I’m enamoured with the idea of minimalist wardrobes, and I thought I’d come up with my own ideal work wardrobe.
Note: This doesn’t include clothing that you’d wear off duty, like on the weekend, or painting the house, but this would really be the most I’d need to go to work in.
That said, I own way more than this minimalist list, but it is always a good exercise to see what I need at a bare minimum.
3 Work Blouses/Tops/Shirts
I’d wear at least 3 tops during the week and then the other 2 days it would be dresses.
I’d want the dress to be able to be worn alone for the warmer seasons, and also with toppers and sweaters for another look.
Tops is a loose category for me, because I consider very nice silk t-shirts as “blouses” as well, or collared shirts as tops, and if your workplace is a little more casual, maybe a t-shirt is what constitutes a top for you.
Me, I like silk blouses, cotton tops with special details and things I can wear alone without needing something to cover my shoulders; that means no spaghetti straps, low cut tops, or strapless options for work tops.
I also don’t need it all to be neutral, a print here and there and a very bright colour is also nice, but at least ONE ivory blouse is required in my own minimalist wardrobe.
2 Work Dresses
3 blouses +2 dresses = 5 days in a week.
I like to mix it up with dresses rather than just always a pant/skirt + blouse option.
I also just like dresses because it is a one-stop-shop solution. Want to wear a top and a bottom but can’t figure out what to pair together?
Wear a dress. It’s already done for you.
I say “toppers” because it could mean a jacket, a blazer, or anything in between. It doesn’t necessarily HAVE to be a blazer.
I personally really hate wearing blazers all the time unless it is a specific look I am looking for. I like soft lapel “blazers”, or moto jackets in faux suede or cotton that are ‘toppers’.
Toppers can also make a blouse look different, get belted for another style (I love rolling up the sleeves on a blazer then belting it), or be worn OVER a cardigan/sweater for a double layering effect.
2 Cropped Pants
Love me some cropped pants.
I’ve really gotten into this style in the past 2 years. I used to wear bootcut trousers to work but then I discovered the Audrey Hepburn-like style of cropped trousers with heels and never looked back.
They look great and would you believe it, guys who are not into fashion have SPECIFICALLY commented on my outfit every time I wear cropped pants with 3″ heels.
Who says men don’t notice style?
Just so I have a bottom option other than pants to wear.
One skirt is more than enough and my most versatile work skirt surprisingly is not a pencil skirt, but a white a-line pleated skirt but it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
What is a great bottom most of the time is a pencil skirt. Can’t go wrong with a pencil skirt, except if you need movement in your legs a lot and don’t sit at a desk all day, in which case I’d suggest an A-Line skirt instead.
Skirts are fantastic for me, air flow around your legs, looks great in the summer, and is very stylish with heels or flats depending on the hem length of the skirt.
I specifically want a cardigan/sweater in this category because sometimes you want to wear something cosy, not structured (see: toppers).
I like cardigans that are as natural as possible (as little polyester as you can muster), and I like them in neutral colours.