By Laura Lee

power suite woman

Whether you’ve been a mover and shaker in your industry for years now or are just getting started in the professional world, it’s imperative to have the right wardrobe. After all, your clothes shape how others perceive us. They can even change how we see ourselves and influence how we perform in the workplace.

However, knowing you’re ready to build the right professional wardrobe is one thing, but it can be tricky at first to know which items you need. Naturally, it will take time and experience to truly cultivate a personal professional-style all your own, but a few essential staples are all it takes to get the ball rolling. The following wardrobe staples will help you lay the foundation for your professional style.

1. Power Suit

No matter what your job position or long-term goals, you need a go-to power suit if you’re a professional woman. They are the key to projecting strength, leadership and confidence. They’re also the best wardrobe choices any time you really want to make a bold, positive impression, like job interviews, important meetings, or key business functions.

The best power suits are sleek and without frills. Any neutral versatile shade is a good option, but it’s impossible to go wrong with black. Also, tailoring is an absolute must, as fit matters just as much as quality.

woman pump shoes2. Comfort Pumps

If your power suit is your go-to clothing of choice for any important professional occasion, you should pair it with a comfort pump. After all, there’s a reason you see black pumps on everyone from Duchess Kate to Nicole Kidman to your boss. They make everyone look like a million dollars, including you.

The key to success is to choose a classic design that features all the latest in comfort technology. For instance, the Parigi from LifeStride features the mid- height heel, gently rounded toe, and sleek black leather you’d want in any professional pump. However, it also comes equipped with comfort elements like padded insoles and traction outsoles. The result is a beautiful pick that looks like a classy business shoe but wears like your favorite comfort footwear.

sheath
3. Sheath Dress

Trust us when we tell you that the more hours you log at the office, the more you’ll come to appreciate the versatility of the sheath dress. To begin with, a well-fitted sheath helps you strike a stunning silhouette that’s perfect for any professional situation. Plus, there’s nothing quite like waking up in the morning, grabbing just one item of clothing, and knowing you’re ready to meet the day in style.

Always choose sheath dresses that are well-made, simple, and classic when it comes to design. Go for one or two in neutral tones that pair well with everything else you own and then add more colors if you wish as you build your office wardrobe into the future. As with your power suit, a perfect fit is a must, so don’t be afraid to pay a visit to the tailor if your dress needs a little fine-tuning.

classic red handbag 4. Classic Handbag

The right handbag will round out your office wardrobe to perfection. A professional gal who’s serious about making the right impression has a stunning statement bag to complete her business look as well. Choose bags that are sleek and beautiful on the outside, but nice and practical on the inside.

The right pick for you depends largely on your professional and personal style preferences, but it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with a pick like this vintage hobo bag from Joy Susan. It’s trendy and versatile enough to go with just about any ensemble. Plus, features like zipper closures and ample interior pockets make it a practical choice for your everyday needs

patterned leggings and button down shirt5. Button-Up Blouses

No professional wardrobe can be considered complete without a good selection of simple button-up blouses and shirts. Like blazers, trousers, or black pumps, a simple button-up in a classic neutral is always a smart choice. Not only does it go perfectly with everything else in your closet, but it makes a truly wonderful statement all by itself.

Just like the other professional wardrobe staples, a good button-up fits to perfection. The buttons should fasten comfortably and securely without pulling or leaving too much slack in the chest. They’re also made of good-quality fabrics like silk or premium cotton blend. Start with three or four in plain white, eggshell, or cream. You can always add additional colors for flair as you continue to grow your wardrobe

classic trousers6. Tailored Trousers

Trousers are another wardrobe essential if you’re serious about building a fabulous office wardrobe. They’ll look great with everything, from your standard blouses to your more unusual statement options. They’re also versatile enough for just about any professional occasion.

Be sure you choose a variety of different options to help your wardrobe grow in all the right ways. Think different shapes like flare leg, skinny cut, and pleated. You’ll also want to accumulate a range of different colors. Of course, you can’t go wrong with staple tones like black or gray, but adding additional colors like khaki, navy, chocolate, or olive can really open up your options when it comes to mixing and matching.

necklace7. Tasteful Accessories

Last, but not least, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of accessories on hand. Start with essentials like belts that help pull even the simplest outfits together. Then take a closer look at accent pieces. Pretty, fashionable scarves in different colors, styles, and lengths are easy ways to add flair and panache to any ensemble. Finishing touches like stud earrings, statement necklaces, or accent rings are also easy ways to treat any outfit to an instant upgrade.

As time goes on, you’ll see your own professional style start to emerge, and you can add new pieces accordingly. However, every wardrobe revolves around these professional staples. Start building your collection today!

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