3 Work Wardrobe Essentials Everyone Needs

September 8, 2023
Work Wardrobe Essentials For Women Layering Pieces TShirt And Dark Denim

Every great wardrobe has a strong foundation. You don’t need a closet packed full of clothes or to spend hours getting ready every morning. If you’re a professional looking for versatile work wardrobe essentials, there are only three pieces you need.

Ready to simplify your style? Keep reading for the three basics men and women need for a capsule work wardrobe.

Work Wardrobe Essentials For Men Layering Pieces Tshirt And Dark Denim

1. Great Jeans

When you think of basic work wardrobe staples, denim might not be your first thought.

But with the rising popularity of power casual and casual work dress codes, jeans are actually a key closet piece.

The trick is finding the right pair. Personally, we recommend darker washes over light or medium hues. That’s because they look more dressed up. Darker colors read as more serious to most people, so a deep shade of navy or indigo plays right into that.

Another bonus of opting for darker denim? The versatility. You can easily transition these from day to night, so you get more outfits with just one item.

With that in mind, we recommend investing in a quality, well-made pair of jeans. Upping your price point allows you to find something that’ll last a lifetime.

For women, we recommend this straight-leg pair in a universally flattering midrise.

Work Wardrobe Essentials For Women MOTHER The Dazzler Mid Rise Ankle Straight Jeans

Product by MOTHER, shop here.

Work Wardrobe Essentials For Women MOTHER The Dazzler Mid Rise Ankle Straight Jeans

Wear these in fall or winter with boots and a sweater or a tucked-in tank in the spring and summer.

For guys, a straight silhouette is also the way to go. It skims your shape without feeling too tight or looking baggy.

Work Wardrobe Essentials For Men Paige Transcend Federal Slim Straight Fit Jeans

Product by Paige, shop here.

Work Wardrobe Essentials For Men Paige Transcend Federal Slim Straight Fit Jeans

These charcoal grey jeans are a versatile yet polished alternative to classic men’s denim. We also love the stretch-cotton fabric for staying comfortable all day long.

2. A Power Blazer or Jacket

The second piece on our work wardrobe essentials list is a layering piece. We recommend a power blazer or jacket.

Here’s a secret: layers are the quickest way to look put together. They frame the rest of your outfit and add another element of visual interest over the base of your outfit. 

Just popping on that extra piece makes it look like you put thought into your outfit and appearance.

For women, try out a cropped blazer like this one from Liverpool. We love this style because it works on many different body types. Whether you’re trying to figure out petite styling or how to dress while mid-sized, this length and cut flatters everyone.

Liverpool Blazer For Work Wardrobe Essentials For Women

Product by Liverpool, shop here.

Work Wardrobe Essentials For Women

Why? Because they define your waist, they don’t overwhelm your frame and look polished with always-in-style high-waisted pants.

For men needing a business casual, power casual, or work-from-home capsule wardrobe.

Theory Remi Regal Merino Wool Stretch Tipped Full Zip Cardigan Work Wardrobe Essentials For Men

Product by Theory, shop here.

Theory Remi Regal Merino Wool Stretch Tipped Full Zip Cardigan Work Wardrobe Essentials For Men

This makes for an approachable alternative to the classic sports coat or blazer. 

Go for something with buttons or a zipper in a neutral color that you can wear with everything. Like the one above from Theory. Wear it with jeans or chinos over a button-up or T-shirt for a simple yet effective ensemble.

3. A Basic White Tee

Rounding out our stylist-approved work wardrobe essentials is the basic white Tee. 

This one’s a no-brainer.

No matter your gender, age, or size, you can always make a white-tee fit your dress code. 

Tuck it into slacks and add a layer for corporate casual attire.

Or wear one with jeans, a jacket, and slip-on sneakers for a casual-friday-to-happy-hour combination.

All it takes is finding the right white Tee.

We’re not talking about any old cotton shirt like the ones you get in a Hanes four-pack.

Here, quality and fit both make all the difference in the world.

Product by rag & bone, shop here.

rag & bone The Tee In White For Work Wardrobe Essentials For Women

Take this option from rag & bone, for example. The crewneck sits at the perfect height, as do the sleeves. The body fits just loose enough to comfortably tuck it in without looking like a pajama top.

Secondly, it features elevated fabrication. It’s made from organic pima cotton, which is supremely soft and incredibly durable.

Work Wardrobe Essentials Slim Fit Pima Cotton Tee Mack Weldon For Men

Product by Mack Weldon, shop here.

For guys, check out Mack Weldon for all things basic tees. Their slim-fit Pima cotton tee isn’t too thin that it’s see-through or too thick that you’re sweating.

It has easy care instructions and looks great with joggers, jeans, and pants.

There you have it—the three pieces everyone needs in their work wardrobe. We told you great style wasn’t complicated.

Want to simplify the rest of your shopping experience? Apply for Next Level Wardrobe’s virtual and in-person styling services. Our experts will help you reinvent how you shop and reach your style goals.

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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