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5 Career wardrobe essentials

When you’re spending 40 hours a week at the office, you need to have some key fashion items in your closet so dressing for work is easy. These five essentials are the building blocks of a great work wardrobe.

Business woman at the office

When it comes to dressing for the office, you want to look polished and professional while also expressing your personal sense of style. These five pieces are the essential fashion staples from which you can play off of by accessorizing to your taste. For these pieces, though, you’ll want to spend a little more, as these tried-and-true classics will have to stand the test of time, and the quality of the fabrics and workmanship of a higher-end piece will pay off in the long term.

The little black dress

What could be better about getting dressed for the workday and only having to pull on a single piece of clothing to look together? Look for something with a flattering cut in a fabric that can transition from fall to spring (a medium-weight knit would work well). In the winter, you can throw on a cardigan to keep warm, and in the summer, a pretty scarf will dress it up.

A suit

A classic suit in a dark neutral colour (black, navy or grey) and in a medium-weight fabric makes dressing for meetings a cinch. If possible, get a suit with a blazer, dress pants and skirt so you can mix and match for many more combinations with the tops and sweaters in your wardrobe.

A trench coat

When it comes to outerwear, the quality of fabrics and workmanship can really shine through. A trench is a staple because you can throw it on over any outfit (both office wear and even jeans on casual Friday), and it still works. Look for one with a belt to show off your waist, and don’t feel you have to stick to beige — a playful colour such as red can be a nice, unexpected touch.

A white shirt

A crisp, white shirt that is well tailored looks good on everyone and can be worn with most skirts and pants for the office.

A cashmere cardigan

Shell out some extra cash for a classic lightweight cashmere cardigan, as you can wear this piece year-round at the office — in the winter, overtop lightweight tops and shirts, and in the summer, over your LBD or day dresses when your office’s air conditioning is cranked up too high and you’re all shivering in your cubicles.

More style tips

Fashion indulgences for spring
Winter to spring transition ideas
Best rain-friendly spring attire

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