Build a Work Capsule Wardrobe from These 4 Key Pieces

When it comes to office-friendly attire, everyone usually already has the very basics covered. A buttoned blouse, a solid tee, a pencil skirt, a simple black dress… these are four essential items almost anyone can pull out of their closet.

As for wardrobe staples, basic doesn’t have to mean boring. Here are four wow-worthy workwear looks we built from one key item that you probably already own. Think of them as foundational pieces that you can use to work and rework into countless ensembles.

012717 Work Essentials-1Pictured: Keep up the Kindness Sleeveless Top in White, Breathtaking Tiger Lilies Midi Skirt in Stem Green, Snappy Studies Blazer in Umbrellas, Brighten Up Circle Skirt in Mustard

Your Staple Item: A White Blouse

Wear it with: a patterned blazer + a complementary scarf + a solid skirt

Layering your wardrobe staple item with jackets, scarves and separates than you can switch n’ swap out as you please is the secret to reinventing your look. Plus, what’s a better blank canvas than a classic white buttoned blouse? A slightly tailored blazer adds structure, while a funky print adds character. Play with complementary colors to perk things up and add some classic penny loafers to complete the ensemble. Buttoned blouses always look great unders sweaters, with a jacket, or even on their own (tucked in or out).


012717 Work Essentials-2Pictured: Simplicity on a Saturday Tunic in Coral, Somethin’ Swingy Floral Cardigan, Delighted Foresight Pants in Dusk, Inspiring Excursion Oxford Flat in Blush

Your Staple Item: A Solid Tee

Wear it with: colored pants + a patterned sweater + neutral flats

Maybe you live in t-shirts in your downtime, but that doesn’t mean they’re off limits at the office. Grab one in a fresh spring hue and then get creative with color-clashing cardigans and pants. We love how the collar, cuffs, buttons, and retro floral pattern of this cropped cardigan takes center stage against solid colored separates. The oxfords add a little timeless charm, too.

012717 Work Essentials-3Pictured: A Lot to Author A-Line Dress in Black, Pointelle the Difference Tights, Burst Your Bauble Necklace in Aqua, Along the Bright Lines Striped Cardigan in Berry

Your Staple Item: A Little Black Dress

Wear it with: a colorful cardi + textured tights + a statement necklace

The little black dress can do no wrong, either on its own, dressed up with heels, or dressed down with flats. Looking for ways to get more mileage from it and make it even more versatile? Bring it into spring by experimenting with colors, textures, and layering pieces to add some artful interest. Too warm for tights already? Lose ’em and find other ways to incorporate fun details (like metallic pins or braided belts) to bring out your style and give it own special, unique take. 

012717 Work Essentials-4Pictured: Anchors Aweigh Pencil SkirtMidtown Mixer Sweater in Punch, Winsome in the Willows Sleeveless Top in Blooms, Study Buddies Flat in Red

Your Staple Item: A Pencil Skirt

Wear it with: a lightweight sweater + a patterned, collared blouse + fun & functional flats

The pencil skirt = the workhorse of the workwear wardrobe. Add some pep to the average pencil skirt by adding a playfully printed top layered under a colorful spring sweater. Then, sweeten the look with some sassy saddle shoes.

Hopefully by now, you see how to give some new life to a few of the basic staples you already own. See how interchangeable every element in all four of these looks can be? Just a quick swap of any of these items, and you can whip up lots of unique work-friendly outfits that totally speak to your own personal style.

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