Happy Birthday, Working Girl! 9 Dress-For-Success Lessons That Still Hold Up

In honor of the 25th anniversary of Working Girl, one of our favorite movies, we decided to put some of the film’s style maxims to the test. Do they hold up? You bet.

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  • Happy Birthday, Working Girl! 9 Dress-For-Success Lessons That Still Hold Up
    Photo credit: Everette Collection

    As Tess McGill (played to perfection by Melanie Griffith) says, “You can bend the rules plenty once you get to the top, but not while you're trying to get there.” If you’re the boss, you can walk into the office in a pink Herve Leger with a red feather boa and a yellow parasol. (Not that we'd recommend it.) But on your way up, you have to have some fashion sense and sensibility. 

    “If you want to be taken seriously,” Tess says, “you gotta have serious hair.” True, but when it comes to the office wardrobe, the key is to master the versatility of the white blouse. While we may be a little subtler with our collar than in the ‘80s, you can never go wrong with a white button-down.

  • Equipment

    Equipment Signature Blouse ($208) in Natural White

  • Working Girl
    Photo credit: Everette Collection

    “I have a head for business, and a bod for sin. Is there anything wrong with that?” Tess asks Jack (Harrison Ford). Hell no. But restraint is still the name of the game when it comes to dressing up for company parties.

  • Black Halo Riya Off Shoulder Dress ($375) in Black

  • Working Girl
    Photo credit: Everette Collection

    “Maybe a little less jewelry,” Katherine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) says to her secretary Tess. If you want to make a statement at the office, try toning down the arm party. Pick a pair of chandelier earrings or a studded gold cuff, and make it shine.

  • Blydesign Gold Meghan Cuff Bracelet ($60) in Gold; Topshop Chunky Bar Clamp Cuff ($30) in Gold;  Robert Lee Morris Geometric Link Bangle Bracelet ($55) in Gold. 

  • Oscar de la Renta Geometric Drop Earrings ($190) in Gold

  • Working Girl
    Photo credit: Everette Collection

    Red glasses say, “I’m ready for the board meeting, but trust me, you won’t be bored.” As long as you keep your outfit simple, there’s no need to shy away from edgier frames. They put the fun in functional! (Just ask Sally Jessy Raphael.)

  • American Apparel Vue Eyeglasses ($50) in Red

  • Working Girl
    Photo credit: Everette Collection

    A blazer is the red lipstick of the professional world. Throw one on to instantly polish up a lackluster ensemble. As Katherine tells Tess, “You don’t get anywhere in this world waiting for what you want to come to you. You make it happen.” So, what are you waiting for? Go buy one!

  • Rag & Bone Roseburg Blazer ($495) in Black

  • Working Girl
    Photo credit: Everette Collection

    “Just once I could go for a sweater or like some earrings. You know, a present that I could wear outside of this apartment,” Tess says to her boyfriend Mick (a young, strapping Alec Baldwin). But why not sneak some lacy thigh highs into your daily wardrobe? It’ll make you feel sexy, no matter what you’re wearing on top of it.

  • La Perla Allure Stay-Up Stockings ($58) in Nero

  • Working Girl
    Photo credit: Everette Collection

    There are weekend jeans and there are office jeans, and we’re here to unblur the lines for you. If you wear them to the office, choose something more polished—we recommend a clean pair (meaning: no distressing, please) with a high rise and a tapered ankle so it mimics a trouser.

  • BDG The Mom Jean - Lauren ($59) in Light Blue

  • Working Girl
    Photo credit: Everette Collection

    This power-player oversized coat is perfect for standing on whatever balcony you can find and singing Carly Simon’s “Let The River Run” at the top of your lungs.

  • Topshop Boutique Navy Striped Wool Coat ($420) in Navy Blue

  • Working Girl
    Photo credit: Everette Collection

    White lingerie isn’t just for the bride. Take a cue from Katherine (Sigourney Weaver), and show your softer side with just the right amount of lace covered by a sweet silk robe.

  • Jenny Packham Long Robe ($925) in Ivory; Aerie Floral Embellished Push-Up Corset ($27) in Soft Muslin; Fleur of England Jasmine Guipure Suspender Belt ($109) in White. 

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