The Monday morning struggle to assemble your work outfit is real. You wake up, gaze at your closet full of casual clothing, and sigh. Despite being an adult for a number of years, your closet somehow lacks the basic work staples required for you to function in a professional environment. You're suddenly plagued by a series of questions, some more existential than others: How do I build a work wardrobe? Does building that wardrobe mean that I've officially morphed into a boring old adult? Can't I just stay home today and not worry about this?
First of all, there's no need to have an existential crisis. Secondly, you're going to work. You need to earn money to live, and Mom didn't raise you to run away from your problems. Lastly, compiling a work wardrobe actually isn't all that difficult. Honestly, a couple blazers and a pair of black pants go a pretty long way. With the help of couple of reliable staple pieces, you can build an easy office wardrobe that makes getting dressed in the morning a no-brainer.
So, to return to the original research question, how do I compile an office wardrobe that I can adapt to my own personal style? We've teamed up with Nordstrom to show you the seven pieces you need to build a wear-to-work library.
A Classic Blazer For Literally Every Occasion
Kensie Stretch Crepe One-Button Blazer, $89, Nordstrom
This one's non-negotiable, guys. As an adult who works in an office, you need a black blazer. Putting one on instantly transforms any piece of clothing into professional-looking garb. Keep that fact in mind for the days that you want to wear your cat-print sundress to work.
Black Slacks To Make Your Kooky Blouse Look Polished
Halogen Crop Ponte Pants, Nordstrom
You really can't go wrong with a pair of crisp black cigarette pants. Whether you're going to meet a new client, or you just need to throw together a polished look in a time crunch, your trusty pair of dark slacks are your best friend.
A Pencil Skirt For When You Can't With Pants
Halogen Zip Front Stretch Knit Pencil Skirt, Nordstrom
I know, I know. Pencil skirts get a bad rap. We have '70s secretary style to thank for that. However, this dress code staple needn't be boring. Try updating it with a couple on-trend accents— maybe an exposed zipper, or an unconventional knit — to reclaim this oft-maligned workwear piece.
A Signature Layering Piece For Added Character
Halogen Belted Twill Cape, Nordstrom
Don't let the office basic shuffle prevent you from having a bit of fun with your day-to-day look. In addition to your trusty old black blazer, having an offbeat signature piece like a structured cape jacket makes going to work more fun. Prepare yourself for ALL the compliments.
A Library Of Basic Knits For When You're At A Loss For Shirts
Having a few basic black and white knit tops at your disposal makes assembling a work outfit a breeze. They go with pretty much anything. Not to mention, they allow you to go a bit funkier with the rest of your ensemble. Opt for a knit black turtleneck on the days that you're going for a white or grey jacket.
If you're thinking of experimenting with a printed skirt or pant, go for a white top. Plus, you can always pair either of these handy knit tops with a pair of jeans for casual Friday.
A Cute Little Jacket To Keep You Warm
Halogen Double Breasted Raglan Jacket, Nordstrom
No matter the season, your office likely feels like an igloo most of the time. You'd be wise to leave a jacket at the office to combat the chill that you know will inevitably happen. Might as well make it a fun, on-trend one, like the window-pane print piece pictured above. That way, you'll be stylish and warm.
A Fancy Low Heel For Instant Polish
Sam Edelman 'Orella' Pump, $110, Nordstrom
Unless you work at an extremely chill company, you probably shouldn't wear flip-flops to the office. Like it or not, you should probably invest in a pair of low heels. That said, they don't need to be your mother's sensible pumps. Jazz things up with a leopard print, and you'll be feeling like yourself while also looking like a competent job-haver.
This post was sponsored by Nordstrom.
Image: Fotolia; Nordstrom (7)