10 Wear-to-Work Staples Every Working Woman Should Have with Cubicle Couture

February 17, 2016
So excited to have my college bestie guest posting for me while I'm away! Back in college, Rachel always had an eye for fashion and I'm so excited she recently decided to start blogging!! Hope you enjoy the post!
While I am insanely jealous about Biana’s trip of a lifetime to India/Dubai, I am oh so excited to have the opportunity to guest post for her while she’s frolicking in faraway lands!!

It’s not always easy to navigate the complex world of appropriate AND stylish women’s wear-to-work fashion, so I wanted to share my list of the 10 staple pieces that form the foundation of a great and versatile work wardrobe. In my mind, every great professional wardrobe starts out with these 10 pieces.

1. Grey, Navy, or Black Suit

Recently, I’ve been sharing tips on choosing the right suit for an interview. However, a well-fitting classic grey, navy, or black suit is not just crucial for an interview. Once you land the perfect job, your suit bottoms (i.e., skirt or trousers) can be worn with or without the matching jacket, can be mixed and matched with different blouses, and/or paired with a colorful cardigan or statement blazer. The suit jacket can be worn over a business dress, a wrap dress, or with the matching bottoms. The possibilities are virtually endless!

If you don’t already have a grey, navy, or black suit, you can always find reasonably priced pieces from Calvin Klein (as part of the everyday value section of Macys) or at Ann Taylor (they’re always running sales!). I recommend buying all 3 pieces of the suit collection (skirt, slacks, and jacket) and this way you’ll have even more options when it comes to mixing and matching your wear-to-work wardrobe.

2. Black dress

Every working woman should have a go-to black business dress that’s tailored, comfortable, and effortlessly chic. This dress can be paired with nude or black heels for two totally different looks. Want to change it up? Throw on a colorful cardigan, statement blazer, or your suit jacket and you’ve got yourself so many possibilities.

3. Statement Blazer or Colorful Cardigan

A statement blazer or cardigan can be layered over many different tops and bottoms combinations to change up your look. From a practical standpoint, office buildings are typically freezing (why is that?!) so having a blazer or cardigan at your fingertips is very handy!

Blazers (Top Row): J. Crew | Talbots | Kasper
 Cardigans (Bottom Row): August Silk | Crown & Ivy | Ann Taylor

4. Wrap dress

Diane von Furstenberg knew what she was doing when she invented the wrap dress. Today, the “faux” wrap dress is a better option, because there are built in safety precautions to avoid any embarrassing wear-to-work wardrobe malfunctions. Yikes! A wrap dress is an easy solution to looking put together and feeling comfortable while at work. If you choose your statement blazer or colorful cardigan carefully, you can layer the pieces on top of one another to change the look up a bit. It’s also easy to pair a wrap dress with tights when it’s too cold to have bare legs.

5. Khaki skirt (or even better, a khaki suit!)

I always like to have a skirt in the brown family as part of my wear-to-work staples, because it allows you more flexibility to mix and match. For instance, if you choose a navy blue suit, you can pair your suit jacket with your khaki skirt and white shirt (or colorful blouse). Adding a khaki skirt (or suit) into your wardrobe opens up the entire “brown” color palette and along with it, a world of outfit possibilities.

6. White blouse

Not only is a white blouse perfect with a suit, suit separates, or khaki skirt, it’s also pairs perfectly with jeans on the weekends (or if your office does “Casual Fridays”). In order for the blouse to be wear-to-work appropriate, it should be fitted, ironed/de-wrinkled, and made of a high-quality, non-transparent fabric.

7. A blouse that pops

Having a colorful blouse in addition to the classic white blouse gives you more ways to mix and match your suit bottoms and khaki skirt.

8. Black pumps

Black pumps will match the majority of your wear-to-work attire, because a lot of professional clothing has undertones of black or grey. Make an investment in a high-quality, comfortable classic black pump! Why do I say "invest" in a quality pair? Real leather is much more comfortable than the synthetic materials; it breaths, stretches, and forms to your foot better. And, in the long run, you'll get your monies worth, because they are often easier to repair and re-heel (so my shoemaker tells me!).

9. Nude pumps

For anything that doesn’t have black or grey undertones, a pair of nude pumps will get you the rest of the way. They are the best option with navy, khaki/brown, patterns (e.g., florals, stripes). Double bonus: nude pumps really give the illusion of a longer leg. So if you weren’t blessed with legs for days, a nude pump is a gift from the fashions g-ds!

10. Professional bag

Obviously you’ll need to get to work with all of your personal (e.g., wallet, makeup) and professional belongings (e.g., computer, business cards). A sturdy professional bag is the icing on the cake to pull together your wear-to-work wardrobe. While it would be nice to have a bag to match every outfit, go with one bag and stick with it (at least for a while). I’ve found that switching bags every morning takes a lot of time and you’re bound to forget something important that you shoved in a tiny hidden pocket somewhere. If you get bored of the bag, throw a silk handkerchief around the handles to change up the look. What color bag? Rather than black or brown, I recommend choosing a color that would go with both blacks and browns.

Of course, if you live up north, I would add opaque black tights to this list! What do you think? Any staples you would add?


  1. Yes to all of this! I love a good black dress and wrap dress and nude heels are a definite must have! All great picks girl! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  2. This brings me back to my first job out of college where I had to wear a suit every day!! Happy to work in an atmosphere where I can rock jeans everyday now :)
    Christina :: Simple and Delish

  3. I love all these options! I need to add a few of these pieces to my wardrobe!

  4. This is such a great round up! I love the idea of a khaki skirt!


  5. I love this roundup. All of these are such good staples to have for the office and helped me realize I'm missing a black dress!

  6. Love everything! Nude pumps are definitely a staple in my closet! Hope you're having a wonderful time, Biana!

    Xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

  7. Building a work wardrobe can be so overwhelming, but you did an amazing job of breaking it down! Great post Rachel!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  8. These are such perfect picks!! Love 'em! xo

  9. Great list! I love mixing staples with colors and accessories to make more outfits- so I feel ya on the suit trick!

  10. Seriously such great list! Loving all the mixing possibilities!

  11. All of these are so true, love all the pieces!

  12. Great list. I wouldn't have thought to add a khaki skirt but it goes so well. I think I have to go out and get one for myself.

  13. Hi Rachel! These are all some great tips! I get to be so stylish at work and wear scrubs! LOL!! But I did enjoy this and I'm slightly jealous that I don't get to wear cute, stylish clothes!
    xo, Lily

  14. Great picks! An LBD is an absolute must - it's so versatile.

  15. I'm all about cardigans in the office. A cute way to dress up most things

  16. I'm a big fan of blazers and cardigans for work and of course some cute and comfortable pumps. Black and nude are definitely the most practical for everyday wear. Nice options!

  17. These are all great office staples! I love having versatile office clothes that can be worn in a lot of ways! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Thanks again for the opportunity to post, doll! Hope the wedding was FABULOUS!! Can't wait to hear about Dubai and Gary's birthday!! Make today work, Rachel -CubicleCouture

  19. Hope you're having a blast in India, Biana -- and loving all of your picks, Rachel!

    Southern Style

  20. I must have a lot of dresses and cardigans. Pixie pants from Old Navy too.

    Great list, I'm without a suit right now because I haven't worn one in eight years. And I've loved it. I used to wear suits daily at my old job, don't miss it a bit!

  21. my nude pumps are my most worn shoe i think! love them. i don't own a khaki skirt though, obviously that needs to change!

  22. Such a great list, I need to get a new white shirt and this reminds me! I would add a pair of work appropriate black skinny pants. I wear them so much!

  23. Check to all of the above! Except that my suit is getting really old... fortunately I don't have to wear it very often. Hope you're enjoying your trip!

  24. I've worn business professional clothes for the past 10 years, but I was so happy when I heard that my new job is casual :) I wear jeans, leggings, dresses, whatever each day. Makes being stylish a lot easier! I definitely still rely on my colorful cardigans, black dress and a cute bag. I do need to find a good white blouse though!

  25. those first two sets of images are my jam. Seriously. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them.

  26. I love this post! Such fab ideas for work attire! Express portofino tops are my very favorite for statement button-down shirts! I also love Express's black pencil skirts- they are so comfy and tailored looking! Other staples I love are Gingham check tops in different colors because they go with anything. Thanks for the tips!



  27. I'll take one of everything, please!!! ;)

  28. Cardigans are one of my major staples, and I 100% agree that you need some that add a pop of color to your outfits!

  29. I love love love all those bags and statement cardigans! This is a perfect round up, thanks for sharing!

    toast the girl almighty

  30. I have all of these things except the khaki skirt. I wear dresses, not skirts usually. Though I have a few skirts. I love having some basics that you can really work with for any occasion!

  31. Love all of those. Like many others I start wearing suits on my first job. I still love wearing suits, it makes me feel 'crispy'. I love the navy blue. Jeans rule the world.

  32. Such an awesome round up! I need one of each of these things! Especially the wrap dress! xo, Champagne&Suburbs


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