There’s an old saying: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you’re looking to move up the corporate ladder, stock your wardrobe with pieces that express professionalism and confidence. It also doesn’t hurt to take fashion cues from your superiors and tweak your workwear accordingly. Although each work environment is different, you can never go wrong by adding a collection of well-tailored items to your wardrobe. Here are a few tips on how to mix and match classic separates to get a look that is professional, savvy and definitely raise-worthy.
1. Dark-coloured suit
Nothing says professionalism, like ‘suiting up.’ Invest in at least one dark-coloured suit that fits you really well, like this black pant suit by Tagliatore (available at yoox.com). Don’t wear suits to work? Mix and match the pieces with other separates. Given the option of either pants or a skirt, considering purchasing both, for maximum versatility.
Classic and polished, a pearl necklace looks professional and chic. A multiple-strand style, like this one by Cathy Waterman (Barney’s ) is boldly confident and understated, all at the same time.
3. Tie-front blouse
Be buttoned-up and promotion-ready in a classic tie-front blouse like this one by Etro (Stylebop). A pop of bold and cheerful colour is sure to turn heads.
4. Tailored dress
Stylish with just a hint of retro flare, a structured dress like this black and white “2-in-1 Dress” by Dorothy Perkins does double duty at the office. Worn alone or paired with a cardigan or suit blazer, this dress will make you look pulled together and responsible.
5. Chic satchel with removable scarf
A top-handle satchel tote with a whimsical scarf detail, like this one by Oasis, is an on-trend solution for carrying around all your workday essentials.
6. Elegant watch
Show that time management is a priority with a luxe and sophisticated timepiece, like this one by Movado (Ashford).
Studies have shown that wearing some kind of lip colour actually increases feelings of confidence. Try a lively coral shade like “Coraille Legende” by Yves Saint Laurent (Holt Renfrew), and enjoy the extra boost.
8. Classic black pumps
No work wardrobe is complete without a great pair of black pumps. Choose a pump with medium height that still makes you feel confident and sexy, like this iconic pair by Christian Louboutin (Net-a-porter).
9. Patterned silk blouse
Get in touch with your inner Melanie Griffith and channel the corporate chic styles from the classic late-’80s film Working Girl with a retro-inspired polka dot silk blouse, like this one by Givenchy (1st Dibs).
Simone Paget is a freelance writer and the author of Skinny Dip, a cheeky blog about love, sex, relationships and everything in between. When she’s not writing her heart out, she loves wandering around her city, large cup of coffee in hand, in search of the next great story.