There were 74.6 million working women in the U.S. in 2017. So how does one stand out amongst the mountain of others vying for the corner office with the view?
There are several ways to find success at work: stop apologizing, ditch the nice-girl routine (but donâ€™t go into full bitch mode), play well with others, ask for what you want, have some confidence, and dress the part.
Yes, that means save your band tees, choker necklaces, and Birkenstocks for the weekend, and invest in some clean, sharp, classic pieces (that fit your personality too, of course) for the workweek.
Be the fiercest woman at the office by building a professional work wardrobe with these must-have staples that say, â€śWatch out, boys, thereâ€™s a new sheriff in town.â€ť
1. Tailored Suit
For a look that tells everyone who to keep their eye on, go with a classic tailored suit.
This business staple will come in handy when meeting with a new client or interviewing your first assistant. Be sure to get it altered to fit you perfectly.
Whoâ€™s in charge? You are, lady.
2. Classic Button Down
Whether you prefer to keep a more subdued, simple look with a white Oxford button-down, or want to step up your look with a French-cuffed dress shirt (with cuff links, duh), a classic button-down means business.
Pair it with your favorite navy pants or a classic pencil skirt for a look that seals the deal.
3. Sleek Black Pants
If thereâ€™s one quality item you need in your closet, itâ€™s the multitasking black slacks.
Why? Because these are pants that pair with just about anything in your closet.
4. Dark-Wash Skinny Jeans
There is a time and place for jeans at work. If your office has casual Fridays, this is the perfect time to show your co-workers that youâ€™re not only good at your job, but you know how to wear denim right.
Pair some dark-washed skinny jeans with black pumps and a handbag that kills, and you win Fridays.
5. Silk Scarf
Scarves, whether silk or cotton, add an elegant warmth to dress up your look.
Wear your scarf double wrapped, knotted, or draped for an elevated style that is sure to impress.
6. Pretty Jewelry
A piece of statement jewelry can add personality to your outfit.
Avoid your typical ladiesâ€™ night bling, and instead opt for a softer look with diamond studs, a classic watch, and/or a pretty pendant with your favorite gemstone.
7. Sleek Belt
If your belt loops are visible, or if your dress begs for it, itâ€™s key to wear a belt.
Complete your professional look with a sleek black or brown belt with a subtle buckle that doesnâ€™t overpower your outfit.
8. Polished Handbag
Choose a sophisticated handbag, polished all-purpose carryall, or classic satchel to tote your belongings to and from work.
Your everyday workplace tote might be the most important piece of your professional wardrobe.
9. Designer Pumps
Add a pair of black, brown, or neutral pumps to your look to take you to the next level of respect.
Avoid clumsy high heels that make it look like your trying too hard. A well-made pair will take you from your morning meetings to your evening happy hour without a fight.
10. Stylish Flats
Flats are every busy professional womenâ€™s go-to. But be sure they are designated for work so they donâ€™t end up with scuffs from outdoor weekend wear and tear.
Building a professional wardrobe takes time. If youâ€™re ready to take your look to the next level, assess your current closet and purchase pieces that accent what you already have.
Look to these staple pieces as the framework for building the ultimate professional wardrobe that empowers you to be the best in the business.