Swapping sweatpants for slacks got you down?
Returning back to the office after a long hiatus can bring a sense of stress for some, especially if you work in an environment where hoodies and pajama shorts are not acceptable.
Even if you are still working remotely this fall — or as part of a hybrid schedule, which is happening at many companies — making sure you have enough formal blouses and tops for Zoom meetings is important, as no one wants to be caught on-camera and off-mute wearing last night’s sleep shirt or old college tee.
For work-appropriate wardrobe staples that are still comfortable enough to wear all day in lieu of loungewear, read on for the best pants, tops, jackets and bags to wear into the office once things resume in person.
Best pants for back to the office
lululemon City Sleek 5 Pocket Wide-Leg High Rise 7/8 Length Pant, $128
Hit the city in style with these pants from lululemon.
The athletic-wear company does way more than just leggings, offering some back-to-office styles that are as classy as they are comfortable. These pants have a wide leg, in style for 2021, and they are made of their Warpstreme fabric that offers four-way stretch and are wrinkle-resistant to boot.
Windsor High Waist Flared Corduroy Pants, $36.90
Does corduroy ever go out of style?
Not with these elevated flared pants from Windsor. The wide-leg is in style, for sure, as well as the chunky belt to tie everything together — literally. The affordable and comfy pants come in the above beige color, as well as a darker brown and a stunning navy blue to mix and match all week long.
lululemon Warpstreme High-Rise 7/8 Jogger, $128
If you don’t want to ditch your joggers when office life starts back up again, lululemon is here to tell you that you won’t have to.
These dressed-up joggers are made of their incredible Warpstreme fabric, which is wrinkle-resistant for all the standing, sitting and walking you do in the office and at home. The best part is that these pants come in an array of work-appropriate colors, including the beige style above, gray, copper brown, lavender, navy and black.
Loft Jogger Pocket Skirt, $69.50
We’re still trying to incorporate joggers into every aspect of our lives, so this skirt was a must to add to our list.
The Jogger Pocket Skirt from the Loft is an amazing addition to any pandemic work wardrobe and beyond. The super-soft skirt is made of a woven cotton Spandex blend that feels like your favorite pair of joggers but with an elevated twist. Best of all, the skirt is made with pockets, one on either side of the drawstring closure.
Free People Skyline Midi Skirt, $50
Don’t be confined by pants, whether working at the office or relaxing at home.
This stretchy skirt from Free People is a bestseller on their site — and for good reason. Not only does it come in an array of colors (19 to be exact) but each one is made with an elastic waist that moves with you, not against you. For just $50, get one of each color, ranging in size from a women’s XS to an XL.
ASOS hourglass high waisted pencil skirt, $26
If you have been missing the rush of getting dressed up for the office, here is a throwback for you.
The essential pencil skirt is back and better than ever at ASOS. With a high-waisted fit to hold everything in and tuck a blouse into, the skirt also has a slit up the back to make walking around the office easier. Plus, pair it with some heels and a different top and you have happy hour made for after-office hours.
Best tops for back to the office
lululemon Back In Action Short Sleeve Shirt, $48
Get back into action with new tees for the workweek.
The lululemon essential shirt comes in a great assortment of colors, from navy and white to fun striped patterns in pink, blue and gray that are easy to pair with jeans, slacks or leggings, depending on the day and dress code.
J. Crew smocked neck puff-sleeve cotton poplin top, $79.50
For a pop of something extra, J. Crew has you covered.
This puff-sleeve top is a great item to have in your work wardrobe, as the basic black color is easy to style with jeans, slacks or a skirt, while the high neck and ruching details make this an outfit to remember. Better yet, get the shirt in black, pink and white and have mix-and-match outfits every day of the week.
Madewell Textured Cotton Wrap Top, $72
Add some texture to your week.
This Cotton Wrap Top from Madewell is a new arrival that you’ll want to be first in line for. The lightweight fabric is great for the beginning of fall when the summer sun is still out, but the longer sleeves are more modest for the office.
Yummie Katrina Long Sleeve Cotton Rib Henley Smoothing Bodysuit, $78
Outside may still be warm, but the air conditioning blasting in your office sure isn’t.
Be prepared for the chill of fall with this cozy bodysuit from Yummie. The top looks like a soft v-neck, long-sleeve tee, but the bottom is a bodysuit with snaps, making it easy to tuck into a pair of jeans, slacks or a skirt with no bunching or scrunching.
Socialite Tie Waist Sleeveless Jumpsuit, $69
If the socialite in you is dying to get back to seeing your coworkers in style, pay attention.
The Socialite brand jumpsuit is sold at Nordstrom and is a must for anyone who loves dresses but craves the ease of pants when commuting to and from work. The floral design reminds us of summer, but the darker red color is perfect for fall, with a matching belt to turn the romper into an elevated look.
Best jackets for back to the office
Madewell Lightspun Dorset Blazer, $138
We all know summer won’t last forever, so the time is now to stock up on fall-weight jackets.
This lighter-weight one from Madewell is a must, as it combines the elements of a blazer — like a lapel and buttons — with the ease of a casual jacket, featuring large front pockets and rollable sleeves. The coat really is for everyone, as it not only comes in four colors but also is available in an array of sizes from standard XXS to XXL and plus-sizing from a 1X to a 3X.
Calvin Klein Open-Front Roll-Tab Blazer, $77.40 (originally $129)
Calvin Klein is the name of the game when it comes to stunning workwear.
This blazer is no different and, better yet, it’s now on sale at Macy’s. For just about half-off, snag this blazer in the above navy blue color, perfect to pair with navy slacks, a black skirt and even a pop of color like in the photo.
Liverpool Los Angeles Becca Double Breasted Blazer, $119
From Los Angeles to New York, every working woman needs a great blazer.
Liverpool Los Angeles has your back with this online exclusive jacket that is part of their Living in Yellow collection. While not yellow itself, the maple brown jacket is made to be worn open or closed over a cute blouse or tee, coming in women’s sizes XS to XL.
Anthropologie Sanctuary Knit Longline Blazer, $148
If hoodies and blankets were your sanctuaries this year, this blazer may be the next-best thing.
Sold at Anthropologie, the long, white trench-style blazer is made of super-soft cotton knit, making you look dressed up but feel like you’re back in bed. The cream-colored coat comes in standard sizing from an XS to an XL on the site, while supplies last.
Best bags for back to the office
lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0, $98
Back to work or back to school, a backpack is for everyone.
This bag from lululemon is truly made for every day — just look at the product name. The backpack is made with the working woman in mind, with water-repellent fabric in case of rain on your commute or a spilled water bottle, as well as an abundance of pockets including an exterior padded pocket that fits a 16-inch laptop with ease.
Coach Tatum Carryall, $171.20 (originally: $428)
Coach is here to help you carry it all — and on a budget.
Yes, you read that right. The iconic Tatum Carryall is now on sale for more than half off the original price, at only $171. The purse comes in the stunning shade of white, as well as in black, taupe, hot pink and a bright purple to add a pop of color to your work ensemble.
TUMI Voyageur Carson Backpack, $395
Be stylish no matter where you go, be it the office or out on the town after work.
This Voyager bag from TUMI is a great way to do just that, with a black base and gold accents to tie everything together. Sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, the backpack has nearly a perfect five-star rating, making it a great gift for a friend returning to work and to treat yourself after this past year at home.