All it takes to build a great workwear wardrobe, one that goes the distance without breaking the bank, is to collect a handful of extra-hardworking separates to act as centerpieces for multiple looks. Here, we’ve hunted down five key pieces—most of which hover around the $150 mark—to get you started.
A statement blazer instantly takes any outfit to the next level and finding one with a great, tailored fit is key. Our advice? Skip basic-black in favor of neutrals: they work year-round and go with everything.
CUYANA Wool Cashmere
Turtleneck Sweater Cuyana, $155
MODERN CITIZEN Julianna
Cropped Kick-Flare Trouser Modern Citizen, $72
MADEWELL The Albury
Crossbody Bag in Suede
and LeatherT Madewell, $158
Frill Detail Ballerinas Zara, $49.90
J.CREW Rhodes Blazer in
Houndstooth Wool J.Crew, $248
A polished coat with a streamlined, modern-minimalist design is the ultimate finishing touch—it will wear well from office to evening outing—truly a wardrobe workhorse. Plus, come winter, it’s a welcome alternative to the utilitarian puffer when piled on over a chunky knit.
MADEWELL Drapey Oversized
Boyshirt in Pure White Madewell, $72
Wrap Midi Skirt Topshop, $92
ANN TAYLOR Floral
Mini Silk Scarf Ann Taylor, $34.50
RIVER ISLAND Black Embossed
Snake Leather Mini Tote River Island, $110
BANANA REPUBLIC Madison
12-Hour Pump Banana Republic, $118
EVERLANE The Premium Wool
Oversized Unstructured Coat Everlane, $195
The beauty of a skirt suit is that it’s technically three outfits in one: Wear the pieces together, layered over a blouse of your choice, or split them up, pairing the jacket with skinny trousers and the skirt with a cashmere sweater.
JOE FRESH Tweed
Bomber Jacket Joe Fresh, $69
JOE FRESH Tweed Fit
and Flare Skirt Joe Fresh, $49
Leather Shopper Bag Mango, $119.99
& OTHER STORIES
Parisienne Ankle Boots & Other Stories, $155
WHO WHAT WEAR
Ruffle Blouse Target, $19.99
A midi skirt is the kind of closet staple that can make everything from a tee to a pullover more sophisticated, so pairing it with an already classic silk blouse is essentially a chicness double-whammy.
with Pin-Tucks H&M, $34.99
Annie Leather Midi Skirt French Connection, $228
FOREVER 21 Faux Leather
Shoulder Bag Forever 21, $24.90
ANN TAYLOR Mila Leopard
Print Haircalf Pumps Ann Taylor, $148
Crew Neck Cardigan Uniqlo, $99.90
Tomboyish accessories like loafers and a slouchy, sporty jacket tone down the historically date-ready LBD for the office. For evening, a simple shoe swap (say, a pair of pumps or stiletto-heeled booties) takes things to the next level.