Contrary to popular belief, there are many ways to stay sensible yet stylish at the office. Getting dressed for the office doesn’t mean leaving your personal style behind. Find out which looks give you a polished, professional look and which fashions can be a career killer.


Your goal to getting dressed for work is to project a professional, competent image, regardless of your employment level or career path.


Below are some must-have items for a completely polished, professional wardrobe

  1. Build a strong set of timeless staples
  2. Focus on fit and quality
  3. Learn to maximize your wardrobe through smart outfit combinations instead of relying solely on statement pieces.


 Invest in the Classics. Save money on items that you’ll wear infrequently, and invest in a few stellar pieces that will last for years. When you shop, look for quality, versatility and sophistication. If you invest in well-made pieces, they’ll last for years. “It’s not about having a lot of clothes,” says Andre, “but about having the right ones.” However, don’t underestimate the power of a great tailor. Even a £10 blouse will look like a million bucks if it fits you just right.



 Classic tailored black jacket. A blazer needs to fit your body type and personal style. No matter your shape or size, be sure that you can comfortably button up your jacket without any pulling or gaping in the bust area. A jacket should be comfortable and should fit you right!


 A Suit. Seriously, you should own a suit. While a crisp shirt and trousers or a simple dress will work for most work events, there is always that situation where you wished you had a suit.



 Trousers. A great pair of pants can work year round with tons of different outfits. You can dress them up or down, pair them with flats or heels, and no matter what you’ll always look pulled-together.


 The black Flat. If your daily routine involves taking the Tube, a great flat shoe is essential.



 A Stylish Pair of Low/high Heels. High heels definitely give you confidence and exude power. Classic shoes: black pumps, nude and black heels.


 A Structured Bag. A structured, serious, but still stylish bag is essential.



 A Simple Leather Tote Bag. Great for interviews, to carry the laptop to business meetings and conferences.


 The cotton shirt. A schoolwear staple is essential.


Blouse 150x150

 The blouse. A lighter fabric with less structure the blouse is really useful in hotter climates during the summer months and as a layered item when it’s cold.


 Knitwear. The jumper – A nice knit, plain coloured jumper is a must have to add warmth. Worn over a collar shirt this is wonderful preppy look that is young and fresh. Choose a host of shapes — crew neck, V-neck and slouchy sweaters.



 A Shift Dress. A simple black dress can go a long way or whatever plain dress you have in your closet) is a great way to stretch your work wardrobe.


 The classic trench. Every woman needs a fantastic trench. It’s a classic. It never goes out of fashion.


 Phone Cover/iPad Case/Laptop Skin. Have a simple one on standby for those times when it’s important to look polished and professional.



 A shirtdress. These are just great! They’re easy because you don’t have to worry about matching it with anything except accessories.


 A flash of colour. A pop of colour works wonders for a look. A flash of pink under a dark jacket adds a sharp, playful edge.


 A pencil skirt. Is widely accepted in the workplace, but instead of opting for boring black play around with different colours, prints and fabrics.



 Cropped trousers. For spring and summer  the best options are cropped or ankle trousers. It’s a little more relaxed, but in a slim fit still looks tailored and works great with cute ballet flats and kitten heels that are all over the shops.


 A nice pen. It looks impressive to whip out a nice-quality pen when you have to jot something down or loan one to a colleague.



It can vary from profession to profession. Some offices are more conservative, some more laid-back. Needs depend on your industry, your location on this planet, and your position with the company.


We hope this list helps inspire you as you build up your collection of professional wardrobe essentials.


Now we want to hear your thoughts! What are your workplace clothing essentials? Do you think these looks are work appropriate? What do you wear to work?


We’d love to hear from you.



Myriam Balerio is the founder and writer of PA Privé. After kick starting her career as a PA and finding success as an assistant, Myriam later trained in digital and online marketing and has since combined the two disciplines in creating PA Privé, the platform through which she provides sage advice for those in the assistant profession and a network for like-mined PAs and EAs to connect. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Myriam has lived in London for over 10 years and currently lives in London with her husband and French bulldog.


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