Elevate Your 9-5 Wardrobe: This Selection of Work Clothes is Far From Boring

Credit: Zara

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The 80s saw women combine power suits with big hair and bold makeup, but with most of us now either working fully remotely or in a hybrid model, rocking around the house dressed like Dolly Parton in 9 to 5 isn’t exactly necessary. Even fashion editors who were once seen as the main trendsetters for office chic have toned it down, now opting for well-fitted jeans teamed with oversized shirts over tight pencil skirts and soaring stilettos. 

Even when you do have to make an appearance at the office, your workplace dress code is most likely smart casual. Luckily, this more relaxed approach to workwear means you can invest in quality pieces that you also get to use on weekends and nights out. 

With more freedom to choose what you wear—you now get to bring some of your own personal style to your professional life. We have combed through this season's collections to find the best pieces to take you from desk to disco and everywhere in between. 

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What To Consider When Shopping For Work Clothes

Before you buy anything new, go through what you already have and make a list of the gaps in your closet. Pinterest and Instagram are great places to source outfit inspiration. Practicality is key when putting together a dependable work wardrobe, you want clothes that look smart but feel comfortable. No one does this better than the Olsen Twins, who always manage to look effortlessly stylish in classic shirts, tailored pants, and flat loafers. 


Comfort is king when it comes to workwear. Depending on your job you may be on your feet all day, have to drive around to various locations, or be sitting in meetings all day so finding clothes that don’t crease easily or leave you constantly adjusting them is important. This also allows you to focus fully on the task at hand and be completely present in what you are doing. The more comfortable you are—the more confident you feel which is essential when talking about big projects or making presentations. Choosing breathable fabrics such as linen, wool, and organic cotton also helps you stay feeling fresh all day. 


Now we don’t want you to sacrifice your personal style but it is important to find a balance between what’s appropriate for your workplace while still feeling like yourself. Your company will most likely have a dress code so be sure to follow suggested guidelines while also incorporating your personal taste. Play with color and jewelry if you are worried about your look being too boring. A simple white shirt can easily be elevated with the right accessories. Apart from your clothes, being well groomed also helps to make you more presentable in a professional environment so iron your outfit the night before and treat yourself to regular manicures and pedicures in summer if you are wearing open-toe shoes. 


Unlike cocktail dresses that only get worn a couple of times a year for a few hours, your office wardrobe is most likely put on at the crack of dawn and worn until the sun goes down. Anything you buy for work is going to be used week in week out and washed regularly so opt for durable fabrics and French seams to ensure your pieces last. Items that can be machine washed are more convenient, but be sure to follow the correct instructions to keep the garment's shape intact. 


Most of us don’t have time in the morning to try on 10 different outfits so choosing versatile pieces that can be styled in multiple ways will save you from stressing out and feeling like you have nothing to wear. Dresses are an easy full look that requires minimal effort. They can also be styled with leather sandals in the Summer and worn with tights and boots in the Winter. If you find a piece you love and that works for you, buy it in multiple colors. As we mentioned above, take a look at what you already have, you want to create a wardrobe not just buy individual pieces. The more all of your clothes coordinate, the more outfits you can seamlessly create. Having staple pieces such as a good blazer or a smart trench coat on hand will also instantly lift any outfit from basic to elegant. 

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How To Accessorize Work Clothes

While your company’s dress code may limit you slightly when deciding what to wear to the office, if you have fun with accessories you can still keep your work wardrobe individual to you. Accessories are also a great way to update pieces you have had for a while and give them a fresh new look. 


If you work with your hands, rings and bracelets may weigh you down slightly so focus on necklaces and earrings. You can never go wrong with stacked gold necklaces and simple hoops. Be conscious of your workmates when wearing bracelets—too many and you may sound like you are playing the tambourine every time you type. Elasticated beaded options are both vibrant and comfortable. In Summer, anklets and toe rings add some subtle bling to any outfit. 


Laptop, makeup, keys, agenda, iPad, chargers, wallet, water bottle, lunchbox—leaving for the office can feel like packing for a vacation. One of the perks of working from home is never having the stress that you have forgotten something. Your bag for office days is most likely going to need plenty of space and be able to carry a heavy load. This is one item to invest in. Go for leather as anything else will be worn down in months. Depending on your commute going for a stylish leather backpack can make carrying everything around a lot easier and better for your back. If not, a giant leather tote is always a stylish option with ample space. 


Again comfort reigns supreme when it comes to choosing footwear for the office. Thick-soled loafers are both comfortable and smart and give any outfit a more formal finish. Black or brown leather lasts longer and is easier to keep clean. They can also be polished once they start to look slightly worn, unlike velvet or satin shoes. In saying that, we are all for keeping a pair of heels under your desk for important meetings or after-work drinks.

Check out our fashion editors’ favorite pieces here, along with a round-up of the latest trends and hottest brands here.

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