes:

I for one work in a business casual office, and while it’s easy for the men – The unofficial uniform is slacks & a button-down shirt – For women there’s much more grey area in terms of appropriate dress. And while I’ll admit that I like formality and tend towards classic, traditional styles, there is definitely still room for creativity even if you have a dress code.

Different work environments are going to call for different attire – While a strict business dress code will require suits on a daily basis, an informal workplace may permit jeans. It’s up to you to find, read, and comply with your company’s rules. Today I’ll focus on the middle ground – Business casual – But don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about your specific situation!



Pencil Skirt

Regardless of your age or body type there’s a pencil skirt out there that will make you feel beautiful and, dare I say it, powerful. It’s a flattering style for most and really simple to style. Wardrobe building block #1 in my book!

Recommendations: Basic and Bold

Sheath Dress

What’s great about a sheath is how versatile it is – You can go from casual Friday to business meeting with minimal effort which is a must for any woman-on-the-go.

Recommendations: A classic solid colored sheath is a must as well as a fun, printed version


If you haven’t invested in a great blazer yet I urge you to pick one up as soon as conveniently possible. A cropped black blazer is an essential. The second piece in the blazer family that I’d recommend is the boyfriend {read: oversized} version.

Recommendations: Cropped & Boyfriend



A classic black pump is worth splurging on. You can wear them to work or for play, and investing in a quality pair means having a heels that are comfortable and will last for a handful of seasons.

Recommendations: A basic black pump is a must and a neutral heel will also come in handy


Mixing & matching separates wouldn’t be possible without the perfect slacks. While there are a number of brands out there with great, office-ready slacks at a lower price point, the one thing that I recommend holding out for is the perfect fit. If need be, find a tailor.

Recommendations: Slim fitting, wide leg, and cropped are all great options


For many body types, mine included, finding a perfectly fitting blouse can be a challenge. However, once you track it down you won’t be able to live without it. They go perfectly with everything from jeans to a pencil skirt and can quickly & effortlessly go from day-to-night.

Recommendations: A crisp white button-down is a must, and you can have some fun with prints or bold hues


Something that has been important to me from day one at my office was being taken seriously, and that has been reflected in my dress each day since. So ask yourself – Do I look professional? You can be comfortable. You can be stylish. But you must also be professional if you want to be seen as a professional.

Keep yourself covered. Midriff, thighs, cleavage, and shoulders should be covered. Sorry! No short skirts, no separates that expose your tummy, and no spaghetti straps.

My top two tips when it comes to making your office wardrobe work for you are to: (1) Get a steamer, quality iron, or send your shirts & slacks out to be cleaned & starched, and (2) Find a tailor you like. Cut and fit can change everything. Trust me.

{Pictures from Workwear Pinterest board}

Stay tuned for all the menswear staples next week!

What are your work wardrobe Must Haves?


Subscribe to receive new posts and exclusive content directly in your inbox!

, , , , , , , ,

20 Responses to Workwear: Business Casual Staples