Upgrade your wardrobe with these 10 style essentials
The near future holds lower temperatures, nicer weather and 100% more chance to upgrade your style.
We've singled out 10 items to wear at work for the season.
1| Navy Blazer
If there's one absolute must to have in your office wardrobe this season—besides a sturdy umbrella not purchased from a drug store—it's a good blazer. You never know when you're going to have to polish up your look at the last minute or suffer through unseasonably cold evening temps. A comfy, unstructured navy blazer that you can throw on over nearly anything will keep you warm and immediately make you look 75 percent sharper.
J.Crew Unstructured Suit Jacket, jcrew.com
2| Dark Blue Button-Down
We're willing to bet that no matter where you work or what industry you're in, your male colleagues traffic in white or powder-blue button downs. After all, they're classics because they're a foolproof way to look like you've got it all together without trying too hard. Give the look a modern update by switching out the color for navy—still professional, but it'll give you a much crisper and slimmer appearance. Plus, with a darker color, you won't risk looking like an extra from Office Space when you go out for drinks later that night.
Todd Snyder Brushed Cotton Cashmere Twill Shirt, toddsnyder.com
3| Black Denim
To stand out from the chino herd without looking like you just rolled in from your weekend softball game, trade light denim for dark. Black jeans bridge the gap between your more casual pairs and stodgy slacks. But if you're concerned they might err on the too-casual side for your office, dress them up with a blazer and that navy button down. Then you can dress them back down with a polo shirt and sneakers when casual Friday does roll around.
Uniqlo Selvedge Jeans, uniqlo.com
4| Black Sneakers
Speaking of those casual Fridays—they can be as much a curse as a blessing. Sure, you get to dress down, but you still don't want to look like you're about to go out and play ball in the yard. One great trick to avoid looking schlubby is to wear minimalist sneakers. Especially when paired with dark jeans, the look is crisp, polished, and—best of all—really hard to wear wrong. Honestly, you'll look more stylish than the rest of your co-workers do Monday through Thursday.
Common Projects Original Achilles Low, endclothing.com
5| A Versatile Sweater
A sweater that goes with any outfit in any environment is a good buy, and a heathered off-white is an easy place to start if you're not sure. It's great for packing on business trips, where you can wear it with a suit, or with jeans and boots for after-work activities.
J.Crew Cotton and Cashmere-Blend Piqué Sweater, mrporter.com
6| A Pair of Loafers
For the Monday-through-Thursday grind, rotate between your oft-used oxfords and a simple pair of black or brown loafers. They'll pair with pretty much anything you can wear to the office, and they're easy to dress up with a suit or down with jeans. You can wear them sans socks if you're so inclined (and the weather cooperates), or a pair of solid, dark-colored socks.
Allen Edmonds Cavanaugh Penny Loafer, nordstrom.com
7| A Navy Polo
Polos in the workplace are still good. To make it feel modern, however, get a polo that is a little more laid-back than stuffed-up. Rag & Bone's standard issue take is just that—it feels more like a T-shirt while you're wearing it, but still looks work-appropriate. You can wear this with a suit, with chinos, or with denim. Rag & Bone Standard Issue Polo, mrporter.com
8| A Backpack
Sure, briefcases are good. But they're not always the easiest in transit, or for keeping your hands free. Tumi's backpacks, on the other hand, are right on par with office style standards but make traveling a little easier. This one has pockets for every single thing you need to pack, and a strap on the back to slide down the handle of your suitcase. Tumi Arrivé Bradley Leather Backpack, nordstrom.com
9| A Good Pen
Save your spotty ink pens for off-duty activities, and invest in an actually good pen for work. It's a simple change, but it feels professional every time you need to take it out of your bag. Plus, you'll never be the one scrounging for something to write with.
Montblanc Meisterstück Classique Ballpoint Pen, mrporter.com
10| A Planner
Don't waste time putting that pen to use, either. Finally getting a planner (and using it) helps keep your to-do list on track. Keep it in your bag so you're never without it. Baron Fig Planner, baronfig.com