9 Editor-Approved Work Outfit Formulas Inspired by Fashion Week

Updated 05/05/19
Product Disclosure
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

Another day, another outfit to pick out for work. As women who head to the office every day and who are constantly running between meetings, we're always on the lookout for fresh work outfit ideas. That's one of the reasons we look forward to fashion week so much. Aside from the trends gracing the runways, we also get to ook through all of the amazing street style ensembles for a surge of inspiration that helps us experiment and repurpose our wardrobe staples for fresh, on-trend office outfits.

When we asked Who What Wear editor Kristen Nichols to weigh in on the best trends from fashion week to bring into the boardroom, she noted seeing a lot of "plaid, dad sneakers, purple hues, belt bags, textured coats, and colored tights," all of which are definitely worth a try. So whether getting dressed in the morning is the biggest challenge you face all day or it's the highlight, the nine work outfit formulas below will help you maximize your time while also helping you explore some fun new trends.

Puffer Coat + Booties + Maxi Dress

Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Not only is this the perfect winter outfit to keep you warm while you walk to and from the office, but it also happens to be very on-trend. That's right—Nichols reminds us that "strong coat looks were some of the most fashion-forward moments from NYFW," down coats included.

Trousers + Classic Sweater + Booties

Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

This is an outfit formula you can constantly reinvent with different pieces, and the result will always be the same: easy comfort yet thoroughly put-together. A chain belt can also make all the difference, bringing an outfit from boring to exciting and unexpected. 

Cropped Jacket + Turtleneck + Long Skirt

Christian Vierig/Getty Images

This outfit strikes the perfect balance between fashion-forward and office appropriate, with a mix of classic and modest styles and experimental hues mixed in. But most notably, it features the color of the season: lavender. "We saw hues of lilac and lavender take the runways by storm last season, and it's making a huge statement now on the street style scene," Nichols notes.

Plaid + Solid + Pastel

Work Outfit Ideas
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

As Nichols notes, "after the checked blazer craze last fall, the print continues to be popular among the fashion set." Try a bolder, more playful look by opting for plaid pants in a bright hue, and then mix in some pastels. Or go for the power look with a matching plaid suit. 

Leather Pants + Sweater + "Dad" Sneakers

Christian Vierig/Getty Images

If you're someone who sticks to all black all the time, here's how to breathe new life into your favorite noir items. Add some dimension with a pair of patent-leather pants, and then tone down the intensity with a simple sweater. For a runway-ready twist of the comfy and casual variety, experiment with a some "dad" sneakers. "With brands like Balenciaga and Yeezy designing cushioned 'dad' sneakers, it was only a matter of time before they explode. It seems that women are ready to trade out their uncomfortable heels for something more practical," Nichols says.

Fun Sweats + Slacks + Belt Bag

Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

"Thrown over one shoulder across the body or strapped around the waist, belt bags and fanny packs are everywhere," Nichols tells us. We never thought we'd see the day where fanny packs were a coveted item, yet here we are—and we're pretty excited. Belt bags are an incredibly convenient and easy way to keep all your items safe, plus it sends a laid-back message, with fringe details and side ties to echo that sentiment. Paired with pointy black boots that bring in a sharp touch, this work outfit formula is both relaxed and put-together.

Long Coat + Blouse + Embellished Skirt

Work Outfit Formulas
Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

For the working woman who appreciates sophisticated ensembles with a modern touch, this is the outfit formula for you. Opt for a long, flattering coat over a collared shirt tucked into an embellished pencil skirt. Just add a pair of booties and a structured bag big enough to fit all your business essentials.

Raw-Hem Denim + Oversize Blazer + Kitten Heels

Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Denim on denim is always a good idea, but if you want to make your ensemble a bit more formal, consider an oversize bright blue blazer in the same wash as your jeans, but made with a more luxe fabric like satin or velvet. Then add a fun touch with sling-back kitten heels. Consider this your new Canadian tux, all dressed up.

Khakis + Loafers + Robe Coat

Christian Vierig/Getty Images

When you want to roll out of bed and go straight to the office in your pajamas, try this comfortable, cozy, and work-ready look instead. Together, baggy khakis, a cashmere sweater, and loafers boast a preppy energy, yet they're super low-maintenance and easy to throw on. Then drape a robe coat on over your shoulders to finish it off. 

Now that you have nine new work outfit formulas under your belt, head to your closet and start experimenting.

Canton Ruched Printed Mesh And Satin Dress
Diane von Furstenberg Canton Ruched Printed Mesh and Satin Dress $600
Shop
Merino Wool Sweater
T by Alexander Wang Merino Wool Sweater $375
Shop
Ace Bootie
Jeffrey Campbell Ace Booties $200 $150
Shop
Dorthe Shearling-trimmed Leather Jacket
Saks Potts Dorthe Shearling-Trimmed Leather Jacket $980
Shop
Satin Bias-Cut Slip Skirt
Vince Satin Bias-Cut Slip Skirt $255 $89
Shop
crinkled plaid trousers
Rosie Assoulin Crinkled Plaid Trousers $995
Shop
Zara Two-Tone Mini City Bag $50
Shop
Ray-Ban Hexagonal Sunglasses $195
Shop
Vinyl Pants
Facetasm Vinyl Pants $445
Shop
Women's Disruptor 2 Lux Leather Sneakers
Fila Disruptor 2 Lux Leather Sneakers $120
Shop
Kahina Fringe Sweater
Tabula Rasa Kahina Fringe Sweater $395
Shop
tie ankle cuff trousers
Chloé Tie Ankle Cuff Trousers $995
Shop
Boyy Deon Suede Belt Bag $595
Shop
Elle wool and silk-blend coat
Albus Lumen Elle Wool and Silk-Blend Coat $905
Shop
Puffed sleeves shirt
Mango Puffed Sleeves Shirt $60 $59
Shop
sequin embroidery skirt
No21 Sequin Embroidery Skirt $870 $696
Shop
Hammered Silk-satin Blazer
Max Mara Hammered Silk-Satin Blazer $1450 $435
Shop
Women's High Rise Stovepipe Crop Jeans
Re/Done High Rise Stovepipe Crop Jeans $250
Shop
Agnes Suede Slingback Pumps
Ganni Agnes Suede Slingback Pumps $280
Shop
Striped Jacquard Robe
Raquel Allegra Striped Jacquard Robe $575
Shop
Galicia Cotton-jersey Pants
J.Crew Galicia Cotton-Jersey Pants $90
Shop
Faye Pointy Toe Loafer
Taryn Rose Faye Pointy Toe Loafers $140
Shop

Related Stories