How to Create the Perfect Fall Office Wardrobe

Woman in blue blazer working in office

We spend about one third of our lives – and up to 50% of our total waking hours – at work. By comparison, we spend about the same amount of time on meals, social events, entertainment and household activities combined. The silver lining of this is that when you have a strong work wardrobe centered around multi-purpose pieces, you set yourself up to look fabulous all day, every day.

Just like a balanced work life, a balanced office wardrobe can be the key to being happier and less stressed overall. You can do this by dedicating your wardrobe to five simple categories. Read through our what to wear to work guide to find our top tips on building a great wardrobe of work outfits that is also full of play-friendly pieces. Follow our shopping tips to find out how to save big on fall office wear items from our top stores and earn Cash Back at Ebates when you shop.

30% of Your Work Wardrobe: Work Only

No matter where you work, there are sure to be certain unspoken dress code rules. From the office to the workshop to the classroom, each job has its own kind of must-have clothing. Whether you need a stable of suits or hard-wearing washables, those pieces that are the foundation of your professional outfits should make up close to a third of your closet. These items should be exclusively work wear and you should try to keep them separate from your casual, exercise or around-the-house clothes. This way, when a piece wears out, you don’t create a gap in your whole wardrobe. A tailored no-iron dress shirt from Lands’ End is the perfect addition to your fall work clothes wardrobe because of its classic styling and ease of care.

Woman working in office.10% of Your Work Wardrobe: Transitional

There are two kinds of transitional clothing: one kind made for changing weather and one kind made for changing circumstances. Weather-transitional pieces like medium-weight sweaters, cotton twill pants or accessories like scarves can be worn as temperatures fluctuate. Event-transitional pieces like cardigans or mid-length dresses can be worn from work to play and back again. Give a tenth of your work wardrobe to these types of purchases to give your look flexibility. It’s important to be able to choose an outfit that helps you feel ready for whatever surprises come your way. A light short-sleeved cardigan from LOFT is fit for both warm weather and cool and will fit in to any scene, from professional to casual.

10% of Your Work Wardrobe: Seasonal

Every time of year has its staple wardrobe items that are specific to that season. Winter has boots, spring has sundresses and summer has beachwear. You may be sad to see summer go, but fall does have the widest range of seasonal wear. Fall clothing trends range from cold-weather outerwear to sunny day sandals. Stock up on fall work fashion trends with a fall business casual promo code from Ebates and add flexibility to your whole wardrobe for less. An October sweater could come in handy on a cool evening in April or a long-sleeve layering tee could be useful on a warm winter afternoon. A neutral-tone animal print sweater by Bloomingdale’s made with a mid-weight cashmere for a lightweight layering piece is a perfect seasonal pick for autumn weather.

VIA SPIGA Women's Prim mauve wedges

VIA SPIGA Women’s Prim, $194.95 (

30% of Your Work Wardrobe: Personal

It’s important to be able to express your personal style at work. Dedicate a sizeable portion of your fall wardrobe to letting people know just what style you love. The most fun and affordable way to do this is with accessories and shoes. When your personal accents are not seasonally dependent, like earrings or a handbag, you can keep your personal sense of style clear and strong throughout the year. Signature shoes can always spice up your favorite cute work outfits and business clothes for women can get a personal flair with items like belts and pins.

20% of Your Work Wardrobe: Annual

Although a good wardrobe can be timeless, part of the fun of the season is shopping for the newest trends in fall office wear for this year. It’s crucial to keep 20% of your fall work outfits fresh and on trend each year. Get your hands on the most on-trend items for 2016 to keep your workday look up to date. Newly arrived at Ralph Lauren are on-point wool-blend herringbone jackets that are a must-have piece for 2016.

Wendy Williams Perforated Faux-Leather Skirt

Wendy Williams Perforated Faux-Leather Skirt, $54.95 (HSN)

Which Trends to Wear at Work

You don’t have to replace the basics you already have to be on-trend this year. Just add a flash of this season’s colors. The fall color palette for 2016 is full of rich earthy colors accented with jewel-tones and metallics. A classic blue trench coat can be made chic with the addition of a silver statement pin or oversized eggplant purple scarf. Even your favorite old jeans can be on point when paired with a red belt or yellow flats.

Mixing the traditional with the unexpected is another trend for this fall. Try classic silhouettes in unusual fabrics like an A-line or skater skirt in perforated leather and top it with a blazer or cardigan. Spice up an office wear staple, like the mid-heel pump, by choosing an eye-catching color like a deep autumnal orange.

The fall look for 2016 is all about layers and volume. Don’t be afraid of volume-adding cuts like bat-wing sleeves or skater dresses. Keep your look balanced by wearing fitted foundation layers like body-hugging tees and tailored tops. With a sleek look underneath and billowing outer wear, your look will be breezy, cozy and fashion forward.


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