A post from Melissa of Suger Coat It

I get a lot of questions about building a work wardrobe. For a lot of us, even if we are wearing a uniform shirt or jacket, there are a lot of spaces to be filled in between. And work range pieces, well, there are hardly ever on the sales racks so you need to be ready to pounce should they become available.

Today I’m sharing with you my essentials list for an office wardrobe. This should help you to build the basics of your work wardrobe. The examples I’ve given are more dress casual so you should amp up or tone down the business factor according to where you work.

For the ladies;

  1. The suit – Tailored pants and/or skirt with a jacket. Essential for any work wardrobe, recommended in black, charcoal or navy. Buy classic styles and invest in being able to wear these items for years to come.

  2. Shift Dress – A tailored black shift dress can be worn alone, with a collared shirt under or a jacket over it. A great staple for any mix and match work wardrobe.

  3. The collared shirt – A classic line button up shirt with a collar will get you through most situations easily. Just make sure it’s ironed.

  4. The blouse – A lighter fabric with less structure the blouse is really useful in hotter climates during the summer months and as a layered item when it’s cold.

  5. The pump – A sturdy, comfortable heel is a great addition to your work wardrobe. Buy quality and see the benefits of a well supported foot while you’re madly running around.

  6. The jumper – A nice knit, plain coloured jumper is a must have to add warmth. Worn over a collar shirt this is wonderful preppy look that is young and fresh.

  7. The alternate pants/skirt – So you have your suit and now you need the alternate. If you purchased your suit with a skirt, a pair of well cut trousers or a skirt is a must have. Buy them in the same colour {fabric if possible} as your suit and you’ve got a killer combo.

  8. The tote – You’ll need a larger than average handbag to cart around the banking, letters and all that jazz. I suggest a killer tote that could carrying anything from your laptop to the days takings without drawing attention to it. The bonus being it makes a cute weekend bag too.

For the gents;

  1. The suit – Buy well and this staple will see you through most weeks without an issue. Buy the best you can afford, keep it clean and update when you can.

  2. The shirt – A button up, collar shirt {long sleeve preferably, depending on office} is a classic business look. If it’s properly pressed it can be worn with or without a tie, with or without your suit jacket. Lots of options here.

  3. The polo – Depending on you office a well fitting polo shirt can be a great addition. Choose corporate or moderate colours and ensure the shirt is ironed to give it that crisp look.

  4. The vest – The woollen vest is a fun, modern look for guys. Think hipster knits and layer them over your collar shirt and under jackets for a modern, sophisticated look.

  5. The jumper – Just like for the ladies the jumper is going to be essential when it gets a little cool outside. Layer it over the polo or collared shirt and leave the jacket at home, or add the jacket on top with a scarf for those chilly commutes.

  6. The leather shoe – A comfortable dress shoe is a must have for most office environments. In a more casual office a dress sneaker may pass but the investment in a comfortable and versatile leather dress shoe can’t be overlooked.

  7. The messenger bag – Just like the tote, this cross body strapped bag will make light work of all the items you may find yourself juggling. Essential unless you’d rather be the guy carrying around a green shopper bag.

What are your workplace clothing essentials? Did I miss anything?

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