Whether you are stuck in an endless loop of lockdowns, or are starting to return to the office, you might be wondering to yourself, “What will I wear to the office after months of wearing sweatpants?” So if you have any classic fashion pieces in your closet, now is the perfect time to pull them out of storage. 

Personally, I would love to be able to wear sweatpants to the office if I must go back to one, but some employers might not like that. Okay, most employers will not like that.

I’ve been remote working for a few years now, and haven’t worked at an office for a long time. While I don’t have to go back to an office anymore – nor do I want to – sometimes I must visit offices and clients at their workplaces. Sweatpants will be frowned upon here, so I try to wear something appropriate for such a setting.

However, I don’t want to go out of my way to buy office wear as I don’t go to such places often. To deal with this, I have an office fashion capsule wardrobe that I turn to. 

Here are 7 classic fashion pieces for working from the office that are timeless, no matter how many years go by in my career:

1) Black/ navy pants

Image: Pexels/ Jeys Tubianosa

I have two to three pairs of tapered pants in plain colours (like black or navy), and they pair well with most tops and outerwear. To make the most of your pants, try to get a pair that has some give at the waist, so they are not too loose/ tight. Wide-legged pants are a classic fashion piece and coming in hot this year, so try those. 

I can also wear these on a casual grocery run or to greet the delivery guy. This means these pants see enough usage to be useful, even when I don’t have to go to the office.

2) Plain-coloured crew-neck cotton t-shirts

Image: Pexels/Cottonbro

These may not sound like office wear. On their own, they are not, but when paired with the right pieces like a pencil skirt or pants and a , even these t-shirts can be elevated to look like they belong at the office. 

Best of all, you can also wear these casually on their own as well. As an aficionado of black, I have 5 of the same black crew-neck cotton t-shirts that I wear for Zoom calls now. I don’t mind wearing these to an office in the future if I need to as well.

They can be short or long-sleeved depending on the climate you live in. If your office has a penchant for doing colour-coded fashion days, you can get these cotton t-shirts in a variety of colours to deal with that.

3) A blazer

Image: Pexels/ Maksim Goncharenok

A blazer is the ultimate way to make any outfit mean business. Pair a cute blazer with those tapered trousers and crew-neck cotton t-shirts, and suddenly you look like you are running your own company. There are many colour and print options so you can mix it up. I have a plain-coloured grey blazer (as well as a plaid one) for more formal work occasions. 

4) Court shoes

Image: Freepik/ Gpoint Studio

Court heels that are low-heeled are comfortable to wear, and best of all, can complement a professional look. This winning combination makes court heels my to-go for footwear for business trips and makes me feel confident. The last thing I want is to trip over myself at the office or have a broken heel to deal with.

5) Stud earrings 

Image: Pexels/ Say Straight

Accessories worn at the workplace should not distract or be too loud. Stud earrings are minimal, but are a great fashion addition, especially for workwear. Choose any jewel of your choice – sapphire, aquamarine, diamond, etc. – and sparkle at the workplace with a pair of stud earrings.

6) A midi pencil skirt

Image: Freepik/ Gpoint Studio

On days you don’t feel like wearing pants, a midi pencil skirt would be a great alternative. I have two midi pencil skirts for such purposes. They are also skorts, which makes me feel comfortable to wear them on coffee runs or when taking public transport as well.

7) An A-line dress

Finally, my favourite office fashion staple is the A-line dress. Not only are they flattering on the body, they pair well with my blazer and court shoes when I need to do a presentation. They are also great for those work cocktail hours on their own. 

Naturally my favourite A-line dress is an all-black one, but a quick search online also reveals plenty of cute A-line dresses that would be great for the office. There is an A-line dress for every print preference out there.

With these 7 classic fashion pieces, I don’t have to worry about looking presentable when I have to work from the office, or my clothes gathering dust in my wardrobe when I work from home.