I remember starting my office jobs a few years ago and scrambling to find work appropriate pieces. I had a science bachelor's degree with two years in business. That being said, I never wore anything business casual throughout my undergrad. I lived in jeans and sweaters and the occasional lab coat (who is kidding, I lived in my lab coat).
After graduating, I couldn't afford nicer work clothes. I started collecting pieces that I could wear multiple ways, including dress pants in black, navy and grey, one or two blazers with patterns, a few blouses I could tuck into the dress pants and wear under blazers. I realized that as long as you have pieces that flatter your body type, you could conquer the workplace.
Curating the wardrobe
A few years in, I have collected a good variety of pieces that I can wear to work and to events. You need a good balance between work-friendly and weekend clothes in your closet. Although I started out with a limited colour palette, I have developed a love for pops of colour in my work wear. I have also seen some spectacular work wear styles that showcase specific colour palettes, like neutrals. Neutrals are a classic and timeless palette.
I want to say that the majority of work places have their own atmosphere and some are more formal than others. You can gauge your choices based on type of work, atmosphere and your mood day-to-day. I tend to dress more formally when I know I have important meetings.
I'm going to share a few shots of my work wear when I started at the office. You will see that my style changes and evolves over the years.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is to dress in clothes that make you feel empowered and confident. Know your body type and curate your wardrobe around that. The famous quote "dress for the job you want, not the one you have" is valid. It's an opportunity to build a new wardrobe and play with colours, prints, patterns, textures and shapes.
Work wear over the years
At the beginning
My favourite menswear suit that I paired with a neutral turtleneck. I often wear the blazer and trousers separately.