5 Must-haves Every Work-at-Home Woman Needs in Her Closet

by Maura Lockhart

Working from home is ideal for women who need flexible schedules, especially if you have young kids. But all too often remotely working ladies forget about their working wardrobe. Creating a professional, stylish and comfortable wardrobe can help you feel successful and productive, as well as keep you ready for any Skype meetings, business lunches or after-work cocktails with friends. You’re still a career woman, so you need wardrobe staples reflecting that. Just remember: you’re less like Melanie Griffith in “Working Girl” and more like Zooey Deschanel in “New Girl.” Professional doesn’t mean boring. Keep it fresh, chic and sophisticated.

1. Black and White

Photo by …love Maegan from Flickr

There’s nothing classier than a crisp white shirt and black pencil skirt. The “Mad Men”-meets-Annie Hall combination is as timeless as the little black cocktail dress (which is another outfit you need to add to your wardrobe). You can up the sophistication quotient by buying a shirt with French cuffs and wearing it with a pair of sterling cufflinks.

2. Classic Cardigan

Photo by Barbro Andersen from Flickr

When it comes to jewelry, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But when you’re talking about a career wardrobe staple, women have no better BFF than a cardigan sweater. A long cut, cashmere cardigan is perfect for winter, while a lightweight cardigan is ideal for spring, fall or even summer if you have a drafty office. Cardigans come in numerous colors, and they go perfectly with skirts or tailored slacks.

3. Sensible Shoes

Photo of a flat from Target

Shoes can make or break an outfit — Just ask Carrie Bradshaw. As a working woman, you’re going to want a pair of comfortable and stylish flats. Save the three-inch stilettos for when you and your girlfriends have cosmos after work, because if you try to run around your home office and multi-task in a pair of these, it’s going to be the type of a wardrobe malfunction that results in a sprained ankle. You want to be insta-glam, not insta-BAM-I-just-hit-the-ground-hard. As an experienced career woman, flats with flare are the name of the game. Whether you want a cap toe pump or a metallic heel pump, there are many affordable options out there.

4. The Wonder of Well-fitting Trousers

Photo by brdotcom from Flickr

A pair of slim black pants is like the little sister of the classic pencil skirt. Unless you’re Hillary Clinton, there’s no reason to be wearing a pantsuit to work. There’s nothing less figure flattering. OK, perhaps a blouse with shoulder pads is worse. Slim black pants, however, are versatile, casual and professional, and in the fashion world that’s what’s called a winning trifecta. The key to slim black pants is making sure they fit well. Too baggy and you’re going to look like that skateboarder thrashing it up with your kids, too tight and, well, let’s just say that’s not the look you’re going for.

5. Versatile Blazer

Photo by …love Maegan from Flickr

Unlike the pantsuit, a blazer is a great addition to a career woman’s wardrobe. Blazers can be worn over dresses, blouses or tank tops, and it’s that unique versatility that makes them feminine. It all depends on how the blazer is worn. Keep the look updated with rolled up sleeves and a perfect fit at the shoulders. You can slip on a Ralph Lauren, nautical blazer for a PTO meeting on Friday, or opt for a classic power blazer for that important presentation you need to give on Monday.

Maura is a horse lover who has been obsessed with fashion ever since she saw her first Ralph Lauren show.

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