Work uniforms are more than just a way to ease into your day and look good doing it. As many high-achieving individuals like President Barack Obama and late Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously pointed out, having a work uniform allows you to pare down on choices in the morning, leaving more time for making impactful decisions throughout the day. “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” Obama told Vanity Fair in 2012. "I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing.
Because I have too many other decisions to make."
If Obama and Jobs swore by a work uniform for greater productivity, why shouldn’t we? Each industry has its own unspoken dress code, so we turned to someone who would be able to shed light on the best work uniforms for each field of work: Who What Wear’s Editorial Director Bobby Schuessler. Having written about work outfits and fashion trends for years, he quickly picked a uniform for all types of industries. Whether you work in fashion, STEM, or finance, we have the perfect work uniform for you. Don’t spend another morning wondering what to wear—this is your road map to avoiding decision fatigue.
If you work in fashion or design
“You want to have fun with your outfit but also come across polished and chic,” explains Schuessler. “Go for unique styling tricks, like a dress over pants, paired with on-trend items like a duster jacket, one statement earring, V-neck mules, and a cool crossbody bag worn high across your body.”
If you work in law or finance
“For a conservative (yet stylish) look, try a sleek blazer with a reworked shirt (try having the sleeve of your blouse poke out for a fashion-forward feel) paired with high-waisted trousers and classic pumps,” says Schuessler. A few classic, high-end pieces will help elevate any outfit, even if your blouse is secretly from Zara.
If you work in media or journalism
“Chances are that you’ll be running around interviewing subjects in a journalism gig, so it’s best to go for a forward-feeling (yet comfortable) ensemble of a vest layered over a printed blouse, with a midi skirt and block heels,” says Schuessler. This look is not only stylish, but it’ll keep you comfortable all day long.
If you work in STEM
“If you’re looking for an outfit that’s in between conservative and more casual, try a tailored jacket with a pretty blouse mixed with straight-leg trousers and on-trend slip-on mules for comfort,” says Schuessler. This look is ideal for fields like science and engineering.
If you work at a startup or in tech
“Most startup environments are casual, but that doesn’t mean you want to show up not looking put together,” says Schuessler. “I’d suggest going for a sleek leather jacket with a classic tee, and opt for tailored jeans for a dressier feel instead of a loose, boyfriend style—a pair of clean white sneakers completes the look.”
And now, nine sneakers to walk to work in (that won’t cramp your style).