How I Built a Capsule Wardrobe for Work (so I Can Get Dressed in 5 Seconds)

·5 min read

After spending the last year and a half working from home, I need some reminders about how to get dressed up again, so I'm relying on an office capsule wardrobe more than ever. In the mornings, I don’t like to spend time thinking about what I’m wearing. Instead of trying on endless outfits, I would rather spend my time sipping a morning latte, catching up on the news, and scrolling through the latest updates on my Instagram feed. To cut back on the time I’m spending deciding on what I’m wearing to the office, I’ve narrowed down my options to some key office essentials to develop an easy work capsule wardrobe.

Ahead, see the 18 pieces I rely on for my outfits to wear to the Who What Wear office. I will admit that these are pieces I wear to a fashion-centric work environment (that take the latest trends into mind), so they may not be suitable for every workplace, but you can tailor them to your particular workspace. Go on to see my outfits and shop the workwear staples I can’t live without.

Build a Foundation of Polished Basics

I tend to invest in great basics that I can wear and re-wear on the regular.

1. An oversize blazer

Anine Bing Madeleine Blazer ($349)

I've been wearing this blazer on repeat since I got it several years ago, and it's truly an essential building block in my office wardrobe. It elevates a simple outfit like a T-shirt and jeans but can also be layered over slip skirts or midi dresses.

2. Great T-shirts

ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo Schoolboy Crew Tee ($85)

I gravitate toward T-shirts with a slightly boxy, oversize silhouette.

3. Wide-leg jeans

Agolde 90's Mid Rise Loose Fit Jeans ($198)

I find that jeans with a wide-leg cut—like these ones—are a great fit for the office.

4. Kitten heels

Larroudé Vivi Sandals ($265)

For the office, I look for low kitten heels that are comfortable and easy to walk in.

5. A structured bag

Tory Burch Lee Radziwill Bag ($798)

This bag is part of my everyday office uniform.

6. Design-forward earrings

Completedworks The Transit of Venus Earrings ($325)

I always look for design-forward earrings that have a fun twist but still go with just about everything.

Invest in a Tailored Suit

There is no question that suiting has been one of the biggest trends in recent seasons—and it's one that easily translates to the office.

7. A suit jacket

Mango Flowy Suit Blazer ($70)

A great suit jacket is a versatile work-wardrobe item that can be paired with any number of outfits.

8. Matching pants

Mango Flowy Suit Trousers ($60)

But a suit jacket looks especially polished when worn with coordinating trousers.

Look for Wardrobe Essentials That Are Finished With Interesting Details

Wearing wardrobe essentials that have unexpected silhouettes and cool design elements instantly breathes life into a simple outfit.

9. A button-down with fashion-forward finishes

Pixie Market Oversized White Shirt ($108)

Instead of wearing a standard button-down, I look for ones that feel special—like this one that has a twisted detail.

10. Modern everyday jewelry

Young Frankk Varro Gold-Plated Ring ($85)

For jewelry, I look for pieces that are versatile enough to wear every day but cool enough that they stand out.

11. An oversize button-down

Frankie Shop Lui Shirt ($185)

Endlessly versatile and even better in a fun shade.

12. Interesting textures

H&M Rib-Knit Shirt ($30)

Pieces with textures like ribbing or plissé pleats instantly make basics more dynamic.

A Great Pencil Skirt

There's a reason a pencil skirt is a classic office-wardrobe staple.

13. A black pencil skirt

Vince Asymmetric Wrap Skirt ($207)

Though you might opt for a more subdued style in some workplaces, I like to wear an updated take on the classic—like this patent version.

A Chic Tote Bag Is Key

I replaced my flimsy canvas carryalls with a leather tote bag, which instantly makes my work outfits feel more pulled together. If you end up carrying your laptop and other items back and forth from your home to the office, I recommend finding a great bag to use on the regular.

14. A tote bag

Rylan Large Tote ($800)

A timeless work bag you can use forever.

A Matching Set Is a Go-To for the Office

Few things are as easy to throw on as a matching set. Pantsuits are great, but I also love a cropped bottom.

15. A polished jacket

Zara Plaid Cropped Jacket ($60)

Classic prints like plaid are a personal favorite for officewear because they always read well put together.

16. And matching bottoms

Zara Plaid Mini Skirt ($20)

How stunning is this as a set?

Tailored Outerwear

Once you hit the cooler months, refined outerwear is an easy way to finish an outfit. A long double-breasted coat is a perfect thing to throw over just about any look.

17. A tailored coat

Reformation York Coat ($328)

I bought another version of this coat (see in the photo above), and it's been one of my best fall/winter purchases.

18. A leather blazer

Mango Faux-Leather Double-Breasted Blazer ($70)

A tailored leather blazer is a key piece I rely on to pull together so many looks.

This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated. Next, four trends editors in their 20s and 30s agree on—and two they don't

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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