Dressing for the office can be stressful. I hope this post helps you think outside the box and inspires you to recreate some of these outfits with things you already have in your closet. I included over 80 outfit ideas for the office and I organized them by season because I know how hard it can be to get dressed for work when it’s very cold or very hot outside. I’m also including an office capsule wardrobe. It will be very useful if you need to go out shopping for a few basic things.
Ready? Let’s learn how to dress for work!
In a hurry? Go straight to what you are looking for!
- Office Winter Outfits
- Office Spring Looks
- Office looks for Summer
- What to wear for the office in Fall
- A mini office capsule wardrobe – 10 basic pieces
- Final thoughts
- Related posts
Outfit ideas for the office – By season
I organized all these outfits by season to make it easier for you. All of these photos are from the past 5 years, so keep that in mind. I don’t actually own all these pieces. I actually live out of a suitcase LOL. Really! Me and my husband sold everything we owned last year and have been living in Airbnb’s full time since October 2020. (I wrote more about living in Airbnb’s, check it out if you are interested).
Feel free to check these outfit ideas by season or scroll down to the office capsule wardrobe. Either way, I’m sharing 88 looks to inspire you to recreate these looks with things you already have in your closet.
Office Winter Outfits – How to dress in Winter?
I know how hard it is to dress for the office for Winter. Keep in mind that the shoe options will vary depending if you have to take public transportation or if you drive to work. Of course, it’s easier to get dressed for work during Winter if you drive, but if you do have to take the bus or train, then replace the shoes with comfy boots or do what a lot of people do in major cities; wear winter boots and change shoes in the office.
The outfit formula for Winter is simple; wear layers! Here are 12 looks for inspiration. I’ve included looks with skirts and tights, pants and dresses with tights of course.
Remember these are just for inspiration. If you don’t have OTK boots or they are not appropriate for your work place, then replace the shoes with what you have.
Other styling tips for Winter:
- Play with accessories and have fun! Add a headband, statement earrings or necklace, a hat, etc.
- Try adding a faux fur vest over your blazers or jackets, even a denim jacket. This will keep you warm while looking chic
- Remember you can always dress cute and just wear your puffer coat over it. I always wear a jacket or blazer and then add my coat on top for an extra layer and it works!
- Useful pieces to have: a sweater dress, warm tights, a blanket scarf or a long cardigan.
- Have fun with textures, especially if you dress head to toe in the same color
- Check out these posts for more Winter looks: How to wear a sweater dress, How to wear a long cardigan & What to wear in the Winter.
Spring outfit ideas for the office
Spring and Fall and probably the easiest seasons to dress for because the weather is not that extreme. I usually don’t have any rules when it comes to colors, I just wear whatever I like. Over the years, I’ve been very intentional to invest in classic and timeless pieces that I can wear all year round, so that make things a lot easier for me. Here are some Spring outfit ideas for the office:
Other styling tips for Spring:
- Have fun! Mix colors, let your legs breathe! I remember how great that first day of nice weather felt!
- Mix stripes together
- Accessorize with neck scarfs
- You can get a lot more Spring outfit ideas for the office be checking out any of these blog posts:
Summer outfit ideas for the office – How to dress for work in Summer?
It’s always tricky to dress when it’s super hot outside! It gets even more challenging in a city like Chicago where you wake up to 50 degrees and it gets to 90 degrees in the middle of the day, then back to 50 after work. Then add the crazy temperature at the office and yes, it’s officially impossible to not be cold or hot at any given point.
That’s why for Summer I always recommend breathable fabrics and light layers! T-shirts can be your best friends for the office because you can easily accessorize them with a sweater, denim jacket or blazer and make them look nice.
Here are 12 office outfits for Summer. Feel free to replace some shoe options with white leather sneakers if it’s ok to wear sneakers where you work ;)
Other styling tips for Summer:
- You can dress up any look with a neck scarf. Keep this in mind when you dress with super basic pieces
- A good pair of earrings or a bright lipstick can elevate any look
- Wear skirts! Let your legs breathe
- Add a blazer to any Summer dress you have to make it office appropriate
- Whenever you don’t know what to wear, dress head to toe in the same color or different shades of the same color
Fall outfit ideas for the office
My favorite season for dressing for the office, because you don’t have to think about it that much. It’s easier to get dressed for anything when it’s not too cold or too hot. The only downside of Fall are the rainy days, but those don’t happen every day, so I’ll take it.
Other styling tips for Fall:
- Wear your Summer dresses! Add a cozy cardigan over it and a belt and booties. It will look like a new dress.
- Don’t forget about your skirts! Wear your maxi skirt with booties, or your midi skirt with tights.
Office capsule wardrobe – 10 Must have pieces to create multiple looks all year round
Building a capsule wardrobe for the office it’s not as hard as you may think. Yes, I know the pieces will vary per season and depending on where you live, but I’ve narrowed down this list to 10 VERY basic pieces as well as brand recommendations for some of them.
I strongly encourage you to invest in good quality pieces because they will be in heavy rotation. They don’t have to be expensive to be high quality. If you want to learn more about other basic pieces you should have, check out this post about building a minimalistic wardrobe.
Also, I’m not including shoes or accessories in this list because then it would be a lot longer. I suggest you have a pair of black or nude pumps and a pair of black or brown booties. I promise it will be enough. You probably have a pair of classic sandals that you can wear to go out and for the office. Same with white sneakers. Any other pieces you have laying around will complement any of these looks.
*some of these looks are the same as a few of the seasonal looks I shared above, but I group them differently, to help you visualize the importance of certain basic pieces.
1 – Black Pants:
These can be pants like the ones below or skinny jeans. I recommend the ‘Dress Pants Yoga Pants’ from a brand called Betabrand. These are the comfiest, most flattering black pants ever. Here you have 4 different looks:
Link to the exact pants here. They cost $68. I’m wearing a size Small-Petite and I’m 5 4′ and 130 lbs for reference. The fabric is stretchy, they have an elastic waist (no buttons!) and the length is perfect for me with 2-3 inch heels. They come in 6 different colors too. They have other styles and versions that you can check out here, but I really like these ones the best!
These pants fit like a yoga pant, but are meant for the office. The material is thick, so they are good for Winter and the fabric is wrinkle resistant, which makes them perfect for traveling and to look polished and wrinkle free the whole day. I personally love the sailor button detail on the sides and the fact that they have pockets! Yes, pockets!
2 – Black blazer: (cute option here)
Choosing a blazer will depend on your style. The most classic one is a black one. You can style it with dresses, pants, skirts, any top (t-shirt, button down, sweater, cami). There’s so much you can do with a classic pieces like a black blazer.
But it can also be a floral blazer like this one: (cute option here)
Or a red blazer like this one: (cute option here)
Here’s another printed option: (cute option here)
It depends on your style and what other pieces you may have. How many you have will depend on how many times a week you actually wear a blazer for the office. If you usually don’t dress up, then one it’s fine. If you have to dress up every single day, then I recommend having a black one, a printed one and a colorful/fun one.
3 – Button down shirt
No one makes button down shirts like Grayson. It’s literally the only thing they do! It’s a little bit of an investment piece, but I honestly think it’s so worth it. I only have a white one and a striped one. (link to the white one here). Again, how many button down shirts you’ll need depends on your style and your office’s dress code. Here are 4 ways you can style a white button down shirt for the office: (skip the hat if where you work is more formal)
Always remember that there are other ways to wear a button down shirt! You can layer it, tie it around your waist, wear it open with a cami or t-shirt underneath, wear it over a dress, etc (I wrote a blog post on how to style a white shirt that you should check out for more details).
4 – A white t-shirt (or any color you prefer)
Maybe you’ve never considered to include a plain t-shirt to your list of must have pieces for the office. Truth is this is a basic piece everyone should have because you can style them in so many different ways. Pay attention to the other looks I’ve shared and you’ll see I’m wearing a white t-shirt in a lot of them!
American Giant is my favorite place to buy t-shirts and any other basic pieces. Their price to quality ratio is hard to beat. They cost around $38-48 but they will last you forever! Here’s the link to the V neck T-shirt and to the round neck T-shirt.
Also, if you shop at American Giant use this code at checkout (WAYSOFSTYLE15) for 15% off your purchase.
I wrote a blog post on how to wear a white t-shirt where I share 40 looks! Definitely check it out for more outfit inspiration.
5 – A little black dress
I love little black dresses for any occasion, but they are great for the office too. There are many kinds of black dresses and the one you pick depends on your style. If you pay close attention to some of the outfits I shared above, I’m wearing black dresses in a lot of those too ;). Here are 4 looks with different types of black dresses to help you think of what you have in your closet or what you need to look for next time you go shopping:
I wrote a blog post on how to style a black dress where I give you other options and explain in depth how to style them. But always remember that you can layer them, add tights and have fun with accessories like necklaces and belts.
6 – Midi skirt
Who doesn’t love a fun midi skirts? I love skirts because you can wear them all year round! If it’s too cold you just need to add tights and boots. In my opinion, they are super chic too. Here are 4 looks with the only one I’ve had over the past 5 years:
7 – A lightweight trench
You may or may not have heard about a piece like this, but I’m telling you, it’s a must and not only for the office. For the past 5 years, I’ve had 3 different ones and I have styled them in so many different ways it’s ridiculous! Maybe I should dedicate an entire blog post to closet staple, but for today, I’m just going to show you 4 office looks with these 2:
I’ve had these 2 pictured above and a green one. I recommend having any of those colors.
8 – Long cardigan
Such a closet staple, not only for the office. I wear my long cardigans all year round! They are so easy to style for the office (or for anything). You can pair them with basic pieces, with a dress, skirts, shorts… really with anything, but for today, here are 4 ways to wear a long cardigan for the office:
I also wrote a post about how to wear a long cardigan if you want to check it out. There are a lot of outfit options in there as well. My advice, if you want to have just one of these, choose a neutral color like beige or green.
9 – A crew neck sweater
If you work in an office, then you probably have a few of these. Crewneck sweaters are not usually worth writing home about, but they are faithful and save the day any time. I like to add a statement necklace or layer them with a shirt underneath or add a blazer over it. Here are some ways you can wear a crewneck sweater for the office:
You can browse some crewneck sweaters here. This is one of my favorite brands to shop for cute sweaters. I recommend having a neutral one and a printed one if you wear them often.
10 – Long Vest
I have been a fan of long vests for a long time now! It makes me kind of sad that I don’t see them in stores that often though. They are such a chic closet staple! If you see one, grab it. Sometimes they are lightweight and other ones are more like a sleeveless coat. Either way, you can throw them pretty much over any outfit and it’s an instant upgrade.
I hope this posts inspires you to create new outfits for work. I tried to keep it simple with super basic pieces because I want you to be able to recreate as many of these looks with things you already have in your closet. That’s exactly what I do every time, but just keep in mind that these photos are for the past 5 years. I don’t actually own all of these pieces right now.
You can get creative and do whatever you want with whatever you have. These posts are just for inspiration for you not only to look good, but to feel good, make the most of what you have and help you shop smarter when you need to go shopping.
Do you have a favorite look? Would you recreate any of these? Did I provide you with some outfit ideas for the office?
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks so so much for stopping by and hope you have a great week ahead! :)
Like this post about outfit ideas for the office? Share it on Pinterest!
Other style posts I think you may like:
- Capsule wardrobe VS minimalistic wardrobe – What’s the difference and which one is for you?
- Ethical clothing brands organized by category
- How to empower women – (list of women owned businesses to shop from)
- How to style a black dress
- Outfit ideas for Spring
- How to wear a long cardigan