How to Build a Professional and Stylish Looking Wardrobe for the Office

If you work in an office environment, then you are among the many who have their workplace wardrobe and then their ‘at-home’ wardrobe. The two don’t tend to cross, with your work wardrobe being extremely professional and your ‘at-home’ selection focusing more on comfort. However, with that said, there is no reason you can’t still look stylish while dressing professionally. 

Let’s face it, you spend the majority of your waking hours at work, so wouldn’t it be great to feel confident and trendy in the clothes you’re wearing? Of course, you want to project that impression of professionalism at the same time, which means a bit of a wardrobe overhaul may be in order.

Here’s a look at the ways you can build a brand new professional and stylish looking wardrobe that is perfect for the office. These are items you’ll actually get excited to put on in the morning, which can make those early morning wake-ups a bit easier.

Invest in a Good Quality Suit

Each office will have its own version of business wear, but in general, you can’t go wrong with a suit. Investing in a good quality suit that is tailored and fits you perfectly is the ultimate in high-fashion. You can make it a mix-and-match suit too by picking up trousers and a skirt to match the blazer.

The key to purchasing a suit is to focus on the material and construction of it. You want a material that will hold up well, drapes perfectly, allows your body to breathe, and isn’t too heavy or lightweight. The stitching and construction should also be of good quality so you don’t have to worry about seams and hems ripping or falling out. 
You can see examples of suits that fit the bill at Collars & Cuffs.

As far as the colour goes, if you want the suit to be versatile, then it’s always best to stick to a solid neutral colour. You can add a pop of colour and interest with your shirt/blouse, accessories, and footwear.

Set a Statement with a Designer Handbag

There is just something about having a designer handbag that screams professionalism and the ultimate in style and high-fashion. Now you can go all out and go for a designer such as Saint Laurent or Gucci from a retailer such as SSENSE who sell a range of bags from both of these brands and have the peace of mind knowing it’s an investment, and it will hold up for many years to come. These designer bags also tend to feature classic designs, which means you don’t have to worry about them being in fashion one year and out the next.

Again, if you want versatility it’s best to pick a bag in a solid colour that works with the majority of the items in your closet, both for work and at-home.

Don’t Forget that Perfect Pair of Pumps

While there is absolutely no reason to be a slave to fashion and buy high stilettos to wear at the office, it is usually a good idea to pick up one basic pair of black pumps that have a comfortable heel height. Today you can find heels that look stylish and fashionable yet are still comfortable to wear thanks to memory foam insoles, a good grip on the sole, and material that actually moves with your feet.

Build Your Wardrobe Slowly Over Time

It's natural to want to buy a whole new wardrobe at once, but that can be pretty expensive and it's really not necessary. Instead, focus on picking up those staple pieces that you can mix and match with other items. By doing this you can then build up the supplementary pieces slowly over time. The basic pieces are always a suit, a couple of solid colour blouses, a handbag, and black pumps.

A Great Cardigan or Layering Piece

A simple and smart way to get through transitioning from one season to the next is to also invest in a great cardigan or layering piece. This can help you take that summer wardrobe into the fall, and then from winter into spring. There’s also the fact that offices tend to be kept a little bit chilly so it will provide you with warmth even in the summer when the a/c is blasting.

Great Outfits Start with Great Knits

If you’re the type that has a hard time putting together and visualising an outfit, then another tip is to start with a great knit piece. This could be a lightweight knit turtleneck, long or short sleeved top, or even a tank. From there you can pair it with your suit, the trousers and your cardigan, layer a bright and trendy blouse over top, and so forth.

Approach It In a Methodical Way

Putting together a professional and stylish wardrobe for the office doesn’t have to be confusing, instead, just approach it in a methodical way and start with the basics.

*Guest post


  1. I havn't had an office job for a while now, but I miss being able to buy gorgeous suits, scarves and statement jewellery. One day! Michn x

    1. One of the nice things when you work in an office is the clothes!

  2. A good suit is a really good one, get a classic looking fit so that it will last a few years and it makes you feel much more confident in meetings.

  3. I’m so glad I work in a fairly relaxed office. I do have some key smarter pieces for big meetings and interviews though.

    1. I think having one smart suit that can take you from the office to other formal environments is a good idea, even if you have a relaxed office environment.