Business Wardrobe Capsule Collection

I know I’ve been hinting at this for awhile, but I’m excited to announce that as of a few weeks ago, I got a new job! After working at agencies around Chicago for 6 years, I finally made the leap to the brand side, working in-house to lead social strategy and creative for a national grocery chain brand that’s always been one of my faves.

I’m excited for the new adventure, and getting the opportunity to really shape the social media strategy and content directly from the brand side. While I love working at agencies, it almost feels like I’m growing up a little bit by making this leap – and so far it’s been an amazing experience. One of the biggest changes has been needing to get dressed up for work, like really dressed up for work. I’m not going to lie, I rocked jeans for the past 6+ years at agencies, so getting dressed up is a little outside my comfort zone – and definitely a stretch from my current wardrobe.

So rather than just going for it and spending all my money on a new wardrobe, I narrowed it down to a few key pieces that I could mix and match to get me through the workweek. It’s only been a few weeks, but my new business formal capsule collection has taken me from Monday to Friday without having to think too much. And now that I have to wake up at 6AM every morning, it’s even more important that I don’t have to think too much that early in the morning 😉

Here are the key pieces that are perfect for building your own business formal capsule collection for yourself! Whether you’re starting a new job or looking to have the basics handy for conferences or work travel, these pieces will effectively get you from Monday to Friday without the headache.

Striped Tie Shirt: I love a good tie shirt, especially one that’s breathable in the summertime that can be paired with a pencil skirt, pants and a cardigan or blazer on top! The tie keeps it dressed up but adds a little bit of personality, which is always needed in the office.

Silk Camisole: Camisoles have been my go-to top for the office, and they’re easy to wear with just about anything. I’ve been tucking my new Cuyana one into pencil skirts, paired with cardigans or blazers on dressier days.

Striped Sweater: I’m partial to stripes, but any summery V-neck sweater is ideal for the office. Again, you can wear it with pants or pencil skirts and get some bang for your buck once it’s colder out too!

Dressed Up Cardigan: Is it just my office, or are all offices freezing?! I usually keep a nice cardigan for my office, but it also doubles as a cover up for more formal meetings too. This scalloped version from Kate Spade is feminine and goes with just about everything!

Button Down Shirt: No matter the season, you’re going to need a button down shirt if you work in a formal office environment! I love the cut and fit of the J.Crew version and I’ve bought a few different colors over the years to swap out through the week.

Blazer: This is obviously a must need for an office, especially for more conservative offices like mine! Since I was trying to keep my wardrobe lean to start with I opted for a traditional black blazer, but eventually I’m hoping to invest in a navy blue one too so I can mix things up.

Dress Pants: I had the hardest time finding dress pants I loved, but I finally found a tailored pair from J.Crew that worked, as well as a more fitted pair from Banana Republic for a steal. Once I get a navy blazer in the coming months I’ll be expanding my dress pants collection to include navy too.

Pencil Skirt: I’m a firm believer that every woman should have a pencil skirt that fits like a glove, but it’s especially important if you work in an office. I love this one with a little ruffle to add some personality too!

Dress: A LBD that works for the office and beyond is always a wardrobe win, and this little number from Nordstrom has been on repeat for both date night and a day at the office.

Trench Coat: I think I’ve probably written at least 3 posts this season about trench coats, but I’m obsessed with my new one from Club Monaco! During rainy or chilly days, it pairs perfectly with more dressed up looks while being work-wear appropriate.

Work Bag: I may be biased, but I’m slightly obsessed with my workbag from Cuyana. It’s the perfect size, has the most gorgeous leather, and tassels to boot. Insert the heart eye emoji here…

D’Orsay Heels: D’Orsay heels have always been my tried and true pair of shoes, and I love this chic pair from Sam Edelman are classy and comfy enough to wear from morning ’till night.

Dressy Flats: Obviously flats are also important too {especially if you’re like me and commute to the office every day}. I love a classic loafer that can be rocked with a dressy look or dress pants.

Wear to Work Jewelry: I didn’t really consider “work jewelry” to be a thing until I started working in a more formal office, and then I realized that people really did invest in a few key pieces that paired well with office attire. I’ve been a long time fan of Monica Vinader, and I’ve been wearing this Nadia rectangle necklace and bracelet combo on repeat Monday through Friday. It’s just enough bling without being too overwhelming to a more subtle, dressed up look.

Hopefully this is helpful if you ever find yourself needing to dress up for your next job {or even a few times for your existing one!} I’m going to be sharing some more wear-to-work looks knowing that most of my clothes budget is going to now to go multi-tasking pieces that I can wear to work, so hopefully I’ll be able to share some newfound style tips for getting dressed up for work! xx

  • Aww congrats Maya! I’m happy to hear you so excited about your new job! Kill itttt 🎉

    • Awww thanks so much Afoma! You are so sweet – I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂 xx

  • Congratulations on the new job! When I got my first ‘corporate’ type job that required dressing up for work I was excited but overwhelmed with building a wardrobe. The idea of building a capsule wardrobe to build off of is such a good idea! The pieces you’ve picked out are great. I started a new job back in January and I’ve transitioned away from business attire and back to jeans. 😉

    • Ahhhhhh! I’m so jealous of the jeans – I miss them so much, haha. If you have any tips, please let me know! I could use the advice 😉 xx

  • Congrats on the new job, girlfriend! How exciting! And, I’m sure you’re the best-dressed boss babe in the office. 😉

    • Haha, I’m trying to look like I might be a fashion blogger sometimes – so far….it’s going okay 😉 xx

  • LOVE all your picks Maya!! You’re killing it in the biz formal department!! Most stylish lady at the office for sure! Also omg I can’t even remember how many pairs of pants we tried on lol! I’m so glad you found good ones that fit! Love you lady!


    • Ummm…DEFINITELY only because you were the saint who took me shopping and told me what pants NOT to get 😉 Thank YOU! xx

  • Congrats on the new position and you’re going to be the most stylish gal there!! I love the tops you picked out, they would be so cute for summer!! Hope the new position goes well and I’m so happy for you!!

    xo, Sarah

    • It’s so tricky dressing up for work, but I’m happy you like a few of them! I miss you lady, let’s catch up soon! xx

  • Way to go girl! I left the agency side three years ago and it’s been the best move. Good luck!

    • I’m so so happy to hear that, Katie! I’ll keep you updated on how it goes 😉 xx

  • Ashley La Fleur

    Love all these! can’t wait to hear more about the new job. 🙂

  • Congrats on the new gig, girlfriend!!

  • Congrats on the new job girlfriend! I’ve been on the hunt for a new work bag for my new job as well. Definitely buying this!

    • Riiiiiight, how good is it? And I’m SO excited for your new job too! Hope the first few weeks are going well! xx