The difference between dragging yourself to work and striding confidently across the office floor can be as simple as a good outfit. Workwear has undergone a major shift in the past few years – and happily so. Thanks to hybrid schedules, Melanie Griffiths’ Working Girl shoulder pads and Meghan Markle’s Suits-era pencil skirts are no longer mandatory and rigid dress codes have softened to reflect our new relaxed attitudes to work. The new office wardrobe is more flexible and filled with pieces that work harder: think elevated basics that look polished at your desk but can easily be dressed down for a smart weekend look.
Whether you’re looking for a beautiful new work suit or an impeccable winter coat, investing in timeless pieces can be daunting considering they’re meant to transcend trends and last forever. We’ve curated the best workwear brands to look to for a smart and elegant office-ready wardrobe.
No one does chic CEO-ready wardrobes like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, whose sophisticated personal style extends to their designs for The Row. Named after Savile Row, the brand reflects its namesake’s commitment to impeccable tailoring and exquisite fabrics. Elegantly minimal, The Row redefines elevated basics: think a classic white shirt with billowing sleeves, tailored cashmere coats with scarf details, or flattering pleated wool trousers. The brand also excels at accessories, with classic bags and smart loafers that easily complement your workwear.
The Frankie Shop
There’s a reason Gaëlle Drevet’s minimalist brand Frankie Shop has a cult following. Ita New-York-meets-Paris aesthetic manifests itself in streamlined silhouettes that will work at the office just as well as they would on a dinner date. We’re talking knife-pleated skirts paired with waistcoats and oversized bomber jackets layered over wide-legged trousers. Pair with slicked-back hair and sunglasses for the ultimate off-duty model look (even if your actual 9-5 is far less glamorous).
Founded by Elin Kling and Karl Lindman, Toteme plays with the idea of a modern uniform. The Stockholm-based brand’s range consists of quality fabrics manipulated into pieces that’ll be part of your rotation for years, with evergreen basics including cotton poplin shirts, knitted jumpers, and tailored trousers. Invest in the brand’s signature wool or silk scarves and sleek boots to round out your polished aesthetic.
Launched in 2016 by Catherine Holstein, Khaite’s design vocabulary is grounded in a contemporary interpretation of classic American sportswear codes. The structured fluidity of this reimagination has made Khaite a popular choice for those in the know. Coveted for its quality and versatility, Khaite’s elegant pieces span sumptuous knits and perfect tailoring to slouchy tote bags and sleek winter boots.
With Nothing Underneath
Founded by Pip Durell in 2017, With Nothing Underneath gets quality shirting just right. Meant to be “worn effortlessly, without thought, or anything underneath”, its shirts are the perfect building block for an easy yet formal work wardrobe. The B-corp-certified brand prioritises sustainability with shirts crafted from fabrics like organic cotton, Tencel, and recycled silk. Its signature oversized Boyfriend shirt and boxy Weekend shirt are dependable silhouettes, while the silk Cocktail shirt with buttoned cuffs is a great option to lean into feminine office dressing.
Veronica Beard began with the Dickey jacket. This impeccably tailored design offers a perfect fit and endless versatility thanks to the myriad of interchangeable dickeys it is designed to be paired with. Hardworking and functional, the jacket set the tone for the brand’s now-extensive line of cool and timeless pieces. Founded by sisters-in-law Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard, invest in its staple shirt dresses and pleated trousers for exquisite workwear.
A bonafide if-you-know-you-know brand, Peter Do truly masters pared-back, high-quality essentials. Having worked under Phoebe Philo at Celine, Do’s masterful tailoring and design language reflects Philo’s female-centric approach to fashion. The Peter Do palette is grounded in neutrals with flattering silhouettes, including straight-fit dresses, pleated skirts and high-waisted trousers, all meant to be versatile building blocks that seamlessly blend into your personal style.
Master French-girl chic at work with Parisian brand Sézane. Putting tailoring and quality front and centre, it specialises in everyday essentials — cosy knits, refined silk blouses, flattering wool maxi skirts, and perfectly pleated flared trousers. Wear its pared back basics with the brand’s statement earrings, which are often favoured by Kate Middleton.
A refined label creating clothing inspired by school uniforms, Thom Browne’s preppy designs make for ideal workwear. Reinventing classic suiting tropes with subversive details like exaggerated proportions, Browne’s designs will ensure you look put-together while simultaneously standing out. Grounded in a neutral palette of greys, blacks, and whites, the expertly cut shirts, pleated skirts, and cropped trousers are detailed with the brand’s signature four-bar stripes, tricolour tabs, and grosgrain trims.
Parisian influencer Chloé Harrouche’s Loulou Studio is a definite must for your winter work wardrobe. Rendered in neutral hues, its signature knitwear is crafted from exquisite cashmere while the blazers are cut to an oversized fit for easy layering. Popular with style icons like Hailey Bieber and Camille Charriere, Loulou Studios’ French essentials are made from natural fabrics to prioritise comfort.
Read more: The work dresses your weekday wardrobe needs