Work Style: Office Basics and How To Wear Them

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I must admit, I don't know the last time I worked in a setting where office wear was required or appropriate. My last job in the traditional sense was at Girl Scouts, where jeans were the norm around the office, and I worked in the schools where I wore what I pleased. However, I always remember the lessons my mom and teachers taught me about dressing professionally when I do personal shopping for a client or help a friend looking to build a work wardrobe.

I'm sure we all know that every work wardrobe needs a suit. Suits are great because you can break the pieces up and wear them separately. However, I’m not much of a suit kind of gal. I'm a true believer in basic separates that can make a work wardrobe fabulous. Here are my favorite basic pieces and how to make them work in your wardrobe.

Work Basics



Button-Down Blouse

While I know there are many offices that require the traditional cotton/poplin-style button-down, the button-down can be a great piece to incorporate some personality and style in your work outfits. This mint/teal blouse from American Apparel and leopard vintage beauty found on Etsy are not your typical basic button-down blouse. They can easily be worn in non-work situations, but a cami/tank of some sort under these chiffon blouses are definitely necessary for the office. Blouses are a great way to add color and print in your workwear!!

Sleeveless Top

I live and grew up in Texas, where triple-digit temperatures are the norm in the summer months (and winter isn't exactly freezing, either). It seems that this summer everyone is getting a taste of the triple digits, so sleeveless options are a must. Like blouses, these are great for adding color and print. Sleeveless tops like this one from Forever 21's Love21 line has a bit of a peplum, which is very on trend. This is a great way to wear the peplum trend without really going there. It's also okay to incorporate trendy elements into your work wardrobe, but I wouldn't recommend investing too much money on trendy items.

Pencil Skirt

Whether you work in an office or not, a pencil skirt is a great basic for any closet. With so many colorful and printed options out, like this textured pencil skirt by THML Clothing, please don't be afraid to add some boldness to your closet with this work wardrobe staple! If you're willing and able to take on the mixed print trend in your workwear, I'd suggest pairing the leopard top with the textured skirt. For you ladies who aren't comfortable wearing or don't like wearing pencil skirts, my suggestions of color and print work for a-line and full skirts as well.


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