Work Outfit Ideas From Our Team
In my formative years, I wanted to be Andie Anderson in “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days”—effortlessly chic, preciously vicious, and a total boss. I haven’t achieved the iconic gold-dress look quite yet, but working at a publication that covers fashion has drastically improved my everyday style. The Good Trade team is always excited to see what each other is wearing when we arrive each morning. (Seriously, these coworkers of mine work magic with their wardrobes.)
So in the spirit of Career Week, I asked our editors to pull together their dream work outfit, all from sustainable brands. Each of us selected colors, cuts, and fabrics that inspire the most confidence in the office, with varying and unique results. Scroll down to see our picks!
At this point in my career, I’ve come to understand that I’m never going to look as put together as the pieces I’ve selected—though, funny enough, I do own versions of them in some way. (My coworkers are both simultaneously laughing at me and nodding their heads along.) I’d like to think, though, that I’ve nailed a sort of formula for my work wardrobe: Empowering, neutral, capsule pieces I can mix and match.
Last year I got my first cape-blazer and I realized that nothing has made me feel as powerful before, and I got it secondhand off Poshmark for a steal. Paired with comfortable and flattering Vetta work pants and black mules from Nisolo, my tops and accessories can be mixed in depending on how I’m feeling that day or on my work meetings. (My boss once shared her secret with me to wear a brand’s color palette if you have a meeting, as a subtle way to show your interest!)
If you’ve seen my earlier submissions to editors’ pieces, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Cuyana’s clothing and handbags, so I’m unsurprised they’ve shown up twice here as they have me feeling sophisticated and luxurious. Pair my neutrals with some of Sézane’s dreamy statement earrings and that’s my ideal professional look: cozy, comfy, and confident.
1. Cape Blazer (Found on Poshmark) | Price varies secondhand
2. Cuyana Medium Carryall Tote | $215
3. Vetta Capsule Canvas Tapered Pant | $119
4. Sezane Luna Earrings | $65
5. Nisolo Mariella Mules | $150
6. Cuyana Off-the-Shoulder Sweater | $225
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Maybe I watched “Annie Hall” at too young of an age, or maybe it’s that I grew up with all boys, or perhaps I just found Brittany Bathgate’s Instagram as my own personal style was developing, but my style rarely feels like it differs between work and play—where are my ladies who love menswear at? I tend to err on the side of classic shapes, simple styles, and neutral colors, so that I can focus on quality over quantity and add a fun pop of color with shoes, accessories, or makeup. (I’m very into a colored eyeliner lately). I suppose the perk of this is that, barring a few too-hole-ridden-to-wear-to-work vintage tees I own, nothing feels inappropriate for work.
This outfit feels 100% me (uh, duh, I chose it), but everything is versatile enough that it can be worn with 1,000 other things in my closet, which is really important to me. Nothing makes me feel more powerful than a great trench—maybe we can blame this on living in England for three years?—so this one by Reformation is *chef’s kiss*. I truly feel like a turtleneck is a move that screams “I am powerful,” especially in a work environment, thanks to ol’ Steve Jobs. Jumpsuits are a given for me; I feel like my closet is comprised of 90% jumpsuits, 10% separates. (I actually own this exact one!) For this look, I’d get it tailored to let the leg hem out to full length and pair it with these Everlane Western Boots (which seem like the ideal heel height for elevation without discomfort). Final fun touches include these confidence-inducing textured hoops from Mejuri and a hint of lip tint from this stain by Poppy & Someday.
1. Lacausa Sweater Rib Turtleneck | $88
2. Reformation Holland Trench | $268
3. Everlane Western Boot | $215
4. Ali Golden Twill Slit Back Jumpsuit | $145
5. Mejuri Croissant Dome Hoops | $65
6. Poppy & Someday Scarlet Lip and Cheek Stain | $22
My dream work outfit is a smart, colorful, well-fitting suit. I love looking in the mirror in the morning and chuckling a little bit at the absurdity of my outfit, and I think this one balances my penchant for the ridiculous and the professional. Plus, an outfit like this usually strikes up a conversation or two, which is nice for a social-leaning introvert like myself.
Loafers are easy to slip on, and I love the snakeskin print on these ones from ABLE (if the pink suit wasn’t enough of a statement). This washable silk shirt is perfect for me and my coffee-spilling habits, and the pants are machine washable, too. The earrings are simple, but the chain gives them a little edge. Low maintenance, high impact is what I’m all about.
While I love this suit from Boden, I’m actually waiting to find a secondhand one on thredUP or eBay. I have similar versions of the other pieces in my wardrobe, which I’ll continue to wear and repair until I can’t anymore. For as much as I love to dress up and feel polished, getting creative with secondhand pieces is still my MO.
It’s been a few years since I’ve worked in an office setting. Before TGT, I was in grad school and working as a freelance writer. Most days, I wore leggings and a cozy sweater. Now that I work in an office environment, I’ve had to—through trial and error—revamp my wardrobe a bit.
Here’s what I’ve discovered: For me, comfort is key. If I’m not physically comfortable, it interferes with my workflow. While leggings are out, I reach for jeans (black or blue) most days of the week. (The fact that jeans can be ‘business-attire’ is one of the many things I love about the creative industry.) Since this is my dream outfit, I’m definitely splurging on a pair from the sustainable French brand, Sézane.
Speaking of Sézane, the Enora Jumper layered with a collared shirt is classic, chic, and also cozy. I tend to run cold (even in LA), so dressing warm is a priority. Lastly, I’m tying my outfit together with suede slides from The Léi (again, comfort) and a statement ring from Washington-based ethical jewelry brand Apse. Oh, and I can’t forget my blue light prescription glasses—easily the most important part of my outfit since I stare at a screen all day.
Business casual has always been my favorite attire; I love getting semi-dressed up for work. Luckily for me, I have only ever worked in creative industries where my work attire gets to be expressive. I love to play with dressing up unexpected pieces that wouldn’t normally be considered “workwear” and give them a sophisticated edge.
I’m starting to think about my spring/summer looks and am currently on the hunt for a dramatic, 80s-era puff sleeve top. I love that this silhouette has come back into this decade full swing, though I haven’t found a lot of sustainable puff sleeve options other than authentic vintage pieces. This one from Sézane is a bit less exaggerated and I love that it can easily be dressed up or dressed down.
My coworkers can attest that on most days, I’m either wearing denim or wide-leg pants. So this denim wide-leg pair from Jesse Kamm is my truest dream pant and though they are a splurge piece, I know I would wear them constantly (maybe it’s time to splurge). I always like to layer with a light coat (typically denim) as the weather can be a bit unpredictable in SoCal during spring months and get chilly in our studio. This light-weight jacket it the perfect cream color that would be my go-to all year long. I have also had my eye on this gold chain necklace from Soko for a while now; I love how sophisticated yet bold it is. To finish this dream work look, these pink pumps from Coclico are another splurge, but I love how feminine they are to bring this whole work look together.
What workwear piece do you have on heavy rotation in your wardrobe? Let us know in the comments below! ✨ And if you’re looking to add some fresh pieces, check out our guide to ethically-made workwear brands!
Emily Torres is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She’s a Los Angeles transplant who was born and raised in Indiana, where she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her reading or writing, caring for her rabbits, or practicing at the yoga studio.