15 Work Wardrobe Essentials

Kate's Favorite Things, Style

I receive a lot of questions from readers about what to wear to the office and what classic items you should have in your closet to build a great work wardrobe. Whether you’re looking to update your wardrobe or build a new one, I’ve pulled together my 15 work wardrobe essentials featuring both regular and plus sizes.

 

15 Work Wardrobe Essentials

  1. Classic Colored Slacks: Investing in a quality pair of slacks that will last you years is a key to building any work wardrobe. I recommend the Halogen ‘New Taylor’ Pants (Regular Size), available in black, gray, navy, and taupe, or Sejour Curvy Fit Pants (Plus Size) available in black, gray, and taupe.
  2. Classic Trench Coat: Outerwear is an important part of completing your work wardrobe, so choose a long, flattering trench coat in a bright color for an extra statement. The Coach Classic Trench (Regular Size) is available in khaki and red, while the London Fog Heritage Trench (Plus Size) is available in black, khaki, and magenta.
  3. Crisp White Button-Down: Finding a great-fitting button-down for you may be difficult but once you find one that fits it can we worn alone with slacks and skirts or layered with sweaters. Check out the Foxcroft Fitted Stretch Cotton Shirt (Regular Size) available in white, pink, blue, and yellow, or the Foxcroft Three Quarter Sleeved Straight Shirt (Plus Size) available in white and blue.
  4. Traditional Work Bag: A quality bag that can hold all of your work essentials – laptop, chargers, notebooks, etc – can come with a hefty price tag but a higher quality bag is long lasting, structured, and a great investment. My favorite is the Tory Burch Robinson Tote, available in black and tan.
  5. Black Pumps: A timeless pair of black pumps can take you from the boardroom to cocktails quickly and easily. They’ll even come in handy for interviews and girls night. Try this Ivanka Trump ‘Sophia’ Pump with a round toe in black patent to add a little shine to your outfit.
  6. Skinny or Straight Leg Jeans: Perfect for casual Fridays or a more casual office environment, a pair of skinny or straight leg jeans in black or dark denim will pair nicely with pumps or flats, sweaters, and nice blouses. KUT from the Kloth ‘Mia’ Skinny Jeans (Regular Size) or NYDJ ‘Jaclyn’ Stretch Skinny (Plus Size) are two of my go-tos.
  7. Statement Necklace: Always a fan of statement necklaces, a muted, solid statement piece is a great addition to a work wardrobe, whether it’s a beautiful strand of pearls or a link necklace such as this Nordstrom Curb Link Collar Necklace, you’ll find yourself wearing it with plenty of outfits!
  8. Classic Loafers: Not every day calls for heels and, especially in the colder months, a pair of loafers is the best pairing for slacks. Personally, I’m a fan of the Dansko ‘Olivia’ Flats – they’re stylish and comfortable, and are available in black, cheetah, and snakeskin!
  9. Pencil Skirt: A classic pencil skirt provides a touch of femininity to a work wardrobe, year round. In winter, pair with tights and sweaters and in summer pair with lighter, flowy blouses. The Halogen Pencil Skirt (Regular Size) is available in black, taupe, navy, and gray and the Sejour ‘Ela’ Pencil Skirt (Plus Size) in black.
  10. Tailored Blazer: While a full suit might not be necessary in your office, a perfectly tailored blazer may be appropriate in the workplace from time to time. Mix and match with your separates or wear with jeans for a pulled together casual look. Check out this Vince Camuto Single-Button Blazer (Regular Size) in ivory, black, and taupe or the Sejour ‘Zoe’ Blazer (Plus Size) in black stripe.
  11. Cardigan Sweater: A classic cardigan is an ideal addition to your closet. You’ll find yourself wearing it with everything from slacks to dresses to skirts to jeans. Start off with basic colors and build your cardigan collection to include bright and fun colors for each season. The Halogen Three-Quarter Sleeve Cardigan (Regular Size) is my favorite.
  12. Watch: A timepiece is the perfect accessory to finish off your work outfit, and it’s functional – for all those times your smart phone dies and you’re left wondering what time it is! This Michael Kors Bracelet Watch in gold is a great option.
  13. Classic Flats: A stylish addition to any closet, flats not only come in handy on those days that you don’t feel like wearing heels to the office, but also keep a pair handy for those days when your feet are killing you after a day of wearing killer heels. My top choice are always Tory Burch ‘Reva’ Flats.
  14. Skinny Belt: Adding a belt to the waist can create a waistline and also add depth to your outfit. Try out colors or patterns like this Michael Kors Leopard Print Belt.
  15. Fitted Black Dress: A little black dress isn’t just for a night out on the town. Select a classic, fitted, knee-length black dress and mix and match with jewelry, cardigans, and belts. Two great options are the AGB Sleeveless A-line Dress (Regular Size) or the INC Sleeveless A-line Dress (Plus Size).