Primark sleeveless sweater top, Calvin Klein white pencil skirt, Rachel Roy Black pumps, Zac Posen bag

Stripes and Solids [Plus: Seven Essential What to Wear to Work Pieces]

It’s been such a transition getting back into a full time job!  Going from having a ton of freedom as a student to having a set schedule has definitely been harder than I thought it would be.

Top: Primark
Skirt: Calvein Klein
Bag: Zac Posen
Shoes: Rachel Roy

Zac Posen Eartha bag in Beige

Plus, the program I’m in is a rotational program, so I’m kicking off with a stint working the floor and doing retail hours (nights, weekends, you name it).  I think the thing that’s been most surprising has been how challenging it is to adjust to somewhat random hours throughout the week and not being able to do things like snack and drink water during the course of the day.  Also, being on my feet all day has been hard and my poor feet are so very sore and tired!

Coming from only corporate experience, my week so far as given me so much more perspective and appreciation for how difficult it is to actually run a store.  As with all things, execution is everything.  And in life, excellent execution is HARD!

I also thought I’d share my thoughts on building a wardrobe for work for anyone who has asked the question “what should I wear to work?!”  Here are a few essential items anyone working a professional or corporate job should own.

  1. White blouse: A crisp white blouse is a style staple.  Whether you wear your white top or jeans, a skirt, or slacks, the key is to invest in a blouse that isn’t overly sheer and has a good weight to it.  This accomplishes two things.  First, a thicker, more quality fabric helps keep the shirt more structured and less wrinkly looking (and therefore look nicer and more expensive).  Secondly, thicker fabrics are less likely to tear or get worn by repeated washes.
  2. Black skirt: You can literally wear any color with black, making a black skirt (or trousers) a must have for your work wardrobe.  I have a preference towards pencil skirts, which look structured, professional, and flattering on almost any figure.
  3. Silk camisole or shirt: One of the easiest ways to look dressed up is to throw on a silk top.  If you don’t have the budget for silk, a simple chiffon top (usually made of polyester) will do too.  I prefer those in a solid color that are easy to wear under a cardigan or blazer.
  4. Blazer: Speaking of blazers, the easiest way to dress up almost any look is to throw a blazer on!  Start with one in a neutral color (like black or navy) and start adding colored ones later.  You can wear blazers over slacks and collared shirts, jeans and T-shirts, shift dresses and more, making them a great investment piece.
  5. Structured bag: Invest in a structured bag where you can neatly tuck your laptop along with any paperwork from the office.  I personally think a bag with a zipper is a must!  Not only will you less likely get pick pocketed (if you take public transportation like I do), you’ll also be able to keep confidential items confidential and any personal items away from sight.
  6. Pointed toe shoes: I think a pointed toe shoe, whether it’s in a flat or high heel, is essential for pulling off a sleek, polished look.
  7. Delicate jewelry: While I love statement pieces, I think that those building a fresh work wardrobe should focus on more delicate jewelry that more easily transitions from day to night, office to weekend.  I’ve found some great pieces through Rocksbox (a jewelry rental service), which costs only $19/month for unlimited jewelry rental.  If you want to try it out, you can use the code jennycaowuxoxo at check out to enjoy a month for free!  Otherwise, I like Dogeared, which also has a lot of delicate pieces.



Jenn Signature

  • Stefania
    Posted at 11:35h, 30 June Reply

    Hi Jenn,

    I love your style. Just wondering where do you work now after graduating? I would love to chat some time, I’m also based in Philadelphia.

    • Jenny
      Posted at 19:59h, 04 July Reply

      I work downtown near Rittenhouse! Would love to connect if you’re ever in the area 🙂 Feel free to shoot me an email:

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