Affordable Workwear

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.

Look 1

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.

Look 2

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.

Look 3

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.

Look 4

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.

Look 5

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.