Dressing for the office is a task that proves to be difficult no matter who you are or where you work. Every office environment has a specific dress code, whether that be spoken or unspoken, by which employees are to abide, yet we still find ourselves stumped when gazing into our closets first thing in the a.m. If you work in a creative environment, how casual is too casual, and if you have a corporate meeting, is it too formal to wear a full suit? And what about all of the in-betweens? Are you overwhelmed yet? So are we.
Lucky for you, there are two incredibly talented women who set out to solve all of those problems for you and more. As the founders of the brand Argent, a contemporary workwear clothing line, Eleanor Turner and Sali Christeson are here to help you determine what your workwear look should be depending on your office's level of dress code. There are four different levels that you can choose to identify with, and thanks to the brand's Pinterest boards, you are provided with endless inspiration on exactly what each means.
Eleanor and Sali told us that "the idea for these style guides is to eliminate the guesswork around what is office appropriate. The boards are labeled from One (casual) to Four (formal). If you fall into One, you’re the most casual of all. You can get away with jeans and a tee at work. If you are in Two, things are slightly more formal, but not by much. You may wear slacks, but a blazer would be overkill. If you consider yourself in Three, you may work in a senior or client-facing role, possibly in a more corporate environment. Think suiting separates—mix and match, but no full on suits. Four, you’re the most formal on the scale. Suits are your everyday.”
To give you more of a visual perspective of their genius philosophy, we have broken down each level for you here with the most important pieces to note in each, as well as an example outfit for you to shop. So the next time you go to get dressed for work in the morning, let this guide navigate you in the direction of an appropriate yet completely stylish office ensemble.
Keep scrolling to see a breakdown of each of the levels and shop key pieces from each!
"One is for the most casual of dress codes, where jeans are a regular go-to and T-shirts sometimes make their way into the mix. In startups, media, creative roles, and numerous tech companies, this is the standard uniform."
The stripes make this shirt a little dressier than a plain white one.
Add that needed third piece with a vest instead of a blazer.
No one said you couldn't have raw-hem denim at the office.
Tie this around your neck for a pop of color.
Swap your more corporate pumps for these woven ones.
"Two is for office or work environments that skew more casual but where slacks are worn in place of denim. Tops provide the finishing touch, whether they be button-downs, sweaters, or structured tees."
If you're going to wear a T-shirt to the office, at least make it interesting.
Opt for trousers in a bold color when you can.
Elevate your basics with this long tassel necklace.
There is nothing sleeker than a simple all-gold watch.
Make any pair of trousers livelier with colorful heels.
"Three is just one step shy of a full suit. It comprises dresses, suit separates, and is what we call the informal formal attire. It is a good option if you have a senior role in a casual work environment or a dressed-down day for a more corporate environment."
No matter what your office dress code is, you need one of these in your closet.
Accentuate your best features in this figure-flattering yet office-appropriate dress.
We love these earrings because they allow you to wear gold and silver accessories with ease.
Take your neutrals up a notch with these rich rust-colored pumps.
"Four is all about suiting. We are excited to introduce more novelty and functionality into traditional women's suiting. This is a good interview option for a corporate setting and tends to be more of the uniform for roles in finance, law, and consulting."
This blazer will look good with their trouser counterpart as well as a vintage pair of denim.
The dual-colored detailing of this button-down will make a classic suit that much more interesting.
These are a must-have closet staple if we ever saw one.
Take this clutch from day to night with ease.
Your footwear issues will be solved as soon as you invest in a pair of classic black pumps.
What are some of your tips for getting dressed for the office each day? Let us know in the comments below!