What to Wear to Work: 9 Style Tips
Your personal style shines effortlessly on your days off, but knowing what to wear to work isn’t always as easy. What shirts are best for a professional setting? Should you wear pants or a skirt? Suits or dresses? Do you need a pantsuit? Are jeans OK? And what about comfortable work shoes?
If you want to know how to dress for an office job, you’ve come to the right place. At Vionic, our dedication to helping people feel their best goes beyond stylish, supportive footwear. We want you to feel good from head to toe in stylish, yet comfortable work outfits, no matter where you’re headed. With a curated 9-to-5 wardrobe, you’ll look put-together and never drab. Here’s how to dress for success.
How to Dress for Work
Wondering what to wear to the office? Ultimately, your work wardrobe should consist of comfortable, versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a broad range of outfits. That way, deciding what to wear each morning will be an easy process.
But don’t worry—just because you’re rocking professional attire doesn’t mean you can’t express your personality. Check out our nine best tips on how to dress for work while maintaining some personal flair.
1. Stock Up on Button-Downs
First things first. When it comes to business attire, button-down shirts are a staple. And since they’re often more affordable than other wardrobe essentials, it’s worth having several on hand. You can tuck a button-down collared shirt into pants or skirts, and depending on the cut, you might be able to wear one untucked.
While we definitely recommend stocking up on a few basic colors like white, blue, black, and gray, you might want to get button-downs in some bold colors as well. Vibrant pink, emerald green, and marigold are excellent for solid shirts, but stripes, florals, and other prints can make a tasteful statement too.
2. Throw in a Few Blouses
In addition to button-down shirts, it’s a good idea to keep some blouses in your closet. A blouse is a type of loose-fitting dress shirt for women, but beyond that, there are tons of variations. You can find sleeveless, short-sleeve, and long-sleeve styles with or without buttons, as well as blouses with ruffles, puff sleeves, and high necklines.
When it comes to workplace attire, blouses are an elegant shirt option to pair with skirts, trousers, or even skinny jeans if they’re allowed. Some can be tucked in while others are meant to drape loosely over your torso. Similar to button-downs, neutral colors will go a long way, but bright hues can be fun too. We also love polka-dots, stripes, floral patterns, and animal prints for blouses.
3. Find Your Favorite Work Pants
Pants are the bread and butter of your office wardrobe. Although they might not be the most interesting thing you wear, the right pair of pants can help you make the most of your work ensembles.
A lot of people keep several pairs of slacks in their closet, but when it’s time to select an outfit, they usually choose the same pair over and over again. Why? It’s often because one pair is more flattering and comfortable than the others. For this reason, we suggest finding pants you absolutely love and getting multiple pairs of them.
Whether you get three in the same color or different colors of the same pants, it’ll streamline your outfit selection process. Trust us, no one will notice if you repeat the same pants style a few times a week. Plus, you can avoid a collection of unworn pants that sit in the back of your closet accumulating dust.
4. Consider Some Skirts
You might want to get a couple of skirts, which you can alternate with pants. The main thing to keep in mind is the length. A pencil skirt or another type of midi skirt is your best bet, but you can also wear longer styles.
You’ll get the most use out of skirts in basic colors, like black, navy, and khaki. That said, if a red, pink, striped, floral, or animal print fashion style is calling your name, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a statement skirt to the office.
5. Keep a Go-To Dress on Hand
You’re probably familiar with the “little black dress,” a go-to for going out when you have nothing else to wear. Having a tried-and-true frock on hand for work can be just as valuable. A black dress is a great option, but you don’t necessarily want it to be “little.” Instead of a mini dress, opt for a mid-length cut, like a long shirt dress or a wrap dress.
Of course, your go-to work dress doesn’t have to be black. Tan, taupe, gray, and navy can be just as versatile. The main thing is to find a comfortable cut that’s flattering but not over the top—bonus points if it can be worn with or without tights. Think of it as something you can wear to a board meeting, a job interview, a work party, or just a regular day at the office.
6. Opt for Neutral Sweaters
No matter where you live or what time of year it is, sweaters are a critical part of any professional wardrobe. You’ll want to have something you can wear over your button-downs and blouses in the winter. In the summer, the air conditioning in your office might be cold enough that you’ll want to wear a sweater indoors.
To get the most out of your workwear, opt for neutral sweaters that can be worn with any of your shirts. You might want to get a V-neck sweater, a cardigan, and a pullover option, like a crewneck or cable-knit sweater. Turtleneck and mock-neck sweaters give off an inherently professional vibe. While they’re usually worn in place of a shirt, it won’t hurt to have one or two turtlenecks on hand as well.
7. Get Versatile Outerwear
The best type of outerwear for work really depends on the season and the climate you live in. But in any case, you probably don’t need more than one jacket per season. For instance, a raincoat or parka might be sufficient for fall, and then a wool coat or down jacket will get you through the winter. In the spring, you might switch back to a raincoat or maybe a blazer on dry days. Then in the summer, you can wear a blazer, a cardigan, or no outerwear if the weather permits. The point is to get versatile pieces that go with every ensemble but are also suitable to wear several months out of the year.
8. Find Supportive, Stylish Shoes
The right pair of shoes is a vital component of looking polished at work. But if your footwear causes pain or chronic discomfort, you won’t feel as good as you look—and you might have a hard time concentrating on your job. With Vionic, you never have to choose between style and comfort at work (or anywhere else).
At Vionic we carry a number of stylish, yet professional shoes for work. Whether you want slip on sneakers or ballet flats, we’ve got you covered. Both of these styles will offer the right amount of comfort and style. Want to know our favorite flat styles? Check out our list of professional flats for work!
Our shoes are designed with Vio-Motion Support technology, meaning each pair is embedded with stability, arch support, and cushioning. And since the orthotics are completely hidden within the soles, our fashion-forward, arch support shoes for work are the perfect finishing touch to any professional outfit.
9. Nail the Dress Code
Figuring out what to wear to work often comes down to the dress code. The business casual dress code is the most common in the United States. While the definition of business casual can vary, dress pants, slacks, skirts, dresses, button-downs, and blouses are usually acceptable. The idea is to be not too fancy but also not too laid-back.
Other dress codes include business professional, which is slightly more conservative than business casual, and business formal attire, which is the most strict. Some offices have casual Fridays, which might mean you can wear jeans. However, you’ll still want to avoid looking too casual—a blouse and a pair of flats can balance out the denim.
And then, of course, there’s the casual dress code, in which case you can probably wear jeans, sneakers, and most other streetwear any day of the week. If you’re not sure if your office has a dress code, check with your HR department. No matter how casual or formal the guidelines are, you’ll never regret looking polished and put-together at work.
Comfortable Work Shoes from Vionic
When you browse Vionic’s collection of comfortable work shoes, you’ll find tons of practical footwear options that’ll support your feet for hours on end. So if you work in a profession where you’ll be standing all day, you don’t need to worry with Vionic. We carry several styles of flats, including slingbacks, loafers, mules, ballet flats, and pointed-toe flats. Additionally, Vionic offers comfy kitten heels, block heels, wedge heels, ankle booties for women, and other wear-to-work styles that won’t hurt your feet.
To complete your wear-to-work wardrobe, shop professional footwear from Vionic today.