10 Office-Approved Outfit Formulas Inspired by Fashion Week

Updated 05/06/19
Work Outfit Ideas
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

When we're getting ready for work in the morning, our minds are usually racing with thoughts about upcoming deadlines, meetings, and projects. And in the meantime, we're tasked with picking out the right ensemble to get the job done and to get it done with confidence. No matter how much you love fashion or how awesome your wardrobe is, there are always going to be days, and even weeklong stretches, when you just stand in front of your closet with a blank look on your face wondering what you should wear.

Fortunately, this is not going to be one of those weeks since the internet has just been graced with a fresh batch of work outfit ideas, thanks to fashion week. And there's no better place to look for style inspiration than on the streets of London, Milan, New York, and Paris in between shows. When we asked Who What Editor associate editor Kristen Nichols to weigh in on the best trends that work in an office setting, she noted "seeing lots of strong suiting, unexpected bold hues, vintage-inspired denim, and modern takes on the kitten heel (this season's It shoe)," which we can definitely get behind.


With this in mind, we rounded up our top 10 favorite office-approved looks to take note from this season. Rest assured, each outfit formula hits the style trifecta: Aside from being physically comfortable, you'll be taken seriously professionally and feel confident. To make your mornings a little easier (and your office a lot more stylish), scroll through the endless work outfit ideas below.

Outfit Formula #1: Blouse, Relaxed Jeans, and Pumps

Work Outfit Formulas
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Whether you're running to meetings all over town or sitting at a desk all day, comfort is key to a good workday. And what's more comfortable than a pair of relaxed jeans? To make them work-appropriate and style-savvy, wear a printed blouse and on-trend heels, and then accessorize with some understated jewelry to finish things off.

Outfit Formula #2: Midi Dress, Black Jeans, and Heels

Outfit Ideas
Vanni Bassetti/Getty Images

So you only got to wear that pretty flowy dress once this summer? Update it for fall by layering it over a pair of pants. We love the pair of ripped, raw-hem black jeans against the vivid green hue photographed above.

Outfit Formula #3: Blazer, Cropped Jeans, and a Pop of Color

Work Style
Sylvie Mus

Eye-catching and unique basics sound like an oxymoron, but they do exist. Case in point above. This oversize black blazer complements the half-zip turtleneck perfectly and does a nice job transitioning the cropped white jeans from summer to fall (yes, you can—and should—wear white after Labor Day). Introduce a pop of color in your shoes or handbag to add a touch of fun and personality to the look.

Outfit Formula #4: Loose Midi Dress and High Boots

Office Appropriate Outfits
Timur Emek/Getty Images

Tall boots with a long dress hanging over them is always a good idea. If you don't need to pack a handbag full of essentials, take style notes from the proportion play of the mini top-handle bag above. 

Outfit Formula #5: Turtleneck and Wide-Leg Trousers

Work Outfits
Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images

Okay, this outfit looks comfortable enough to live in and also happens to be hip and polished for an office. The warm camel tones of the sweater keep the outfit grounded, while the vivid yellow pants will fill any boardroom with optimism (maybe). Not to mention that the wide-leg silhouette is insanely flattering, and you can never go wrong with the half-tuck. To refine the aesthetic, just add a pair of sculptural earrings.

Outfit Formula #6: Pantsuit and Statement Shoes

Pantsuits for Women
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Business and pleasure join forces in this quirky purple pantsuit. Incorporating playful pastels and different shades of a cheerful color will keep things light, while a clean, classic cut and style will ensure you look appropriate for the setting. Opt for a pantsuit that gives the traditional piece a modern twist.

Outfit Formula #7: Sweater, Midi Skirt, and Playful Slingbacks

Stylish Office Outifts
NurPhoto/Getty Images

This is probably the best fall outfit formula around. It's easy, reliable, and flattering, but don't be afraid to put your own spin on it. We love how this architectural skirt looks with the organically shaped sweater and playful polka-dot heels. And it doesn't look overly whimsical since everything remains within a neutral black-and-white color scheme.

Outfit Formula #8: Bold Jumper, Relaxed Jeans, and Sock Boots

Christian Vierig/Getty Images

This work outfit idea is the direct opposite of the previous one. Instead of getting creative with interesting shapes and fabric in quiet, solid tones, this outfit inspires us to go for bold colors in classic silhouettes and styles. Jeans, sock boots, a belt, and a sweater. That's what fall outfit dreams are made of.

Outfit Formula #9: Solid Top, Khaki Bottoms, and Textured Pumps

Timur Emek/Getty Images

Aside from denim, khaki is one of the most versatile, easy-to-wear materials both aesthetically and comfort wise. And as much as we love a jean skirt, there's something about these camel-hued utility pieces that make them look slightly more refined. Since it is on the casual side, consider pairing khaki with a black top and heels in a luxe material. These velvet pumps with gold details get the job done perfectly.

Outfit Formula #10: Button-Down, Chain Belt, and Flare Jeans

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Of course, this ensemble might not fly in every industry, but if it does, or you ever have a one-time Casual Friday, then it'll soon be your go-to look. It's the perfect mix of on-trend style and classic business casual garb. Plus, it's flattering and easy to replicate. Simply tuck a simple white shirt into a pair of high-rise wide-leg jeans with a chic chain belt, and let the elongating denim do all the work.

Outfit Formula #10: Trench, Bright Trousers, and Embellished Heels

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

If you're going to shop for new items to wear in the workplace this season, let it be a pair of fashion-forward trousers inspired by joggers. These side-stripe slacks are reminiscent of track pants, and yet the grown-up checkered trench coat and pearl-embellished pumps tone them down perfectly.

Which work outfit idea are you most excited try this week? Share with us in the comments below.

Spot Print Ruched Blouson Top
Topshop Spot Print Ruched Blouson Top $60
Mom relaxed jeans
Mango Mom relaxed jeans $60
Buckle Pump
Jil Sander Buckle Pump $640
Réalisation The Violette $225
cropped skinny jeans
J Brand Cropped Skinny Jeans $255 $178
Williamsburg in Silver Peony
Anne Thomas Williamsburg in Silver Peony $265
Slim Legion Pant in Dirty White
Rachel Comey Slim Legion Pant in Dirty White $345
Morena Mule
Attico Morena Mule $695
Laura Shirt Dress
Rhode Resort Laura Shirt Dress $385
Fred Crossbody Bag
Boyy Fred Crossbody Bag $835
Disa oversized roll-neck wool sweater
Acne Studios Disa Oversized Roll-Neck Wool Sweater $470
Diega Pants
Farrow Diega Pants $64 $45
Mineral Oval Gold-filled Resin Earrings
Dinosaur Designs Mineral Oval Gold-Filled Resin Earrings $190
Asymmetric-ruffled double-breasted wool jacket
MSGM Asymmetric-Ruffled Double-Breasted Wool Jacket $693
Mid-rise cropped hound's-tooth wool trousers
MSGM Mid-Rise Cropped Hound's-Tooth Wool Trousers $391
Buckle Slingback
Yuul Yie Buckle Slingback $260
- Perl Ribbed Wool-blend Sweater - Midnight blue
Carven Perl Ribbed Wool-Blend Sweater $450 $194
Jacquemus La Jupe Seville Skirt $755
Lia Leopard-Print Calf Hair Slingback Pumps
Tibi Lia Leopard-Print Calf Hair Slingback Pumps $595
MM6 Maison Margiela Relaxed Fit Jumper $526
cropped jeans
Alexander Wang Cropped Jeans $346
MOJITO Sock Boots
Topshop Mojito Sock Boots $95
Slitty Slitty Bang Bang Top
Rosie Assoulin Slitty Slitty Bang Bang Top $1395
Ruffled Cotton-poplin Wrap Skirt
J.Crew Ruffled Cotton-Poplin Wrap Skirt $100
Reike Nen Mary Jane Block Heeled Pumps $310
Vanessa Seward Etienne Jeans $268
Scuba Striped Stretch-neoprene Track Pants
Joseph Scuba Striped Stretch-Neoprene Track Pants $315

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