Ask VF: 5 Work Wardrobe Must-Haves

October 8, 2012   

Adriana asks: I'm starting a new job in 2 weeks at a corporate office and have no idea what to buy. I'm not looking to spend a lot, probably less than $100 on each piece. Can you help me pick 5 items that I NEED to have in my wardrobe. Any help is appreciated!

VF: Hi Adriana, first of all congratulations on the new job. I remember when I first started my first "corporate world" job about 5 years ago...I had no idea as well on what to buy. The key is to look for quality items and then build your wardrobe around it. Here are 5 of my top picks when it comes to building a work wardrobe.

Black Pencil Skirt: I love pencil skirts! They are great for a "corporate" setting and can even take you after hours (maybe cocktails with the co-workers) with just a quick change of accessories. I've paired mine with everything from a classic white t-shirt and flats (on casual days) or dressed it up for meetings with a button-down shirt and pumps.

Blazer: Blazers are an effortless way to dress up any outfit. If you're going to invest in only a couple of blazers, then look for neutral colors such as black or navy, which will go with pretty much everything. Once you have the staples locked in, why not try some colorful blazers as well. They're also great for dressing up jeans (if you can wear them to work).

Blouse- A white button-down is great for work, but I personally love feminine blouses. They're very comfortable and can be worn with skirts, pants or jeans. Look for a color that compliments your skin-tone.

Black Pants- This one is pretty much a given, but black pants tops my list for work wardrobe must-haves. I still have and wear the ones that I bought 5 years ago. There are several styles to choose from including boot-leg, wide-leg, or skinny. I love the tailored look of the skinny black pants, which makes it look trendy, yet work-ready.

Pumps- A classic pump is another piece that will instantly add a professional look to your attire. For staples look for black or nude. Also make sure they are comfortable, especially if you will be doing a lot of walking or standing up (a kitten heel is another option). I like how these Jessica Simpson pumps are classic, but the bow in the back adds a nice trendy touch.

Shop the Story: 

Worthington Black Pencil Skirt, jcpenney, $22
Navy Blazer, Marshalls
Tinley Road Olivia Blouse, Piperlime, $79
True Straight Black Pants, Gap, $49
Jessica Simpson Jaide Pumps, Macy's, $62

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