20 Common Outfits For Work That Look Professional And 5 That Look Like A Mess

It has long been said that you can tell a lot about a person by looking into their eyes. It seems though, that this saying is slightly changing. Nowadays, it is assumed that you can tell a lot about a person by looking at their clothing. Yeah, ladies, we know this is unfair but unfortunately, this is how the world works. As soon as we step into any room, people are quick to judge us by just analyzing our attire.

Of course, we know that there’s a lot more to you than meets the eye but if you’re trying to get taken seriously at work or if you’re on a job hunt, there are only a few outfits that will make the right kind of impression. While these tips below are the pillars of making a good professional first-impression, it is possible to add your own little twists to the suggested outfits below.

If you’re planning a big closet revamp or you’re just sick and tired of the old basic pantsuit, scroll down below and have a look at some ideas of how to look professional at work. We’ve also added a few outfits that you need to seriously stay away from. Trust us, your soon-to-be booming career will thank us.

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25 You Can't Go Wrong With Black

Via EllieHarper

Of course, we had to start our list off with the classic – black.

This color should be a staple in your closet and when all else fails, this is a great one to always be able to fall back on.

Many corporations incorporate it into their uniforms and if you’re not crazy about it, perhaps Coco Chanel’s words will convince you. “Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all…[Its] beauty is absolute”.

24 A White Button Down Is Great With Jeans, But Don't Let It Get Too Casual

Via Popsugar

Ah yes, this outfit comes perfectly after the previous item on the list. This outfit doesn’t work because of two reasons. The first is the loose boyfriend jeans. We love our boyfriend jeans because they are super comfortable but ladies, they simply don’t work for an office environment. The second reason this outfit doesn’t work is because of the long, oversized white button-down shirt. We love a white button-down, but this one is too ill-fitting. Basically, this is the last outfit you need to think about if you want to be taken seriously at work.

23 A White One-Piece Always Looks Chic

Via BritCo

We know that trying to make a name for yourself at the office can be time-consuming, which is why sometimes getting the perfect outfit together for your workday can be a bit of an afterthought. We, therefore, chose this outfit because it is simple and makes a statement.

In fact, make sure that you get yourself a few one-piece items like these in classic colors such as this white or the black and neutral tones.

This will save you a whole lot of time of stressing about what you should wear to that all-important presentation that's coming up.

22 Ripped Or Distressed Jeans Usually Don't Give Off The Best Impression

Via StyleCraze

If you’re in an office environment that allows you to have a bit of fun with your outfits and not be so formal, you can certainly do so but we’d highly recommend that you don’t take it too far. For instance, those ripped jeans of yours. We know – they look cool, they are so on-trend and are probably the comfiest jeans in your closet but trust us when we say that these should be more for outings with friends than the office. Sorry ladies, but they simply don’t give off the best impression.

21 Show Some Love To The Nudes And Tans

Via GlamRadar

It seems as though in recent years the nudes trend has simply taken over. One look at the image above and we totally understand why.

This look is perfect for work because it is paired with a classic white blazer that completes it.

Having a couple of nude items, especially nude shoes in your closet is also great because there are multiple ways to style the color. And when you’re on a budget, this tip can definitely come in handy.

20 Black Pants Will Always Look Professional

Via ThredUp

Yep, that’s right. Black pants will always look professional. A black pant will transform any outfit into a professional one and, in fact, we highly recommend that you grab a couple of these on your next shopping spree. These black pants are perfectly paired with a loose-fitting blouse. We feel it’s important to draw your attention to the importance of styling here ladies. Although black pants for the workplace is an old classic, the lady in the pic definitely looks young and fresh because of her loose curls and chic purse.

19 That LBD Is Your BFF

Via TheDarlingDetail

There are no words that can fully describe the importance of a Little Black Dress (LBD) in a girl’s life. Bron Pix highlights that "the LBD is a wardrobe classic that is a fashion icon in its own right."

"Whatever the occasion, we know we can throw on a little black dress for a flattering look that always fits the dress code and never goes out of style."

We love how the dress in the pick is not too “little” as in - it reaches just above her knees, and she has paired it with a fun bag to add some personality to the look.

18 Adding Color The Right Way Will Help You Stand Out

Via Pinterest

We’ve spoken quite a bit about getting a number of neutral tones such as blacks, whites, and tans so this entry on the list may come as a surprise to you. Don’t get us wrong, we DO love color. We just like a colorful outfit that is done right, just like in the pic above. This look works for any type of formal office. Wear color to the office by investing in solid-colored outfits. Notice how the blazer is one color, her top and pants are one color – it all works and still looks professional because of the solid colors.

17 Navy Will Never Go Out Of Style

Via OutfitTrends

We love navy because it is that classic color that has been in style for years and will probably remain in style for many more years to come.

This is another color to invest heavily in when you go shopping for work clothes.

The pic shows the perfect pairing of a navy blazer and dark jeans. If you want a little pop of color, you can do so by having that come through in your shoes. Red was that perfect color to add some brightness to the whole outfit.

16 Get Yourself A Camisole

Via HoneyWe'reHome

You might have seen this item in your mother’s closet and before you knock it and think that it is not “young” enough, ladies, getting yourself a camisole or two will change your life forever. Why? Well, camisoles are usually made of nylon, cotton or satin so they always feel good on your skin AND they are also perfect to wear under a blazer, as demonstrated in the pic above. Gone are the days where a camisole is simply just an undergarment.

15 Keeping It Simple Is Okay, But Be Careful Not To Overdo It

Via WorkOutfits

There are those people out there who are lucky enough to work in an environment where your outfit doesn’t need to be extremely formal.

When you get a job in such an environment, by all means, have fun and enjoy the freedom of being able to wear quite a variety of outfits, but be careful not to overdo it.

Remember that you are still in a professional environment and if you are eyeing a promotion that may be available soon, your boss needs to look at you and see a professional who can get the job done.

14 Classic Pieces Like A Trench Coat Always Look Good

Via Pinterest

We cannot reiterate how significant it is to invest in classic pieces. We have already covered a few classic items, so now we bring you another classic staple – the trench coat. The lady in the pic is not even at work. She is seated at some restaurant having coffee but she still looks professional. That’s the power of a trench coat. She’s also paired her look with leopard printed shoes making us love her look even more.

13 Do Pink The Grown-Up Way

Via VideoBlocks

We spoke a bit about how it’s okay to add some color to your work closet and here we bring you another color that can certainly be done at work, just as long as you do it the right way.

If you’re crazy about pink and would like to add some pieces into your closet, do so by getting yourself the right shade of pink.

Go for more rose, blush, magenta tones and definitely avoid hot pink or bubblegum pink – or at least save it for the weekend.

12 Look Like The Coolest Girl In The Office With This Look

Via TheZoeReport

The fact that you’re currently reading an article about work outfits tells us that you are a person who wants to look professional but is also concerned about not losing their “cool card”. You can certainly achieve that by stealing some tips from the above pic. We love the outfit because it is effortless. Sometimes you don’t want to look like you spent hours in front of the mirror before leaving your place. The floral skirt, paired with a black top and the pop of color on her lips make it the perfect “I woke up looking like a boss” look.

11 A Turtle-Neck Done Right

Via ClosetfulofClothes

When fall and winter set in every year, many of us turn to that beloved turtleneck to keep us warm. StyleClinic highlights how versatile a turtleneck can be by explaining that

“the great thing about turtlenecks is that they are a wear any time, anywhere item – it just depends on what you wear it with, and how you style it.”

In the above pic, the turtleneck is paired with a dress, which is a welcomed diversion from pairing it with the more popular suit.

10 Sometimes The Perfect Bag Pulls The Whole Outfit Together

Via Pinterest

So we’ve discussed quite a bit about the importance of adding classic items to your professional closet. We’ve also shown you how to rock these classic items, but sometimes having these combinations can be a little on the basic side. A lot of websites will show you a variety of work outfits but, we want to share a little secret with you – sometimes all you need is a good bag. You can be wearing a simple dress, suit, or blazer and then throwing a perfect bag to the mix can totally transform your look.

9 We Love Flowy Dresses, But Not For The Office

Via Pinterest

Ah, yes. We can’t get over those beloved flowy dresses. They are comfortable, they are often colorful and sometimes, they just make us feel like we can just run off into an open field of lilies while the sun sets down in the background and gives us the perfect photo opp for our Insta accounts.

Yeah, ladies, that’s great and all but let’s snap out of it

and realize that one – there is no open field of lilies (sorry), and two – nothing about this outfit says “professional” woman.

8 A White Blouse Done Right

Via Pinterest

A lot of times, a white blouse is the inspiration behind our outfit for the day. In this case, we love the pairing of a white blouse with good, fitted pants. The use of simple but very noticeable accessories also pulls this look together. The simple bag, neutral toned shoe, and gold bracelet is the perfect example of how you can certainly accessorize at work and still not overdo it. This is one look that can definitely be worn in a multitude of ways and have you looking classy and professional every time.

7 This Is How You Do Business-Casual, Ladies

Via Pinterest

Quite a number of work environments will allow a “casual Friday” situation. There are also businesses that do not require the previously-mentioned pantsuit attire every day of the week. If that is the case with you, the pic above perfectly demonstrates how to do it professionally.

The top with its simple and classic lines start the look off perfectly, and then the dark denim skirt pulls it all together.

We also love how the hair still looks a little formal which is an important detail to keep in mind!

6 Skinny Jeans Plus Loose Blouse Equals Perfect

Via Instagram

A skinny jean works in an office environment only if it’s the perfect fit. What we mean is – it can’t be too tight, ladies. You should comfortably be able to slip it on and off you. Pairing this skinny jean with a loose blouse is done right in the above pic. This outfit also displays the perfect use of accessories which, as previously explained, can often pull an outfit together.

And there you have it, ladies.

5 A White Blazer Pulls It All Together

Via Pinterest

Chances are, you probably already have this item in your closet and the great thing is that you can certainly rock it at the office. FoxInFlats explains that “It’s a classic piece that works with almost any outfit, whether it’s for a night out on the town, a business meeting or a slide at the playground with the kids”.

In other words, a white blazer is perfect to wear pretty much anywhere.

The pairing of the simple striped top and classic black pants with this white blazer makes us love this look even more.

4 Arrive At A Meeting Looking Like A Boss

Via WhoWhatWear

Now, ladies, this outfit on our list is definitely one of our favorites. Notice how she is literally wearing just two colors but is still looking trendy with her cropped pants and boots. This clearly shows that sometimes less is more and you don’t have to do much to make a statement. You can add some character to the outfit by grabbing a fun piece like a handbag just like the model has done. Walking into a meeting like this will guarantee all eyes to be on you and as a girl who’s trying to get noticed by your superiors, that's a great thing.

3 Overalls Are A No-No, Ladies

Via Yin2MyYang

Ah yes, our first look at outfits that should be completely avoided at work. This is a bit of a tricky one because often times, we try our best to stick out from the rest and bring our own uniqueness to the office.

Expressing your individuality is great and we certainly encourage it, but we definitely will not encourage you to look like a mess at work.

The above overalls are perfect for a day out over the weekend when you’re with friends or family but they should definitely be taken off once you head to the office.

2 Never Underestimate The Power Of A Black Suit

Via WorkWhatSheWore

The black suit has for years been a classic staple in men’s closets. Since the emancipation of women and the undeniable presence we bring to the workforce, we too have been taking on this classic look. The best part about a black suit is that the blouse or shirt you wear underneath your blazer can almost be any color as the black suit will tone it down – Except for neon colors ladies. This is where we simply have to draw the line.

1 A Good Pair Of Jeans Will Never Let You Down

Via OutfitTrends

Now, many of us like a pair of jeans but unfortunately, we don’t always get it right in terms of color and fit. If your workplace permits wearing denim, 40 Plus Style explains the importance of still maintaining a professional look.

“There is a catch. In most cases, you are still expected to look like the face of professionalism despite the casual allure of denim.”

Getting a good, comfortable fit and avoiding bright colors, like the outfit above, will do the trick.

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