10 Office-Approved Work Outfit Formulas That Will Up Your Style Game

Work Outfit Ideas
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Harried mornings include our daily rituals, thinking ahead to upcoming deadlines, meetings, and projects and at the same time, picking out the right ensemble to get the job done with confidence. No matter how much you love fashion and your wardrobe, there are always going to be days (and sometimes even weeklong stretches) when you're standing in front of your closet feeling uninspired by what you see.

When we asked "Who What Wear" managing editor Kristen Nichols to weigh in on the best timeless trends that work in an office setting, she noted, "I'm seeing lots of strong suiting, unexpected bold hues, vintage-inspired denim, and modern takes on the kitten heel (this season's It shoe)." We can definitely get behind that!

We rounded up our top 10 favorite office-approved looks to take note of. Rest assured, each outfit formula hits the style trifecta: aside from being physically comfortable, you'll be taken seriously and feel confident. To make your mornings a little easier (and your office a lot more stylish), peruse these work outfit ideas.

Blouse, Relaxed Jeans, and Pumps

a woman in a polka dot blouse, jeans, and pumps
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Whether you're running to meetings all over town or sitting at a desk all day, comfort is key to a good workday. And what's more comfortable than a pair of relaxed jeans? To make them work-appropriate and style-savvy, pair them with a printed blouse and on-trend heels. Then accessorize with some understated jewelry to finish things off.

polka dot blouse
& Other Stories Polka Dot Puff Sleeve Chiffon Blouse $99 $79

Midi Dress, Black Jeans, and Heels

a woman in a midi dress, black jeans, and heels
Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

So you only got to wear that pretty flowy dress once this summer? Update it for fall by layering it over a pair of pants. We love the pair of ripped, raw-hem black jeans against the vivid green hue photographed above.

green midi dress
Borgo de Nor Vivian Ruffled Floral-Print Silk-Twill Midi Dress $725 $215

Blazer, Cropped Jeans, and a Pop of Color

a woman in blazer, cropped jeans, and a bright blue bag
Sylvie Mus

Eye-catching and unique basics sound like an oxymoron, but they do exist. Case in point: This oversize black blazer complements the half-zip turtleneck perfectly and does a nice job transitioning the cropped white jeans from summer to fall. Introduce a pop of color with your shoes or handbag to add a touch of fun and personality to the look.

black blazer
Cos Menswear-Fit Blazer $225

Loose Midi Dress and High Boots

a woman wearing a loose midi dress and high boots
Timur Emek/Getty Images

Tall boots with a long dress hanging over them is always a good idea. If you don't need to pack a handbag full of essentials, take style notes from the proportion play of the mini top-handle bag above. 

Black heeled boots
Paige Hannah Boot $548 $219

Pair your favorite white jeans with a dark, heavy knit and suede or leather booties for a perfect transitional fall look. Yes, you can wear white denim after Labor Day!

Turtleneck and Wide-Leg Trousers

a woman wearing a turtleneck and wide-leg trousers
Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images

This outfit looks comfortable enough to live in and also happens to be hip and polished for an office. The warm camel tones of the sweater keep the outfit grounded, while the vivid yellow pants will fill any boardroom with optimism. Not to mention that the wide-leg silhouette is insanely flattering, and you can never go wrong with the half-tuck. To refine the aesthetics, just add a pair of sculptured earrings.

yellow pants
Victoria Beckham Pleated Cotton-Corduroy Wide-Leg Pants $380 $190

Pantsuit and Statement Shoes

a woman in a lavender pantsuit and statement shoes
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Business and pleasure join forces in this quirky purple pantsuit. Incorporating playful pastels and different shades of a cheerful color will keep things light, while a clean, classic cut and style will ensure you look appropriate for the setting. Opt for a pantsuit that gives the traditional piece a modern twist.

purple heels
Cult of Coquette Sade Purple Satin Mules $219

Sweater, Midi Skirt, and Playful Slingbacks

a woman in sweater, midi skirt, and playful slingbacks
NurPhoto/Getty Images

This is probably the best fall outfit formula around. It's easy, reliable, and flattering, but don't be afraid to put your own spin on it. We love how this architectural skirt looks with the organically shaped sweater and playful polka-dot heels. And it doesn't look overly whimsical since everything remains within a neutral black-and-white color scheme.

black sweater
Banana Republic Cotton-Blend Balloon-Sleeve Sweater $110 $99

Bold Sweater, Relaxed Jeans, and Sock Boots

a woman wearing bright red sweater, relaxed jeans, and sock boots
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Instead of getting creative with interesting shapes and fabric in quiet, solid tones, this outfit inspires us to go for more bold colors in classic silhouettes and styles. Jeans, sock boots, a belt, and a sweater—that's what fall outfit dreams are made of.

distressed denim
Agolde '90s Fit Mid Rise Loose Fit Jeans $188

Solid Top, Khakis, and Textured Pumps

a woman wearing a solid black top, khaki bottoms, and textured pumps
Timur Emek/Getty Images

Aside from denim, khaki is one of the most versatile, easy-to-wear materials both aesthetically and comfort-wise. And as much as we love a denim skirt, there's something about camel-hued utility pieces that make them look slightly more refined. Since it is on the casual side, consider pairing khaki with a black top and heels in a luxe material. These velvet pumps with gold details get the job done perfectly.

khaki pants
Express Super High Waisted Linen-Blend Cropped Wide Leg Utility Pant $69 $35

Button-Down, Chain Belt, and Flare Jeans

a woman in a button-down, chain belt, and flare jeans
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Of course, this ensemble might not fly in every office setting, but if you ever have a one-time casual Friday, then this will soon be your go-to look. It's the perfect mix of on-trend style and classic business casual garb. Plus, it's flattering and easy to replicate. Simply tuck a simple white shirt into a pair of high-rise wide-leg jeans with a chic chain belt, and let the elongating denim do all the work.

white button down shirt
Annie Bing Mika Shirt $179

Trench, Bright Trousers, and Embellished Heels

a woman in a trench, bright trousers, and embellished heels
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

If you're going to shop for new items to wear in the workplace this season, let it be a pair of fashion-forward trousers inspired by joggers. These side-stripe slacks are reminiscent of track pants, and yet the grown-up checkered trench coat and pearl-embellished pumps tone them down perfectly.

Anthropologie Marilyn Plaid Trench Coat $138

Related Stories