11 Workwear Essentials That Aren’t Suits

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It’s pretty easy to get into the habit of wearing straight-leg plain pants, a simple white blouse, and a sweater to work every day.

Instead, we suggest finding key pieces you can mix and match to achieve your own version of a daily “uniform,” that aren’t boring and that you’ll actually enjoy wearing. Though it may require spending a bit more money, you’ll be investing in pieces that you’ll literally be wearing five days out of the week, so in our book it’s worth it. Scroll down below for no-fuss outfit ideas that’ll keep you looking chic at the office all winter long.

A Bright, Fitted Sweater

Switch up your black-sweater routine by picking out a bright variation: You’ll be glad to have it in your wardrobe when the dreary days of winter roll around. Wear it with black trousers, tuck it into a high-waisted skirt, or pair with jeans on more casual days.

Buy
Aritzia Sweater$110, Aritzia

A Non-Boring Fancy Blouse

You probably already have tons of thin white blouses lying around, but if you have a big meeting or special work event, try this black stunner from Oscar de la Renta. With lace paneling and a pussy bow, you’ll easily be the chicest one in the room.

Buy
Oscar de la Renta Blouse$893, The Outnet

Wide-Leg Pants

Forgo the typical ankle-length hemline and try out these wide-leg sailor pants from Tibi. They’re still work appropriate, but buttons at the pockets and waists make them far more interesting than plain black pants. Wear them with sweaters, blouses, and blazers, or go full-out nautical with a striped T-shirt.

Buy
Tibi Pants$395, Spring

A Pleated Skirt

Though it may seem a bit too feminine for some, it’s a purchase that is so versatile it’s worth considering. Thanks to its flowy silhouette, you can wear a pleated skirt with as many layers as you want without overheating. This is a great option for days when you have a dinner or some slightly dressed-up event after work.

Buy
Aritzia Skirt$195, Aritzia

A Blazer With Cool Details

There are plenty of tailored blazer options out there, but you don’t have to sacrifice style to find one that’s still work appropriate. This single-button, embellished crepe blazer from Ellery makes a statement with elegant draping but its black color is still all business.

Buy
Ellery Blazer$1,610, Net-A-Porter

A Modern Little Black Dress

You need an everyday dress that you can count on to make you look polished. This Derek Lam 10 Crosby shift fits the bill, but has a modern flair with a side slit and long bell sleeves. It hits just at the knee so you can wear it with tights and ankle boots now, and with flats and a denim jacket come spring.

Buy
Derek Lam 10 Crosby Dress$595, Moda Operandi

A Classic Skirt in a Print

Chances are, you already have a black pencil skirt — so instead, consider the flattering silhouette in a houndstooth print. This version has an elastic waistband for extra comfort, making it easier than ever to layer with a sweater and look polished without trying.

Buy
J.Crew Skirt$110, J.Crew

An Interesting Blue Collared Shirt

Collared shirts are a workwear mainstay, but who says they can’t have a little personality? This blue cotton-trim shirt from Cedric Charlier is as conservative as any other collared shirt out there, but the red-appliqué neck makes it so much cooler.

Buy
Cedric Charlier Shirt$335, Avenue 32

A No-Fuss A-Line Dress

Since we already gave you a recommendation for a modern LBD, the only other dress you need is one in a fun color. This limited-edition dress from Aritzia has a minimal look, but the sleek fit and warm burgundy tone make it a favorite for winter.

Buy
Aritzia Dress$225, Aritzia

An Interesting Take on the Shirtdress

No matter the weather or the occasion, shirtdresses can be paired with heels, boots, or sneakers (hi, casual Friday) and still look great. Consider this contrast gingham dress from J.W. Anderson instead of the ubiquitous white shirtdress. The detailing gives it an elevated, more formal look, and depending on your mood, you can position the waist tie in the front or tuck it in the back.

Buy
J.W. Anderson Dress$560, Moda Operandi

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