What to Wear to Work

Have you ever found yourself trying on multiple outfits and launching a pair of pants across the room because you’re late and it’s Just. Not. Working? Or feeling annoyed in a meeting because you’re battling with an itchy dress? With help from Brass, here are five tips to make getting dressed for work actually enjoyable…

How to Get Dressed for Work

The utility dress.

1. Organize your wardrobe.
It sounds random, but it works. Hang your clothes by type: workwear in one area, casual pieces in another, and any formal clothes off to the side. This way, you aren’t searching through a bunch of weekend stuff when making your morning wardrobe decisions.

2. Choose a work uniform.
If you like to dress in certain colors, or know that a specific style feels best on your body, why not adopt a signature look? Think: Steve Jobs or Ellen DeGeneres. An old boss wore the same black shift dress every day and switched up her necklaces and shoes. And guess what? She always looked great and NO ONE CARED.

What do you wear to work?

Slouchy pants and all-day tank. Just add blazer!

3. Keep one “internal” bag that’s always packed.
How much time do you spend searching for your keys or transferring stuff from one tote to another? A wise friend keeps a large pouch packed with essentials (wallet, phone, keys, lip balm). She has two work bags stashed by the door — one black, one brown. In the morning, she pops the already-packed pouch into whichever tote matches her outfit, and she’s out the door. No searching or shuffling necessary.

4. Have an emergency go-to look.
For some, it is the little black dress. For others, it might be a simple shirtdress or a pair of slouchy black pants that look good with everything. Then you can grab and go on mornings when you sleep through your alarm or feel draggy… Just throw it on, and you’re good to go.

5. Plan ahead.
One very organized friend keeps a binder with polaroids of her outfit combinations (à la Cher Horowitz). Then, instead of rifling through her closet, she flips through the book to choose a pre-planned outfit. “It makes it so much easier,” she says. “I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t do this.” But if you’re not up for this task (totally understandable!), you can still achieve a level of zen by laying out your week of outfits on Sunday evenings.

What do you wear to work?

The essential dress.

Fortunately, the women’s clothing brand Brass has taken all these things into consideration. Brass was started in 2014 by two friends, Jay and Katie. They’d reached a point in their careers where they needed to look more polished and put together, but they couldn’t stomach (or afford) high-end designer prices, nor the toll that fast fashion takes on the environment.

Since starting their company, Jay and Katie have talked to countless women about their wardrobe struggles. They’ve heard it all: anxiety over what’s appropriate, spending too much money on things that never get worn, and feeling blah when walking out the door. So, Brass narrowed down the key foundational pieces that make up a work wardrobe — tops, dresses and pants that are comfortable, office-friendly and easy to mix and match. Plus, they embrace ethical manufacturing.

What to Wear to Work

The Brass philosophy is that when getting dressed is simplified, you have more energy to spend on other things that matter. See their full line of essentials here.

What do you wear to work? Do you have any tips for getting ready in the morning?

P.S. What six readers wear to work, and the best comfy work shoes.

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. Modeling by our friend Bettina Garofalo. This post is sponsored by Brass, a brand whose mission we believe in. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Cup of Jo running.)