Guys always seem to have it easier when dressing for work. Throw on a suit and tie, and boom—they look professional and ready to get the job done. And they don’t even have to deal with heels!
So this week, I’m taking inspiration from the guys. Below, I’ve gathered some of my favorite menswear pieces and great ways to style them for your own office-ready looks.
I know that the mere mention of vests probably makes you think of the sweater vest your great-aunt knit for you when you were eight, but trust me—a tailored vest can be super-chic.
Try throwing a sleek vest over a sleeveless button-down and slim peg pants (wearing it over anything that has too much volume on the bottom will make it flare out in an unflattering way). Or, if you buy a longer vest, wear it over nice leggings as a tunic—some will even work as dresses! No matter how you wear it, keep your color palette to blacks, whites, and grays to look polished and sophisticated.
This isn’t anything new, but the tuxedo blazer (made famous by Yves Saint Laurent) is the easiest way to add a little flair to what would otherwise be a dull work ensemble or make a casual outfit just a little more polished.
For an incredibly professional look, wear your tux jacket with black high-waisted peg pants and a crisp, loose-fitting white button-down. Add a pendent necklace for a little feminine twist. If you work in a casual office, try this with dark wash skinny jeans, a band tee, and low-top sneakers—the juxtaposition of all the casual pieces with the dressy blazer adds so much interest. And don’t be scared of prints! Printed tux jackets are fun and add a little element of surprise to an otherwise classic silhouette.
Brogues, loafers, and oxfords are great because you can choose how far down the menswear spectrum you want to go. There are styles for each shoe that range from feminine shapes with a touch of masculinity all the way to options that look like you raided your boyfriend’s closet (in a good way!).
Wear these to make a formal dress more casual, with a pencil skirt, sweater, and tights for a perfect fall look, or with your favorite pair of tailored, ankle-length pants.
Pinstripes have been around in women’s wear for a long time, but up until now I associated them with those ill-fitting pantsuits women wore to work in the ’90s and would therefore steer clear of the pattern.
Luckily, pinstripes have recently seen a more stylish revival. Find pieces in fresh silhouettes—like this updated skort or a shift dress—and make sure you don’t pair with a matching pinstripe blazer that could potentially turn your outfit into an eyesore. Instead, wear your pinstriped piece with a leather or bomber jacket to tone it down or with a pretty top and heels for a classic look.