I have a secret obsession with workwear. Front-pleated pants and longline blazers get me genuinely excited. (Bonus points if a power-shoulder is involved.) I’d happily forgo leggings and tanks to slip into an of-the-moment pantsuit, of which I am the proud owner of three–here, here and here.
But with my steadfast devotion to workwear comes a strong spending habit. Polished tailoring is usually accompanied by a hefty price tag, which means a large portion of my paycheck goes right back into my work wardrobe… and even I don't want that.
Determined to curb my workwear spending, I challenged myself to five days of office style on a $100 a day budget. Armed with these versatile Zara kitten heels as the basis of each outfit, I mixed and matched my work wardrobe with looks that strike the right balance between business and casual—perfect for those who can freely wear jeans and tees to work but still want to look impeccably polished and professional.
Click through to see my week of workwear looks for under $100.
Skinny dark wash jeans + white tee + boyfriend blazer is a working girl's favorite (and easiest) outfit formula.
Finding an affordable but expensive-looking blazer was more difficult than I thought, but I stumbled upon a gold mine with this of-the-moment checked blazer that looks extremely chic for its $35 price tag.
A touch of ladylike polish makes an office outfit look decidedly more expensive, especially when a Chanel-esque tweed jacket is nonchalantly thrown over the shoulders.
I grounded the look in a simple and affordable white tee and pleated midi skirt, and I let the statement-making wide belt and structural earrings add some extra fashion-girl finesse.
Red is having a major moment this season. Adding the fiery shade to your work wardrobe is easier than you think when paired with professional neutrals—gray, white, and black.
This double-breasted red blazer was another exceptional score from a new and affordable Spanish brand I found on ASOS called Stradivarius. Its clean cut-styles and tailored separates are surprisingly good quality for their budget-friendly prices.
Polka-dots are undeniably playful but they can also be positively professional when worn with a simple and minimalist silhouette.
I took on fall's popular trend in this $25 Who What Wear Collection print blouse. (It also just released a wrap version that I'm head over heels about.) This one looks just as chic with light-wash denim jeans on the weekend as it does with front-pleated cropped slacks at work.
A red sweater and gray checked pants are a match made in sartorial heaven this fall.
I turned to trusty H&M for my end-of-week inspiration and the latest budget-friendly fall trends. I'm on a red kick, as you may have noticed, so this head-turning knit sweater was just the ticket to pair with soft tailored pants. I finished the look with bold and modern structural silver earrings.
Say au revoir to your workweek in style.
Up next, the modern way to wear a pantsuit.