5 Work Wear Essentials for the Modern Working Woman

By: Alana – Design Dingo

Being a modern-working woman in New York’s busy Finance Industry comes with its challenges.  In an industry filled of mostly men and navy blue suits, I’ve managed to maintain a feminine, minimal and modern style that portrays a sense of “business”.

Nowadays, navigating “proper” work wear attire can be tricky. However, whether you're interviewing, just starting your career, or a seasoned veteran, it is imperative to have an essential, professional work uniform to lean on.

And although my closet is minimally classic and chic, I always make sure these 5 modern work wear essentials are ready and pressed in my closet.

1) The Dark Pants Suit

I opt for black so that I can easily mix and match tops like this one from Theory. A dark suit is classic and flattering on all shapes and sizes and it is a safe option. A skirt poses too many additional questions: 1) is it too short? 2) Do I need stockings? 3) Is it too tight and limiting my stride? 4) How high is the split from behind? 

Ultimately this is the most universal, foolproof option that will never raise an eyebrow. Remember, you’ll never know who you'll meet each day and what's appropriate to you could be a no-no to others. If you're going to have one suit in your wardrobe, this would be it!

2) The Comfortable Closed Toe Shoe

If I’ve learned one thing from living in New York is that comfort is key! A comfortable pair of black or nude closed toe shoes like these Steve Madden Local Black Pumps are a must. Whether they're flat or heeled, make sure you can run a million miles in them. There's nothing worse than seeing someone limp around the office or hobble between meetings in sky high, uncomfortable stilettos. These leather Zara flats will keep you chic and balanced all day long.

3) The Classic Button Up

One button up shirt or blouse is a must. It immediately conveys that you mean business without even saying a word. They're great under sweaters, blazers, or on their own. It's also something you can wear on weekends with jeans, so no matter how you style it; you’re sure to look instantly chic. I prefer buttoning mine all the way up for work and unbuttoned low for weekends. If you find something that doesn't need ironing, like this Foxcroft non-iron top, even better!

4) The Structured Tote Bag

Nothing says power like a woman holding an awesome handbag.  When choosing a tote, structure and simplicity is key.  This Cuyana Classic Leather Tote looks professional and chic but holds your gym clothes, water bottle, notebook, laptop and charger and never miss a stylish beat. Black is always safe but don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit and add a pop of color or interest to your wardrobe staples like this red Tory Burch beauty.

5) The Modern Blazer

Tailored and relaxed modern blazers are just as stylish and essential as the basic black trouser. And nothing says creativity and resourcefulness like a “plaid” or “pinstripe” blazer.  Whether it’s tailored or loose fitting, find one (similar to this Revolve Plaid Blazer) that is fully lined in satin for a smooth fit. This helps you layer it effortlessly over a sweater of shirt.  Pull it out when you have a presentation, meeting with a new client, or just need an extra confidence boost to start your day!

Like my suggestions?  Find more of my latest finds and tips at: designdingo.net or share your feedback on my Instagram account @designdingo.

 Alana Design Dingo