10 work essentials that every woman should have in her wardrobe
Updated: Jul 5
I I started working right after my teens & my very first job was with a traditional company which followed a unsaid clothing protocol & so the question of what should I wear for my first day at work haunted me for almost a week. I would go over my wardrobe, change my pick everyday, would wonder if I needed to shop more & many more of such thoughts daunted me. I have now been working for over a decade & I have tried to crack the code of formal, casual & informal wear. Let’s face it. It’s easy for men. They have been programmed to wear button-down shirts, formal shoes, a tie, a trouser & a blazer. A semi-formal look for them still consists of three of these five elements & so it’s a near There’s a very thin line separating the three actually, especially when it comes to a woman. While there is no laid-out guide for woman, but they need to consider social rules, the office culture & overall So, I have put together a little guide on workwear essentials for woman. These are the outfits that every woman needs to have in her wardrobe irrespective of the industry & the type of company you work for. Woman usually don’t have the luxury to repeat their clothing, not at least as often as men do & so it’s really important to shop smart. This list will not only help you shop the essentials but would also help you save your hard-earned money. Most of my looks can be easily transpired to an evening look as we after all who doesn’t like to let their hair loose & have some fun in the evening. This will not only help you build your wardrobe but are perfect for a mix & match style.
1. A Well Fitted Blazer
Never underestimate the power of a good blazer. I cannot insist more on a importance of a good blazer. There are some things in your wardrobe that you can buy cheap but there are a few others that do require a lot of investment but is totally worth it. It will not only last you years but it also creates a lasting impression. You can wear a blazer with formal trousers & dresses alike. A good blazer can be used for a casual look, a semi-formal look & a strictly formal look depending on how you style it. I am particularly fond of slim blazers. These are the new ones that are available widely & do not make the blazer look bulky & hence can be easily worn for any occasion. I prefer either the block colors or the checkered ones. Some of the ways you could wear a blazer both formally & informally.
2. Well Fitted Trousers
A well fitted trousers are the most essential thing in a working woman’s wardrobe. While they need to fit well, please buy the ones that you are most comfortable with. If possible, opt for a fabric that lets your skin breathe (preferably cotton). Currently, ankle trousers are in vogue however, a good straight trouser never goes out of style. I recommend having a black trouser as that typical can be matched with any kind & colour of blouse or shirt. There are various style & length of trousers available & you should choose the ones that you are most comfortable with. Typical trousers most commonly wore in the office are skinny, straight, tapered, pleat front, high waist with wide leg & bell bottoms. You can also opt for chinos. They have gained a lot of popularity over the years. The benefit of chinos is that they can be worn for both formal & informal occasions. They too come in various length & styles. They have a slimmer silhouette when compared to the regular trousers & large pockets. They go wonderfully well with T-shirts, shirts & blazers.
3. A Good Pair of Tights
This is a piece of clothing that can help you take over the colder seasons or just the blazing office AC. It doesn’t hurt that they make your regular piece of clothing stand out & look uber professional. Wear it with a skirt or that short dress of yours that you weren’t sure if you could wear to office. Tights come in various levels of opacity & thickness. I prefer to go with Black Opaque Tights. Best part about them is they are stretchable so they fit on your body like second skin giving a perfect shape to the body. Avoid wearing them if you step out in the sun during warmer season. They can make you sweat profusely. You can style your tights with any type of skirt, dress, dress with a coat formally & try styling them with denim shorts for a informal look.
4. A Sheath Dress
While you can opt for a Little Black Dress (LBD) over a sheath dress but I believe both of them are a must have in a woman’s wardrobe. I prefer a sheath dress over a LBD for office but LBD’s wore with tights look really sophisticated & sexy at the same time. A sheath dress is a fitted, straight cut dress that often comes up till your knees. This sure belongs to every person’s wardrobe whether you are a working professional or not. It’s also known as pencil dress. The royal princess Kate Middleton is regularly seen sporting sheath dresses.
5. Monochromatic Tees
A simple Tee can do wonders to your wardrobe. This is one piece of clothing that can be used for any kind of mixing & matching. It gives you the final look of casual or formal depending on the other styling elements. The best part, well, it can be paired with anything & you can still be sure that it will never go wrong. Wear it with a blazer, cardigan, just a trouser etc & it will never disappoint you. I strongly recommend having one white, black & peach top in your wardrobe. 6. Colourful Tops Or Blouses
These tops can be the most colourful part of your work wardrobe. You can experiment with the colours & the patterns. The ones that I really enjoy is the peplum top & the bow at the neck kind of top. These are good to be worn as is or bundled with a blazer & that makes it easy to transform from work wear to evening wear.
7. Button Down Shirt
Well I have a thing for crisp white button down shirt. Well it may appear boring to you as this is the go-to piece of clothing for every man too but try the ones that have flaunting cuts & you will be addicted. Button down are most common pieces in any working professional’s wardrobe but you need to pair them up well so that they accentuate your best features. You can tuck them in/out, wear them with skirts, trousers, chinos, under a cardigan or simply with a jacket. I strongly recommend having one crisp white shirt in your wardrobe. If you are someone who enjoys color then you can opt for various coloured shirts & styles like checkered shirts, block printed ones etc
8. Pencil Skirt
Pencil skirts can help you get the slim look you always wanted. They are usually sharp & help you appear taller too. You can go with an A-line skirt if you aren’t particularly comfortable with a pencil skirt but pencil skirt helps you look chic & sharp. It’s a must have for everyone’s wardrobe as this skirt can easily be transformed into a perfect evening wear. A lot of our dear celebs swear by the power of pencil skirt too.
9. Jackets & Trench Coats
These have included these two in one section as they are largely dependent on the weather the place you are living in & how your day looks like. You can opt for a jacket for a little informal look while trench coats look really formal. Here’s how you can use them in your work wear & I genuinely believe that every woman should have one trench coat & a good leather jacket in her wardrobe. These are all classics, they rarely go out of style & you can wear them with a variety of outfits. Please do consider your height & broadness before shortlisting any of these. They all need to fit at your shoulder & the length of it shouldn’t be overwhelming.
Cardigans can be used year long if you spend too much time indoors in air conditioning. You can wear cardigan over just a camisole or over a button down shirt or a if you style it well, then over a sheath dress. Cardigans look great if you want to opt for a formal look without putting on the blazer & what’s best is they both save you from the ice cold air con temperatures. They go well with both formal & informal looks.
One last thing Oh yes! I do understand that with the influx of so many startups, a lot of companies are moving towards casual clothing but you still do need the right type of outfits to make a good impression. Remember, your outfits speak even before you open your mouth. Go for it, make a lasting impression. I have always enjoyed formal dressing & it is something what not only separates me from the crowd but it also changes the body language so despite working in startups, I still like to juggle up formal with casual wear. In the next blog I will talk about the must have accessories for office attires. Stay tuned!