How To Dress For The Office With A Minimalist Wardrobe

When you're starting out your first "grown-up" job, the last thing you want to do is blow all your hard-earned money on expensive business clothes. Yet if your office calls for professional business attire, you may be at a loss at how to look the part without paying top dollar. Fortunately, as a business woman, you only need a few select pieces to get by.

Main Pieces

You really only need nine pieces of clothing for the office. This includes three tops, three bottoms, and three outerwear pieces. With these items, you will end up with twenty-three variations, which means you won't repeat your outfit for a month!

As for tops, choose dressy yet professional shirts with different lengths for sleeves. Sleeveless is okay with outerwear, yet keep in mind that strapless is usually not permitted in an office environment. Some companies prefer that tattoos are covered, so take this into account as you choose lengths. 

For outerwear, select a couple of blazers, sweater blazers, or cardigans. Notice what coworkers wear in their color palette so your choice of colors won't stick out as you wear these clothes on a daily basis.

When it comes to bottoms, you may want to select two trousers and a pencil skirt. Remember your company's dress code on appropriate skirt lengths to avoid trouble.

Go for neutrals since this offers versatility. You may find a couple of items with a splash of color that complement the other pieces. You can afford to mix it up with your accessories, which are less expensive while giving your outfit a little bit of flair.


A statement necklace, ornate brooch, or patterned scarf can improve a neutral shirt. Colorful heels may make neutral pants pop out more. Note that high heels should be no more than two inches to remain a professional look. Also, consider a leather purse in a more vibrant color, giving you personality without compromising on the professional factor.

Don't underestimate the power of a good belt for the waist. A belt can instantly make a frumpy shirt look more fitted and polished. This looks especially sharp with a cardigan, giving it some shape. As always, consider tucking in your shirt for a more adult look.

Looks are important in the professional world. It's a good idea to dress for the job you want--not the job you have. With these fashion-forward tips, you're bound to look the part without overspending. 

Find out if your company has corporate apparel that might be appropriate to wear on casual Fridays or to company parties. You can find these items by doing a quick search on Elite Sportswear Awards promotional products .