Workwear Staples: The Not-So-Little Black Dress

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You know what I would like to see a lot more of from the fashion blogger community? Work wear. No, like seriously. Actual work appropriate clothing.

So many of the bloggers I follow will occasionally post “work” outfit ideas, but (for me at least), the majority of the time, they majorly miss the mark. The outfits are either far too trendy to be considered appropriate in my office, or the skirts/dresses are just way too short. To be fair, I work in an office that tends to be dressier than most. Our corporate offices require business professional attire (cue suits and ties for men, pencil skirts, heels and tailored blazers for women), while my regional office is slightly more relaxed (no ties required).

This observation got me to thinking: for those of us starting to build a work wear wardrobe, there is definitely strategy to keep in mind. While weekend/casual/going-out type clothing might be a lot more fun to shop for, the reality is that we will spend WAY more time in work clothing. Your professional appearance can also drastically impact the impression you leave on your co-workers and superiors, so work wear really is an important component of your career success.

So how can we create a professional, feminine work wardrobe without blowing our whole clothing budget?

In my opinion, the best way to approach this task is by investing in high-quality staple pieces that can be combined in a variety of ways and worn in multiple seasons. In my experience, its been better to invest in well-made clothing, and having it tailored to fit perfectly. This ensures it will fit you well, and last forever. Bonus points if you are lucky enough to find these pieces in a machine-washable fabric!

One of the first wardrobe staples that pops into mind is a classic, tailored dress in a neutral color. I found this gem for less than $75 at Nordstrom Rack. It’s a comfortable, slightly stretchy fabric that doesn’t wrinkle, and flatters the figure without being too tight or revealing.

A dress like this is a workwear must-have for me, because it covers all the bases:

  1. Excellent fit, and easily tailored due to panel-style design
  2. Comfortable, non-wrinkle fabric
  3. Affordable price point
  4. Neutral color, timeless silhouette
  5. Can easily be worn through multiple seasons, and re-worn in different ways to get lots of use

I’ve gotten tons of wear out of this dress in the colder months by pairing with cropped blazers/cardigans, plain or patterned tights, booties or heels, and different accessories.

Here are several examples of ways this dress can be styled (and everything is under $100!):

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Dress, Fun Tights (similar), Booties (similar), Pearls, Bag

work wear professional

Dress, Black Pumps, Cropped Blazer, Bag

work wear fun

Dress, Leopard Pumps, Bow Belt, Bag


There’s nothing like strutting into the office on Monday in an outfit that makes you feel equally beautiful and confident enough to take over the world. I’ll definitely be covering more workwear in the future!

Until next time,

Amanda

Follow along on IG: @amandadev4

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