Today I’m excited to share my working girl wardrobe essentials! Whether you’re a recent graduate new to the workforce, interviewing for a new job, or eager to up your style game at work to land (or keep!) a recent promotion, this is the list for you!
Before diving in, I have to apologize that the Wedding Wednesday post I promised last week is being temporarily postponed. Last Wednesday was the first of my Wedding Wednesday posts where I shared our ceremony and all the juicy details on what the bridal party wore. I promised the second wedding post today—the details on our reception—but I had a major technological meltdown last night and that post was lost somewhere in cyberspace. Major, major fail, interwebs.
Luckily, I had this post ready to share with you tomorrow, so decided to post it today instead while I teeter on the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge determining whether I should start the wedding post all over again or just hurl myself off of the bridge. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, let’s take a gander at the top staple items every working girl should have in her closet…
If you flip to page 13 of my 2015 Holiday Memo, I’ve featured my working girl wardrobe essentials on the left, and more holiday gift ideas for the new working girl on the right. I get asked by readers all the time for suggested working girl “essentials” so I’m excited to share with you my list:
- Classic dark suit with mix-and-match pieces (Brooks Brothers and J. Crew also have great options)
- Non-iron button front shirt
- Cableknit cardigan
- Classic navy blazer
- Timeless trench (affordable alternative here)
- Classic black wool coat
- Classic tote bag
- Perfect pumps (same style, lower heel option here)
- Pointed-toe flats (additional great options here)
For those just starting out their careers, items from both pages would make incredible gifts!
*cough* especially those stemless wine glasses *cough*
I’ve owned a lot of suits, and this Theory number continues to reign supreme in my closet as my very favorite classic, dark suit. It’s great quality, drapes beautifully, wears like iron and comes in a classic, timeless cut. As mentioned above, I also really like the quality suiting options at J. Crew and Brooks Brothers, for that basic, staple suit that every girl should own.
For those of you who work in creative or casual environments that don’t have to wear something this business formal every day, I still think it’s really important to have at least one dark suit in your closet. You never know when you may suddenly get tapped to make a client presentation, attend a more formal conference, or be brought to a higher-level meeting. You want to be armed and ready for those unexpected moments!
Also, as an aside, I’ve had a few of you ask recently why I don’t post a lot of conservative suits like this all the time. It’s a question that I’ve addressed several times in the past, but it’s a good one and definitely worth repeating! So here are my thoughts:
When you think about workwear, I’m guessing a basic navy suit is among the first things that come to mind. Throughout Memorandum’s lifespan, I’ve endeavored to share looks that aren’t just the standard-issue, “typical” workwear. While today’s post is one of my favorite, classic office looks perfect for business formal environments or interviews, as a workstyle blogger, I’m not necessarily offering anything particularly novel with this outfit. I thought it was helpful to share my recommendations on work wardrobe essentials along with my very favorite staple suits, but in terms of styling, I doubt many of you looked at my pairing of a navy pencil skirt and matching suit jacket with a white button-down shirt and thought—Wow! I never would’ve thought of that combo!
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I love more than a classic, simple look like this one. However, here on Memorandum, I try to add a bit more value. While everyone (who works in a conservative business formal setting, at the very least) should own a couple classic suits like today’s, in most of my posts, I try to offer styling ideas for the working girl that are a bit less obvious. Let’s face it, you’re a smart professional chick that doesn’t need me or anyone else to tell you that a navy skirt suit is a workwear option for you. The goal of Memorandum is to show that as working women, regardless of professional environment, we can have lots of fun with fashion beyond the staid dark suits so often attributed to us. So, I still offer lots of business formal workwear outfits for those of you in conservative environments, but in general, I try to mix it up a bit more!
Bottom line: Keep rocking your classic suits, but also don’t be afraid to sometimes think outside the dark suit box. : )