Capsule Wardrobe: Business Casual (Part 1)

Building a work wardrobe can take time and be a headache. It is hard to know wear to start and what is worth investing in. Whether you just graduated and are starting your career, changing careers, or just need a work wardrobe update, I am here to help! In the business world and beyond the most common type of dress code is business casual. In a multi-part series, I'm going to share my idea of the perfect business casual capsule wardrobe. These pieces will help you start your wardrobe. Most of them can be dressed up or down so you can fit them to the exact formal level of your work place. 

What is a capsule wardrobe? Many stylists, bloggers and people in the fashion wardrobe have different definitions of capsule wardrobe. For me, it is the basic staple pieces of a wardrobe that don't go out of style. You will wear them year after year and every season. Once you have the capsule wardrobe down, you can add trendy seasonal pieces to reflect more of your personality.

I won't be focusing on your wardrobe as a whole. This capsule wardrobe is about what you need if you work in a business casual environment.  These are the essential items to start with. Most of them will be in a neutral color scheme and will mix and match with everything. Today, I'm starting with skirts and pants!

I would suggest two to three skirts in your capsule work wardrobe. Atleast one should be black and the others can be navy, khaki or grey. For any work skirt, I suggest a length that almost hits the knee or longer. This way whether you are sitting or standing, you are covered and work appropriate. If you like wearing skirts more than pants you may invest in a few more than I suggested.

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A pencil skirt may be the quintessential work skirt! It flatters every body type. If you have curves it will skim them and if you don't have any curves it helps create them.  A classic pencil skirt in a lightweight fabric will last you forever! You can wear it with almost any top you have. Once you have a pencil skirt in a neutral color, you can add one with a great texture like this one or this one.

Once you have a pencil skirt, I suggest another in a different shape. A-line is another classic skirt shape that is also flattering to most body shapes. If you want something a bit more fashion forward, this ruffled one is an update on a classic.

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Finding a great pair of pants is a little bit harder than shopping for skirts. There are quite a few different styles and fabrics. You may have to try on a few before you find some that you love. I think having three pairs of great fitting pants is a must for your work wardrobe. 

The most basic and classic look is a straight or wide leg trouser. A straight leg will look good on anyone. This classic look will skim your legs and create a long, lean look. A wider leg pant also looks great on most. If you are a bit self conscience of your hips or bottom a wide leg can balance that out. These pants need to be hemmed to just be slightly above the ground. You'll need to know what heels you'll be wearing with them to have hem hemmed correctly.

Ankle pants may seem more as a trendier item, but I believe they have now become a classic. Skinny or straight legged, they belong in everyone's work wardrobe. This shape is my favorite work pants to wear! You may have to get them hemmed so that they hit right at your ankle bone. These pants pair well with any heel height or even flats. I've styled them here and here

Kara Krittenbrink

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