Building a Business Wardrobe: 10 Staple Pieces to Have in Your Closet

Finding the right outfit to put your best foot forward in the workplace can be a challenge. A woman in the workplace should be three things: put-together, professional, and confident. Whether you are a college student looking to get her dream internship or a young professional at the start of her career these are 10 staple pieces every woman should have in her closet to achieve this confidence and professionalism. 

1- A stylish blazer 

A blazer can elevate any outfit from basic to elegant. Consider adding a blazer to your closet that will bring a pop of color to your work looks, like this pink blazer from Steve Madden. 

2- Trusty work pants 

A pair of black, ankle-length work pants are the perfect base for a professional outfit. You can dress the look up with a professional blouse, or you can dress the look down with a sweater or cardigan. This pair from Spanx is flattering on the waist and flares at the ankle, giving a professional look. 

 3- A knee-length skirt 

For the days you want to channel your inner Jackie-O, a knee-length skirt is a great option. A knee-length skirt, like this one from Spanx, is a classy addition to any woman’s closet. 

 4- A pair of flats 

As a busy woman on the go, a pair of flats is a necessity.  If you leave the house in heels in the morning, bringing along a pair of flats may save you by the end of the day.  This pair of slide-on loafers from Lulus will complete almost any outfit.   

5- A reliable pair of heels 

In the words of Nikki Haley, a pair of heels is not just a fashion statement – it’s ammunition.  Heels can be a great boost of confidence, so a reliable and comfortable pair can be a great addition to your business wardrobe.  Blisters are not fun, so invest in a great pair of heels like these from Sam Edelman

6- A button-down shirt 

A simple button-down shirt is elegant and stylish. You can pair it with work pants or a knee-length skirt.  Make sure to invest in one that isn’t too tight or too sheer for the workplace.  Here is one from Ann Taylor.  

7- A stylish belt 


A stylish belt can add some flair to your work outfits.  A basic, black belt is guaranteed to match almost any outfit.  Here is one from J. Crew. 

8- A briefcase or tote bag 

A briefcase or tote bag is both practical and stylish. Find one that fits your work essentials, such as your laptop and business cards. This basic work tote from Kate Spade is stylish and reliable. 

9- A coat 

For the winter months, it is essential to find a coat to keep you warm on your commute to and from work. A trench coat like this one from  Macy’s adds a feminine flair to your outfit with its chic tie around the waist.  

10- A dress you feel confident in 

A woman can be unstoppable in the right work dress, and that’s why it’s so important to find a dress that you feel comfortable and confident in. Dress length can be subjective depending on the workplace, but sticking with knee-length dresses is a safe option. Here is one from Ann Taylor that is feminine but workplace appropriate. 

 Ultimately, it is essential to find clothes that help you feel your best in the workplace. Confidence is key to success in the workplace, and the right outfit can help you achieve this. 

Emily Sturge is an active member of NeW at University of Florida and a NeW Brand Ambassador.



Receive the latest news and alerts from the NeW team.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.