Every future #girlboss needs to dress the part; no matter if you’re an entry-level employee or a senior executive. Even though we sometimes wish it weren’t the case, the way we present ourselves at work (and the fashion we use to do so) can heavily influence our coworkers and supervisors’ opinions about us. If you show up to a meeting with a coffee stain on your blouse or a hot mess of disorganization hanging out of your over-stuffed handbag, you may raise a few eyebrows. That’s why it’s essential to always have back-up pieces. No matter your personal style, here’s our list of five must-have pieces to always keep at your desk. You never know when you’ll find a run in your panty hose or a stain on your blouse that needs covered up!
Even if your office’s dress code is more casual than professional, a classic blazer will never steer you wrong. Blazers can be your saving grace if you lose a button or get a stain on your blouse. Pick a style that you’ll be able to match with multiple pieces in your closet, so that it’s easier to throw on in a crunch! To ensure longevity of the piece, we recommend sticking with a neutral color so it lasts through several fashion cycles, but if you find a color or print that speaks to you – trust your instincts and rock it!
We love our handbags, but sometimes they’re a little too unwieldy to carry into a business meeting. Take the time to sit down and identify all of the materials you have on your person at work, and figure out the best way to consolidate your stuff. We recommend investing in a leather padfolio, which easily fits a notepad, pen, phone, and has room for important documents you need. A padfolio will help keep everything neat and organized, so you can avoid that scary over-stuffed bag look and actually be able to find things quickly during a meeting.
We know, we know – while they look great on our feet, high-heeled shoes can be a pain – and we can show you the blisters to prove it. We’re not saying that you should wear your heels all the time, but when you need to feel more confident (or taller), heels can do the trick. Keeping a pair of spare heels at your desk can help you look more polished and professional if you’re surprised with a meeting with your CEO. They will also come in handy if you need to hit a last minute networking happy hour.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes you need to dress practically and be quick on your feet – literally. Keeping a pair of basic, go-with-anything flats stashed in your desk can save yourself from having to run in heels. Plus, they can take your look from day to night when you have more active plans after work. If you need a shoe with more support, a pair of solid-colored sneakers (ideally black, to draw attention from the casual style) or booties will also do the trick.
To be clear, by hosiery – we really do mean hosiery; not tights, hold ups, or leggings. Hosiery provides a thin, sheer layer for your legs and keeps them from being bare in the office – a definite fashion don’t for companies with highly professional dress codes. Tights and leggings are seen as too casual (even when in neutral colors) and hold ups can be seen as “too sexy” when worn with certain outfits. Hosiery is a safe, professional way to wear your favorite dresses to the office. The downside is that hosiery tends to tear, so we recommend always keeping a few extra pairs in your desk drawer -just in case!