5 Staple Business Wardrobe Pieces for Women

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Especially if you’re just starting out, building a business wardrobe can be a daunting undertaking. With so many looks that go in and out of style in the blink of an eye, just keeping up with trends is practically a full-time job. The ideal professional wardrobe is built around key investment pieces—quality items in classic lines that will never go out of style. These staples serve as anchors, ensuring that you always have something to wear when a trendier piece becomes embarrassingly “so last season.”

5 Pencil Skirt

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Skirt styles may cycle in and out of style more than any other garment, but the pencil skirt is a timeless silhouette. Sleek and powerful, this skirt sends the signal that you mean business. And the pencil skirt always flatters your curves, so you’ll have an hourglass figure—even if you’re not built like Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men.” The perfect piece for the office environment, the pencil skirt manages to be a little sexy while still being polished and conservative.

4 Tailored Pant Suit

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Your workplace may have a more casual dress code, but that’s no excuse not to include a well-fitting pant suit in your wardrobe. If the suit as a whole is too formal for your office, the pieces can be broken up. You can wear the pants without the jacket, for example, or put the jacket over a light dress. If it doesn’t fit properly off the rack, take it to a tailor. A suit hardly looks professional if you’re tripping over the hem of your pants or the jacket sleeves cover your hands.

3 White Shirt or Blouse

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It may seem boring, but your white blouse will probably get more wear than anything else in your closet. Whether you choose a button-down Oxford style or a more flowing blouse depends on your own particular style. Focus on versatility. A white blouse matches even the boldest patterned skirt, and looks great under that trendy jacket. When you’re looking for a workday staple, pay attention to the types of blouses worn by other women in your office, as well as the style of your other pieces, when selecting cut and fabric.

2 The Navy Blazer

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While a blazer in black or any neutral color will also fit the bill, navy is a classic color that flatters most women’s coloring and features. Like black, navy is a color that knows no season, and doesn’t tend to go in and out of style like bolder colors. A blazer over jeans or casual pants gives a professional presentation to an otherwise casual look. A tailored, well-fitting blazer is a timeless way to add a touch of conservatism to an otherwise flirty look.

1 The Little Black Dress

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As long as you don’t go too short or skimpy, your “LBD” can be the most versatile piece in your closet. The color is always flattering, and a well-fitting black dress will never go out of style. A quick switch of accessories and change of shoes is all you need to transition from a day at the office to a dressier evening event. Under a blazer, the dress is conservative suiting. Take off your jacket and swap those pearls for bold statement jewelry to make a splash at a dinner party.

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