Most women have no problem dropping big bucks on a to-die-for dress that they'll wear once to a friend's wedding. But the idea of spending your precious paycheck on work clothes is about as appealing as the contents of the office fridge. However, consider this: You spend more time on the job than practically anywhere else, so it's in your best interest to invest in some key pieces that will reflect both your personal style and your professionalism. These simple yet fashionable work wardrobe must-haves will outlast trends and seasons -- and actually save you money in the long run.
The Work-Appropriate LBD
Every woman needs a little black dress for the office. (But this is NOT to be confused with the little number you rock on the weekends!) A form-fitting, knee-length, pencil-skirt silhouette can work wonders for your work wardrobe. You can dress it up or dress it down. Accessorizing your LBD with trendy pieces is key. From beaded, chunky necklaces to thick, stylish belts, the possibilities are endless. You can fool your co-workers by wearing this versatile dress a million different ways by pairing it with a cropped jacket, blazer, or cardigan. And more importantly, you'll be ready to go from meetings to mojitos after work.
TRY: J.Crew's Stretch Wool Shift Dress or for a more full skirt, check out their Stretch Wool Collins Dress.
A Go-To, Go-Everywhere Bag
We can't all have a bag for every day of the week like our favorite celebrities. But splurging on one really great tote will actually save you money if you can wear it winter, spring, summer, or fall. Hit up local sample sales to find those coveted designer bags for less. Stick to a color that will work for every season like black or brown, or get a little funky with metallic silver, bronze, or gold. Make sure your bag can fit all of your work necessities (notebooks, folders, a makeup emergency kit, snacks or lunch from home). Steer clear of overly trendy bags in memorable colors. Canary yellow might be cute for summer, but you'll be over it by fall. You want this baby to last and not wind up buried at the bottom of your closet in three months. To keep it in mint condition, avoid plopping it on the subway floor during your commute (eww!), or slinging it over your chair at work. Keep it in an empty drawer or under your desk in a safe, clean place.
If the word blazer makes you think of shoulder pads and the movie Working Girl -- think again. Blazers have gone through a major overhaul and are a true style staple. Fitted, cropped jackets look great over dresses, with skirts, or even paired with a cute tank and skinny jeans on casual Fridays. Keep one on the back of your chair to throw on for those last-minute meetings.
Shoes That Mean Business
A fabulous pair of boots or heels will take you and your wardrobe far (as long as you can walk in them). Sophisticated leather boots can be worn with thick tights and skirts, or even with black leggings and a tunic if your office dress code is laid-back. This fall, a great pair of round-toed pumps are the way to go from a day at the office to a date after work!
TRY: Tory Burch Marie Pump.