Assembling a professional wardrobe can be time consuming and expensive. If you’re a young professional just stepping into the professional workforce, building your work wardrobe can be overwhelming. To get you started, begin by building a capsule wardrobe, which consists of a small arsenal of essential pieces. These pieces are basic and functional, and can be mixed and matched to create a larger wardrobe. This is a great option if your clothing budget is small, or if you simply don’t know the right place to start. Here is a list of pieces to include in your capsule wardrobe:
Dark colored dress slacks
These can be in either a black or navy. Stick with a dark neutral that can be worn with different outfits. A dark pant is a staple because they are professional. They can even help keep you warm during the cold winter months. Check out some great options here, here, and here.
Begin with a traditional style jacket with either one or two buttons. Choose a blazer in the same color of your dress pants. This can be paired with your dress pants for a fitted suit look, or it can be worn over a dress for a more elegant look. Options here, here, and here.
Work-appropriate pencil skirt
This item can be a bit tricky, as it largely depends where you shop. A great, sturdy pencil skirt will come in handy in building your foundational wardrobe. Make sure your skirt is properly fitted, not too baggy, but also not too tight where it isn’t flattering. Work appropriate skirts can be found here, here, and here.
Silk and knit shell
A shell is a great layering piece underneath a blazer. A proper top should be opaque, and not tight fitting. A lighter shell is great for the summer, and a knit or thicker cotton top is greater for colder weather. Options can be found here, here, and here.
This timeless piece can be purchased in a variety of colors, and can be dressed up or down. There are many inexpensive options on the market, but strive to find a top that is wrinkle resistant as this will be an item that will see a lot of wear. Great work wear tops can be found here, here, and here.
Wearing a dress to work is a great way to remain professional and look put together, but also be more comfortable than wearing a traditional suit. Your dress should be at least knee-length, and if your office is a bit more casual, a sleeved dress can be worn to forego a blazer. Options can be found here, here, and here.
If you have a position that requires you to be moving around frequently, a comfortable pair of flats are imperative to keep you going all day long. Shoes in a neutral color are a staple that go with every outfit, or maybe try a fun printed pattern to bring some life to an otherwise neutral outfit. Options here, here, and here.
Every young professional woman needs a reliable pair of heels that can go with any look. A block heel is a great option because they provide height, but provide a greater walking surface, so they tend to be easier to walk in, and a bit more comfortable. Great options can be found here, here, and here.