Dressing for an office can be a total bummer. Scratch that. Getting dressed for any type of work setting is tricky. Luckily for us all, the rules of nine-to-five style have loosened up over the past few years, allowing for more creativity and comfort when going from your desk to the conference room (and back again). Here are seven refreshing outfit formulas that work every time.
7 Great Ways to Dress for Work in 2019
Trousers + Sneakers
Give your feet a break and embrace the subtle power that a polished pair of sneaks can have. Keep the rest of your outfit crisp and neat, so you won’t run the risk of looking sloppy. Also, make sure your sneakers are free of smudges or unsightly dirt marks. Keep in mind this might not work at a corporate law firm or another office with a strict dresscode, but would be suitable for at least a Casual Friday.
Get the look: COS shirt ($89); Alex Mill trousers ($125); Nike AirMax sneakers ($150); Kara tote ($312)
Expected Pieces + Unexpected Fabrics
Sure, you’ve rocked a crisp poplin button-down with a skirt—but have you ever swapped that classic out for a leather iteration? This unexpected material packs a punch, adds a new texture to a tried-and-true outfit formula and infuses just a little edge to your Tuesday morning.
Get the look: Proenza Schouler PSWL leather shirt ($425); Frankie Shop skirt ($155); Jaggar heel ($168); Frances Valentine hobo ($195)
Powersuit + Powerful Colors
The power suit is nothing new. But these days it can be way more colorful and exciting. Shoot your shot with fresh proportions (like an extra-long blazer) or opt for super bright colors (hello, magenta!). And if you’re up for it, keep the fun going with a pair of heels in a contrasting jewel tone. Hey, just because your outfit means business doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time with it.
Get the look: House of Holland blazer ($605) and skirt ($250); Lovers + Friends tank ($58); Gucci mules ($590)
White Button-down + Bold Accessories
There are ways to update the white button-down workhorse, without having to opt for extremely oversize shoulders or an XL silhouette. Simply pair yours with a boxy blazer and straight pants (we love this look with jeans, but it can also work with trousers for a more formal office setting). And ultimately, it’s the accessories that make this look shine—think velvet mules and a punchy, red handbag.
Get the look: & Other Stories blazer ($149); Everlane button-down ($58); Madewell jeans ($128); Boyy bag ($995); Manolo Blahnik mules ($1,141)
Monochrome Moment + A Play On Texture
A white (or black or gray or blue) dress is easy enough to throw on from Monday to Friday. But keep things interesting with a little tweed or fringe, and finish off your outfit by adding a slew of accessories all in the same shade—from earrings to bags to shoes. Once you figure out this one-tone wonder, it’ll become a favorite go-to.
Get the look: Bauble Bar earrings ($10); Rebecca Taylor dress ($395); Senreve bag ($875); Michael Michael Kors pumps ($60)
Oversize Blazer + White Tee
Yes, you can play with proportions at your nine-to-five. Test the waters with this simple combination: Find an oversize blazer (just make sure it’s not so big you feel like you’re playing dress up in your husband’s closet) and reach for your trusty white T-shirt. Finish off the look with a pair of straight or slim pants and keep your footwear minimal. Voilà! You’ll look polished, trend-forward and ready to do your job.
Get the look: Gap blazer ($148); Hanes x Karla T-shirt ($30); Calvin Klein trousers ($60); Intentionally Blank heels ($209)
Sleek Textures + Walkable Shoes
Whether you can stand to walk in heels or not, it’s important to understand the versatility of a simple but luxurious flat. Rendered in the shape of the season—that would be square-toe—this walkable shoe adds a cool air to a button-down shirtdress. We also love the mix of textures in the above look: From the twisted waist detail to the juxtaposition between leather and knit, this whole outfit reads tailored and pulled together. And it won’t even give you blisters.
Get the look: Nanushka dress ($645); J.Crew turtleneck ($33); Jeffrey Campbell loafers ($135); Hunting Season bag ($475)