I recently started a new contract which has me in an office setting 5 days a week where the dress code is “business casual.” Having worked for myself or in casual offices for most of my life, I knew I needed to step it up a notch but I didn’t want to buy a whole new wardrobe full of items I would only wear for this job. While it is still a work in progress I thought I would share my formula to update any wardrobe to business casual!
1. Invest in a pair of fitted black trousers that can be worn with ANYTHING. Mine are from Zara with a zipper at the ankle which creates a nice peek-a-boo effect with whatever shoe I’m wearing. I wear these pants daily, dressed up or down.
2. Invest in a few great fitting blazers. I have a few nice fitting, inexpensive blazers which I’m currently looking to replace with high quality blazers from Helmut Lang that I can keep for the next ten years.
3. Invest in a pair of black pumps that you can walk a mile in.
4. Identify the things already in your wardrobe that can be mixed in with your basics. I have super soft t’s from Club Monaco that I wear with my heels, trousers and a crisp blazer, it looks clean and refined and I can easily switch my blazer for a cropped leather jacket at night. Printed chiffon button-ups, thin super soft shirts, crisp vests, beautiful heels, all these wonderful things should be rotated into the mix!
5. Stay true to your style. My work style is very men’s wear inspired, but whatever your most comfortable and confident in should be the pieces you highlight and build everything else around. I buy nothing for work that I wouldn’t wear in my everyday life, so I always feel like myself only a little more professional!
Here are a few pieces I’m dreaming of to elevate my wardrobe!
Black blazer, similar here: Helmut Lang Black Blazer
Valentino Studded Pumps (seen in the very top middle picture)