This past year especially, I have been accumulating a few items that I consider essentials when it comes to work. Being a young professional woman, I still find it a bit tough to find inspiration for workwear, accessories and other items that are of good quality and still in a decent price range. It is very easy to get inspired from big blogs where all you see is Chanel and Dior but those are quite out of reach for a junior and even midlevel’s salary, and especially when you have other financial goals as well.
This being said and while I am still on a budget, I did start to invest in a few quality pieces this year as well as assembled a list of items that I consider as essentials for work, be it clothing or accessories. Just for a bit of context, I work in a start-up/corporate-aspiring environment, and while there is no strict dress code, I don’t like being too casual at work or end up wearing ripped jeans at work. I prefer to keep a rather clean style with functional yet stylish pieces, while not going for the typical corporate suit which is unnecessary in my current work place.
The Work/Laptop Bag – I have been long looking for a good work bag that would both look stylish while still fit my chunky work laptop. At the start of my new job I found my beloved Picard Berlin Handbag and it completely serves its purpose. It is structured and looks both like a stylish briefcase and a lady handbag; it is big enough to fit both my private laptop and also my chunky work laptop. Since I have discovered Picard it has become my favourite handbag brand; it is a local, German brand where you can clearly see and feel the quality (I need to stress that the bag looks and feels better in real life than in this picture).
The Watch – I only started wearing a watch at the start of 2017, and now I simply cannot imagine living without it anymore. I wear the La Boheme Mesh Rose Gold/White from Cluse and I love they way it elevates all of my outfits – it looks very stylish and feminine and at the same time professional.
The Planner/Notebook – I don’t really use it as a planner but rather to manage my daily to do list. Generally in the mornings and sometimes also at the start of the week I write down a list of tasks that I have to/want to get done in the day or week ahead. I really love to cross tasks off my list, so a physical planner is a must for me. I currently use the Plain Volant Journal from Moleskine in red and it comes in a set of two thin plain notebooks. I don’t really like heavy planners, and while this one I currently use is very thin and can get finished quite easily, it is very thin and light and I can always carry it in my bag.
The White Button Down Shirt – I love the crisp look a white shirt gives you, even when you are not working under corporate dress code. I generally like to wear a white or striped light blue shirt under a black/dark blue sweater. I must confess I have not bothered to find a good button up yet, and I am using H&M’s basic white one. Upgrading my white shirt game is definitely on my to do list for this year.
Black Suit Pants – This is my all time favourite clothing piece. There is nothing I love more than a pair of (preferably) high waisted, relatively thick fabric, black office pants. I generally alternate skinny cut office pants with high waist black jeans (my other long-life favourite ) and they never fail me. I usually shop them at Zara or Mango, but it is always tricky to find the right cut and fabric so I am looking for new brands to favourite.
Low heel masculine work shoes – These days I am all for low or no heel. A year and a half ago I would always step into the office with 10 cm heels but now I just don’t feel like it anymore. I am sure I will reintroduce high heels into my office attire soon but for now I am embracing all the low heeled options like loafers and Oxford shoes.
Phone case – Since we all carry our mobile phones into meetings, client workshops and events, I think it is super important to have a good phone case. Needless to say, anything over glittery, childish and explicitely plasticky looks horrible if you ask me. I personally use the iPhone Leather Case from Apple in red and I love it, but there are so many great options out there if you like more flowery things or similar that look chic and also e, like this beautiful Ted Baker one. In case one of your colleagues still holds on to their old not so good looking phone case, gift him/her a new one is a great idea for birthdays or work anniversary.
With a few variations in any give day you could easily see me wearing/carrying at least one of the items above or better all of them at once. I love keeping as much of a clean style as possible at work, and this really makes me feel good and it adds to feeling professional.