Blazer: check. Sleek work tote: double check. There are a few tried-and-true essentials that every bonafide #girlboss needs in her arsenal. You know, that can’t-live-without-it collared shirt or pair of menswear-inspired shoes that you wear on repeat but never seem to grow tired of — they’re the base on which your on-the-job capsule wardrobe is built. And, just like your most-prized closet basics, they need updating every once in a while to stave off I-have-nothing-to-wear syndrome and keep your work-week repertoire feeling fresh. Whether you work in a posh corporate office or for an anything-goes startup, scroll on for 18 HR-approved pieces that are guaranteed to become your most reliable work buddies this summer.
1. Zara Asymmetric Printed Jacket ($149) + Floral Print Trousers ($69): A suit may be standard fare (read: required) at your place of employment, but that doesn’t mean you have to surrender to snooze-inducing pinstripes or stiff neutral hues. Do on-duty dressing on your terms (without drawing unwanted attention from HR) with runway-ready separates that flip the script on office-appropriate.
2. & Other Stories Waisted Maxi Dress ($115): A dress that will inspire you to do LESS is one that you can definitely say yes to. Mornings are about to get a whole lot easier with this mint maxi. Team it with trend-right mules and a sleeveless blazer for most-stylish-employee status in seconds.
3. ASOS Hyde Park Mules ($65): Black ankle boots were your piece de resistance all winter long, but it’s the mule that will be assuming the role of MVS (most valuable shoe) once warm weather is in full force. For extra style points, snag a pair in soft pink suede, then style them alongside culottes and a cold-shoulder top.
4. J.Crew Patio Pant ($118): Taking your nine-to-five attire too seriously is totally not a prerequisite for an on-point outfit that has the whole perfectly polished thing down pat. Case in point: These anything-but-boring wide-leg trousers are a shoo-in for your summer wardrobe and earn you major bonus points in the board room — just add a chambray button-down and sleek metallic slides.
5. Komono Clement Sunglasses ($90): Because there’s also that commute to think about — beat the rays with a pair of red-hot shades that will do right by your working-girl duds.
6. Mango Metallic-Pleated Skirt ($50): Say sayonara to restrictive pencil skirts — summer is all about swingy, free-flowin’ silhouettes that make your morning routine a breeze. Exhibit A: this metallic accordion pleat masterpiece. Ready to take on your to-do list like a pro, it makes a mean partner to a basic tee and dazzling drop earring combo.
7. Babaton Murphy Blouse ($75): When your go-to button-down starts to feel meh, swap it out for this boxy shell, then watch as the compliments come rolling in. The vibrant, abstract print is the ideal remedy for a case of the Monday blues, plus the wear-with-anything (and layering) potential is too good to resist.
8. Nasty Gal Crybaby Teardrop Earrings ($18): These sleek statement hoops will give you all the feels. The anything-but-average design is unique enough to take any outfit to the next level, but understated enough to wear on the regular. Translation: You’ll be reaching for these beauties time and time again.
9. Free People Dancin’ in September Top ($148): Brights are as good as neutrals in our book, meaning you’ll want to pair this embroidered number with everything from belted trousers to streamlined skirts. Buh-bye, plain-old white.
10. Reebok X FACE Stockholm Classic Leather Spirit Sneaker ($70): Commuting shoes that kill it — you just might think twice about taking these bad boys off once you get to the office. Team ’em with tailored trousers Monday through Thursday, then style them alongside silk joggers and an architectural blouse come Friday for a business-casual ensemble that straight-up slays.
11. Vasic Darlinghurst Bucket Bag ($290): Girls with jam-packed agendas know that a bag that can hack it on duty and after hours is non-negotiable. Rest assured, this envelope-pushing bucket bag won’t let your impeccable style sensibilities down. The adjustable strap and modern, minimalist style are worthy of any #OOTD, while the spacious interior is prime real estate for all work paraphernalia.
12. French Connection Island Maze Embellished Waistcoat ($298): Elevating everyday pieces is easy with this embellished waistcoat on standby. Layered over a simple t-shirt dress and ankle boots or sported with graphic wide legs, its sartorial prowess is undeniable.
13. Topshop Leopard Print Cold Shoulder Tee ($68): We’re all about being prepared, so having a backup on hand for when your favorite chambray shirt is in the wash is a must. This exotic cold-shoulder top offers the same casual appeal, but with the added allure of an eye-catching print and cool cutouts. Outside your nine-to-five, this look-at-me number serves as a hero piece for cropped flares, mini skirts and, yup, even sweats.
14. The Horse Classic Sea Salt and Tan Watch ($189): Being on time is always in style, making a chic timepiece so essential. Minimalist design and quality materials mean this tonal stunner is one you’ll want to keep around.
15. Monki Tie Waist Wide Leg Jumpsuit ($57): This one-and-done number is what lazy-girl dreams are made of. The oversized silhouette is the next best thing to Sunday not-so-best (hello, new Monday go-to piece), while the elegant styling knocks your on-the-clock style out of the park, especially when paired with luxe loafers and a statement cuff.
16. Madewell Denim Timeline Skirt ($88): Pencil skirts are a no-brainer for a full-time gig, but a denim interpretation is sure to shake things up. The elongated shape and dark wash are the secret to pulling it off, while a front slit and clever coin pockets lend the look a ’70s flashback feel that’s right on cue for casual Friday. Round it out with printed pumps and a sleeveless roll-neck top for an outfit that says “I’ve got this” in a totally non-stuffy way.
17. Kelsi Dagger Kary Heels ($130): Not only will your feet thank you for this wardrobe swap (no teetering heels here), but minimalist sandals will be as effortless to pair with your on-the-job uniform as those basic black pumps. It’s a straight-up win-win.
18. Mango Printed Kaftan ($120): Shed those stuffy outer layers for an embroidered topper that’s sure to become a watercooler talking point. Mix it with classic, conservative pieces for an office ensemble that feels decidedly modern. Topknots and look-at-me baubles are highly encouraged.
Follow us on Pinterest for more style inspo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.