Executive Workwear: Dress Like A Leader With These Closet Essentials

October 11, 2021

Whether your office dress code is formal or casual, there are a few executive workwear staples that every CEO should have in their closet.

As a stylist, I’ve tested and tried countless brands and pieces of clothing on myself and my clients. I’ve found that when it comes to executive business attire, some essentials work for everyone.

Before I share my executive workwear must-haves, let’s discuss the style system that will take your professional brand to the next level.

The Easy Executive Workwear Style System

If you have the right strategy and pieces in your closet, great style is easy.

The Next Level Wardrobe Executive Image Style System helps CEOs create confident, powerful looks for the office.

The first step in our Executive Style System is to focus on essentials.

The goal is to invest in classic pieces that match your lifestyle and professional goals. These pieces will be the backbone of your closet.

With a minimalist wardrobe filled with high quality essentials, you’ll be able to make more outfits with less stuff.

Next, you should focus on core colors (navy, grey, white, and black) and well-fitted, tailored clothes.

With the Next Level Wardrobe system, you can enhance and define your professional brand to show the best version of yourself.

So, what pieces and brands do I recommend for my clients’ executive closets?

Versatile Sweaters In Core Colors

MR P Slim-Fit Merino Wool Rollneck Sweater for executive workwear

Photo Credit: Mr. Porter

If you want to create a simple, but powerful work attire wardrobe, a few high-quality sweaters in core colors are essential.

Why do I recommend sweaters?

Not only do they look sophisticated, they are also versatile.

For example, you can pair your sweater with a blazer or a button-down shirt underneath. Styling your sweater like this will add formality to your look.

Likewise, you can easily transition a sweater from the office to the weekend. Sweaters pair equally well with jeans or trousers.

When it comes to men’s and women’s executive workwear, a high-quality sweater is a modern and polished workwear basic.

If you’re looking to purchase a new sweater, brands like Vince and Theory offer luxurious and high-quality options for both men and women.

To make sure your sweater works year-round, I recommend cashmere or a cashmere blend. It’s a natural, breathable material so you won’t overheat in warmer months.

Vince Boiled Cashmere Funnel Neck Pullover Sweater For Executive Workwear Style

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Professional & Collared Shirts

Equipment Leema Silk Shirt Is An Executive Workwear Must Have

Photo Credit: Equipment

A professional shirt or blouse is an executive workwear must-have.

While blouses, polos, and button-downs have been workwear staples for a long time, they’re still a great pick for clients even if they work virtually.

A collared shirt looks professional and put together, without looking too casual or overdressed.

Though this might seem like a small detail, how we dress is important for professional growth. In fact, studies show that how we dress affects our behavior and how we are perceived.

As a virtual stylist, this is one of my favorite pieces to recommend to clients.

To get this closet essential, try Equipment for women’s shirts and Bonobo’s for men.

MR P Slim-Fit Merino Wool Polo Shirt

Photo Credit: Mr. Porter

Blazers in Core Colors

OFFICINE GENERALE Unstructured Wool and Cashmere-Blend Blazer In Core Colors For For Executive Workwear

Photo Credit: Mr. Porter

BLAZE MILANO Lady Anne Everyday double-breasted herringbone wool blazer For Executive Workwear

Photo Credit: Net-A-Porter

If you want to dress like a leader, few things are more powerful than a blazer.

If your office has a more formal dress code, you might want to have a few blazers to rotate between. In a more casual office, just one blazer might be enough.

For executive workwear, I recommend that you invest in blazers in core colors (grey, white, black, and navy).

These versatile colors allow you to easily mix and match your jackets with the rest of your closet. Ideally, your blazer should also be well-made and tailored to fit you.

Consider investing a bit more in this piece. This is a basic that will last a long time and clients wear it often. Suitsupply has high-quality jacket options for men. For women, Nili Lotan has excellent blazers.

Executive workwear is something that has to be personalized. A one-size-fits-all office wardrobe doesn’t exist. Instead, working professionals need to evaluate their needs and goals to create a classic, low-maintenance wardrobe.

In my Executive Style System, I help clients determine which pieces are essential to their closet based on their lifestyle, office dress code, professional goals, the climate they live in, and their brand.

To create an executive wardrobe that makes you look and feel your best, apply for Next Level Wardrobe’s Image Consulting Services.

About the Author - Cassandra Sethi
About the Author - Cassandra Sethi

Personal Stylist & Image Consultant

Cassandra Sethi is a Personal Stylist and Founder of Next Level Wardrobe, a luxury Personal Styling and Shopping Service that helps successful professionals of all ages and sizes. After working in the fashion industry for over 25 years, she used her expert knowledge to create a proprietary styling system called ‘The Next Level Wardrobe Style System' which guarantees clients more outfits with less items in their closet. NLW has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Tamron Hall Show, NY Mag, Huffington Post and more.

*Disclosure: Next Level Wardrobe only recommends products that we’d suggest to our clients or personally wear ourselves. All opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Next Level Wardrobe may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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Cassandra Sethi

is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. She is the Founder of Next Level Wardrobe and 'The NLW Style System' that guarantees clients more outfits with less items.

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