These wardrobe basics form the foundation of a professional wardrobe and their versatility makes them budget-friendly too. Always opt for the highest quality you can afford when buying your wardrobe basics. You’ll be wearing them every day.
Business Casual Slacks
A high-quality pair of black slacks is essential. Look for a pair with clean lines, sturdy fabric, and an excellent fit. Have a second pair in another neutral color, such as brown, gray, or beige.
Just like business casual slacks, white blouses are wardrobe- and budget-friendly pieces that mix well with anything. Buy one long-sleeved and one short-sleeved that will stand up to everyday use.
Buy for comfort first, then style. While stiletto heels are tempting, opt for at least one pair of practical pumps with a low heel, either a kitten-heel or a small wedge. Don’t buy everyday shoes without sufficient arch support or that pinch your toes. Black pumps are the most versatile.
What professional wardrobe would be complete without a fitted jacket to go with your slacks, over button-downs, or just to accent your skirts? Pick a dark blue or black to blazer get the most fashion mileage. The sleeves should just graze your wrist-bone, and the fabric should be nipped in at the waist. No part of the blazer should feel tight or pinching.
Comfortable yet universally flattering, feminine yet modest, the pencil skirt is the ultimate addition to the professional wardrobe. Avoid earth-tones and go for a black, grey, or solid-color skirt that pairs well with button-downs, cap-sleeved shirts, and blouses. Skirts with a ruffle or gentle flare in the back are especially flattering.
Usually the smallest section of the wardrobe, formal clothing staples are your go-to pieces for dressing up. As a rule, you need at least one good dress of a sensible length that you can accessorize easily. Black is the easiest color, but solid colors also work well, such as deep blue, jewel-tone green, or any other color that flatters your skin tone. Make sure the fabric doesn’t pucker, wrinkle, or fray, as it does in many lower quality dresses.