You’ve heard it before. The must-have pieces any working woman should own. The black pencil skirt. White button down. Bootcut slacks. Black heel. While there’s nothing wrong with those items and they may very well serve a purpose (or multiple purposes) in your wardrobe, I don’t find myself recommending these particular items most frequently to Style Shop Denver clients.
Our world is changing and, especially in Denver, things are getting more casual. Business casual no longer necessitates structured blazers, full-length slacks, and tucked-in blouses. There’s more freedom than ever before to express oneself in the clothing worn at work.
So what’s the new normal for clothing in the workplace? What pieces will go farther and work harder in your wardrobe? Read on for 5 of the most versatile pieces I’ve discovered while styling clients who work in a business casual environment.
1. The Ankle Pant
The ankle pant! What can I say. This is THE single fastest way to update your work wardrobe. Switch out your full-length slacks for an ankle pant and choose from a variety of colors, patterns, and materials. You can go for a structured style in a heavy weight or a more casual style in a cotton blend. Don’t get an ankle style confused with a crop! If the length hits closer to your knee than your ankle bone, it’s a crop style and won’t serve the same purpose as an ankle pant. I recommend a length that hits an inch or two above the ankle bone!
2. The Skinny Belt
Another fast way to modernize your wardrobe? Switch out your thick pant and waist belts for a skinny belt! Though it’s better to emphasize your waistline than NOT emphasize your waistline (go with a thick belt if it’s all you have), I highly recommend a skinny style to cinch the narrowest part of your waistline. A nude, navy, or black is likely the most versatile, but feel free to have fun with a colored skinny belt too! I personally own black, brown, kelly green, mustard yellow, purple suede, and leopard. If you follow me on Instagram at @thestyleshopbysandi, you’ll see just how often I utilize a skinny waist belt!
4. The Navy Suit Separate
When I say suit separate, I don’t mean a navy piece that ONLY comes in a suit. Rather, I’m talking about a navy pant, skirt, or blazer that can be purchased separately. In my opinion, navy is the new black and doesn’t feel quite as drab as black in the summertime! Pick up a navy separate and discover its versatility year round.
3. The Nude Shoe
What pairs effortlessly with navy? Nude! A nude heel or flat is considered a staple in the majority of my working clients’ wardrobes. It pairs effortlessly with other colored pants and skirts and will extend the length of your leg in a shade close to your skin tone. I recommend a nude that has more pink than taupe as it’s proven more versatile in clients’ wardrobes.
5. The Sleeveless Collared Blouse
Here’s what I’ve discovered with a sleeveless collared blouse. It doesn’t get stuck under blazers, jackets, or cardigans, and you won’t spend your morning fishing for the sleeves that got bunched up underneath your layer. It’s cool enough for the summer and easy to layer in the winter with a sweater (the collar will peek out beneath a scoop-neck sweater!). I’d even go so far as to recommend a silky white collared blouse over a structured white button-down as more versatile in the workplace!
What are your personal go-to’s for work? I’d love to hear what pieces you wear most frequently in the comments below! Share your ideas with others and make getting dressed for work a little easier for someone else.