Top 10 Desk-To Dinner Work Wardrobe Essentials

Are you simply starting out with your work wardrobe? Or, perhaps you just want a fresh start. The following pieces are the perfect base for business casual office environments.

Since, as a woman in leadership, work-life balance and networking are important components of your successful career, I have assembled this list of ten pieces to take you  through your workweek, to casual Friday, and to evening social events:

1-2. Power Suit– Invest in the best black power suit you can find.If you are wondering about the fit of the pants, here is a helpful guide for how tight your pants can be at work,

Wear the blazer and pants together for interviews, important meetings, and anytime you need a suit look. This is the best starting point.

3. Black Pencil Skirt – Ideally your skirt matches the suit blazer.  If you do match the black pencil skirt to your black blazer, you have two power suits- one skirt suit (most formal), and one pant suit.

You can break these three pieces into a myriad of looks to get you through the work week in professional style by mixing in the next pieces.


4.  Crisp White Shirt – A crisp white shirt is the best starting point for your work wardrobe. A crisp white shirt looks stunning paired with the black pencil skirt, or any skirt really, especially when paired with a wide waist chinching belt. This combo looks super polished.

Note: It’s important that your crisp white shirt fits well through your torso.


5. Black Pumps – You can find ones with interesting shape or detail so they aren’t boring.


6. Tweed or Light Color Blazer – This second blazer allows you to create distinctive looks with your black pants and pencil skirt. 


7. Sheath dress – Perfect for work, dinner, cocktails, and networking events. A sheath dress like this can take you almost anywhere.


8. Tweed skirt- Coordinate the tweed skirt with your tweed or light color blazer so you can pair them together. This will maximize your options.

Of course the black blazer will go with any tweed skirt you choose. Black goes with everything!


9. Darkwash jeans – For casual Friday of course! Pair them with your white shirt, light color blazer, and black pumps for a perfectly proffessional casual Friday ensemble.

Yes, I noticed work-style blogger Mary Orton featured in the image above is unusually thin. I used this picture, not to annoy you into heading for the fridge but simply as as example of a jeans style that would be flattering on most body types because of the straight cut style. Really. Trust me!


10. Denim Jacket – When  you need a more casual look, such as meeting friends after work, bring your dark denim jacket. Your dark denim jacket will add fun and flair to your look, and it is on point year round.

Note: The darker the denim is,  the dressier the jacket appears. 

Also try wearing your jean jacket over your sheath dress, or any dress. Pair it with your tweed skirt and white shirt.  You get the picture – when armed with this dark jean jacket you are ready to unwind after a long day. 

Adding a suitable statement necklace for your work environment, as well as a longer necklace will further enhance your start-up work wardrobe.

Those were my top ten business casual wardrobe essentials for women in leadership with a desk to dinner lifestyle. Cheers!

What is your go to work wardrobe essential?



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