After being blessed with the opportunity to work with so many amazing clients in my past two years with blenderstyle, I started noticing that they share a lot of common wardrobe issues. One of the top being the ability to find and put together quality, chic work looks that exude style, professionalism, and are comfortable at the same time. Here are some workwear resources broken out by category that I always share with clients in order to help them feel like the boss babes they are and break away from their Banana Republic ruts.
Stylish and Affordable
Aritzia is a company based out of Vancouver, Canada and is a great place to check out for upgraded basics (ie. lace trim camisoles, wrap dresses, stylized work pants) and feminine pieces that are perfect for creating more contemporary work looks and effortlessly going from the office to happy hour in style. They have a sale every so often, but beware of their return policies. It is more strict than most retailers and their sale items are usually final.
I feel Zara is often overlooked for workwear give its fast fashion, trendy appeal. However, you can find some great work basics and afford to throw in a few extra fun items as well shopping here. Don’t forget to check out their shoes too which are often hidden on the bottom and under displays in the store. If you’re shopping online, I would recommend buying both your regular size and one size up as their sizes tend to fluctuate.
I like Mango because, similar to Zara, it offers both classic and more fashion forward pieces at a great price point giving you plenty options for deciding how you’d like to integrate it into your dress code. As a city girl, you also reduce the risk of wearing the same things as half of the other women on the street a la Zara.
Club Monaco started as a Canadian company and was acquired by Polo Ralph Lauren in 1999. They started with the idea of creating “better basics” and that’s what you’ll find here- classic and sophisticated pieces with a touch of elevated style. They are a bit more expensive than the top three options, however, you’ll get parallel quality.
Ethical & Sustainable
Everlane is great for high quality basics at very reasonable prices (ie. silk blouses for $98, Italian leather flats for $118). Whether ethical fashion means anything to you or not, this is a perfect place to start gathering staple items like a good work pant, simple blouses, and easy dresses. Everlane is one of the most transparent companies when it comes to providing information on how they produce their products and are always striving to innovate, which results in a higher set of standards for the rest the sustainable fashion industry.
Their name means “green love” in french and with every purchase of an Amour Vert tee, they plant a tree in North America with their trusted partner American Forest®. To date, they’ve planted over 220,000 trees. Okay, back to fashion. This is another great resource for classic pieces with a twist and a few more fun pieces sprinkled in between. They also have good options for a more casual work environment.
Boden heavily focuses on ethical working conditions in their supply chains and operations. You’ll find cute, feminine, colorful, and borderline preppy options here and I’ve had several clients have good luck with their work trousers. You can also find Boden at Nordstrom aside from shopping their site.
Get ready to meet some of the most beautiful suits you’ve ever seen with options ranging from ultra classic to bright colors and prints. SUISTUDIO makes very elegant essentials and fashion forward pieces that make a statement. They offer in-store tailoring for an additional price per service to ensure your clothes fit perfect and even offer custom suiting options for those really looking to treat themselves. I can’t wait to buy a suit here.
Argent’s mission is “to make clothing that equips women to take their seat at the table” and they do just that. They don’t have a ton of options, but here you will find a collection of modern workwear, high quality, and some fun details that make your outfit a bit more exciting.
While INTERMIX may be considered for ‘going out’ clothes and trendy brunch wear, they have a variety of designers that will easily help upgrade your work wardrobe. Aside from the extremely fashion forward selections, you can find some great work essentials from the likes of ALC, Veronica Beard, L’AGENCE, and more. Check out the sale section for some quality finds and keep an eye out for their flash sales that happen every so often where items are an additional 40% off. Unfortunately, these items are usually final sale.
eShakti is very cool in that it’s actually a custom site for women sizes 0-36. You can select a style, enter your body measurements, and then customize a few of the style options (ie. make short sleeves long). I tell my tall clients about this site as well since they always have a hard time finding the right length in everything. They have a good variety of items you can easily implement into your work looks.
Universal Standard provides elevated essentials for plus size women and even offer a collection called Fit Liberty where every piece is eligible for a free size exchange within a year given someone’s weight were to fluctuate. They also have ‘workwear kits’ available that provide you with four key essentials (a pant, blazer, and two tops) and saves you about $100 versus buying each piece separately. You can find a few of their pieces at J.Crew.
ASOS has over 1,500 pieces available in their curvy category and is a great place to source more fashion forward work pieces like plaid suits, printed dresses, bright pants, and more without breaking the bank. Since this is a UK brand, be sure to check sizing charts before ordering.
Incorporating menswear into my business by becoming an independent stylist for J.Hilburn has been a great decision and my male clients are so happy. What I love about J.Hilburn is that they address the fact most men aren't wearing suits to the office everyday anymore and provide custom solutions that allow men to effortlessly adapt to the cultural shift of business casual dress codes. It's a great one stop shop for men who need a little bit of everything from casual weekend attire to suits and tuxedos, but want high quality and for it to fit great.
Now, go out there and kick ass like the CEO you are, but look good doing it ;)