July 11th, 2014
Fashion, Fashion News, Shopping, Work Wardrobe
Wardrobe Query: 5 Places to Find Work Appropriate Clothes for Young Professionals
By Claire

Cheri V writes, “Hey FBD crew! I was wondering if you guys could give me some help. I’m moving to London in a few months to start law school and I’m looking for stores (both online and brick & mortar) in either the UK or the US that have stylish trousers and general work appropriate clothes for young professionals, particularly high waisted pants, wide legged pants, and peg leg pants in classic patterns. I have looked at Asos, Dorothy Perkins, Topshop, and Miss Selfridge but all of the above have very limited supplies. Would you mind giving some suggestions? Thanks so much, you guys are the best!”

8 keshia from dallas
Sure! It’s been a little while since I’ve worked a corporate gig, but I do have some thoughts! Read on:
1. Zara
zara tailored blazer and pants
From trendy, ripped from the runway pieces, to basics, Zara pretty much has all you need to stock your professional wardrobe. Prices are reasonable, and quality is decent.
zara printed dress
Right now they’re having a pretty sweet sale, so hop on over to check ‘em out. They have online retail, so feel free to shop from wherever you are.

2. Express

Express Editor Pant
Raise your hand if you’ve ever owned a pair of Express Editor Pants! The tailored trousers pretty much fit anyone, ring in at under $100, and come in a host of fun colors and fabrications.
express editor pant blue

Aside from loads of dress pants (shop here), Express has button downs, blazers, and pretty much all you need to look cute for your corporate job.
express portofino shirt
Shop here:

3. J.Crew
1035 j.crew jacket in wool
J.Crew has become more expensive over the years, though you can’t deny the quality and allure of their office perfect pieces.
j.crew 1035 jacket in wool

Splurge on their suits or patrol their sale for cardigans, tops, and dresses in bright colors and bold patterns. Bonus: peruse their shoe and bag section. It really is one stop shopping at J.Crew.
j. crew ruffle hem dress blue
Shop here:

4. Ann Taylor
ann taylor work pieces
Confession: the one time I worked in retail, I worked at Ann Taylor! And while I still have pretty awful memories from my short stint, I do remember that their work pieces were pretty proper.
ann taylor spring 2014 lookbook
It seems they’ve gotten exceedingly more stylish over the years with prim pencil skirts and sassy dresses.
ann taylor spring 2014 lookbook 0
See what they have on tap here:

5. Banana Republic

Banana Republic is an old faithful when it comes to work ready separates.
They frequently collaborate with high end designers to infuse their basics with extra style. Their sales are seemingly never ending, so you can always get the look for less.
See what they have in store here:

That does it! Where do you guys like to shop for your work clothes?
Adetokunbo from Brooklyn
Leave a list of your faves in the comments.

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39 Responses to “Wardrobe Query: 5 Places to Find Work Appropriate Clothes for Young Professionals”

  1. Esta Fiesta says:

    I shop at all of these places! Every now and then you can find a good deal at Bloomingdales also.

  2. Jen says:

    These are on point. I’d add, for the budget-conscious young professionelles:
    - TJ Maxx/ Marshall’s
    - New York & Company (quality varies widely, but they stock the staples year-round)
    - H&M (one of the few fast-fashion retailers that consistently stocks corporate-friendly skirts & dresses—that is, ones knee-length or better)

  3. caribbelle says:

    For professional attire, I definitely a JCrew girl. I’m a fan of their suits and the number of blazers I have from them is almost shameful…almost lol.

    I’ve gotten a few things from Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers also Asos. Asos has been great for fun pieces.

  4. itsjustme says:

    i’d also recommend mango. j. crew is always having a sale, so i’d recommend not buying full price, as their prices have been somewhat ridiculous as of late. and victoria’s secret also has nice work pieces.

  5. itsjustme says:

    btw, that red dress is so cute! get it, girl.

  6. DannielleS says:

    H&M….best and budget friendly! Zara kills it though. JCrew and Banana for when I feel like spending

  7. Daniella says:

    Yes! I’m also a fan of TJMaxx/Marshalls for sensible flats/low heels for work and cute appropriate summer dresses. Also H&M has GREAT sales on business casual pieces usually that are suitable for young professionals. Coincidentally, I just got a dress from Express last weekend during their end of season sale, just $20! These are perfect recommendations.

  8. SMV says:

    Express for pants- hands down, H&M for dresses, Ross & TJMaxx for etc, The limited.. idk so many choices!! and that red dress was on clearance at H&M for 15usd 4th of july weekend

  9. Anonymous says:

    Express is the absolute best place to shop for work attire. People may think Express is expensive, but there is a stragerty when it comes to shopping there. SALES AND COUPONS! I’ll have 250 worth of stuff and only spend 50 bucks.

  10. c says:

    I don’t know why this didn’t get my attention on the blogs…but I highly reccomend LORD AND TAYLORS’S new in house brand 424 FIFTH.

    It is very young, modern, and trendy, but still classiIc. You will be able to find pieces for work and play. I brought like at least 8 things from it. It comes in straight and plus sizes.

  11. c says:

    much* not my

  12. Ayana says:

    All great choices. Ann Taylor is my fav. I also go to Burlington and Marshalls for Calvin Klein suits and dresses.Mango is another great choice!

  13. fav1 says:

    People still wear suits to work? Sorry I’m young and fresh so if you do wear a suit or have to make sure its fresh and popping. I think young lady should own a DVF wrap dress. Express has really nice clothes. The limited is good too and they are featuring “Olivia Pope” style clothes in the fall…super excited.

  14. Khloe says:

    Disappointed in this post. Aren’t these all the obvious places?

  15. Cathy says:

    I would love to know where to get that red dress as well!

  16. Mari says:

    This tlis is perfect, just want to add The Limited on here. Im an educator, and they give a teacher’s discount. And so does Jcrew! I believe JCrew gives a student discount, so I u have an old student ID…..USE IT!

  17. Chasity says:

    The Limited is my go to store but I shop at the ones you named above too. Don’t forget about Target either. I can find cute work appropriate dresses but not in the junior section though.

  18. Sing says:

    I’m a The Limited and Ann Taylor girl. Banana Republic when they have a good sale.

  19. Nina395 says:

    Jcp ( Penny’s) always has quality slacks and pretty good tops. Most people sleep on this store but the truly is they are pretty on trend with a lot of styles. Now I know it might vary from store to store and region, but you can’t go wrong in this store. Did I mention they have killer sales and the prices are great.

  20. ElleEnEss says:

    Co-sign Ann Taylor, especially for their ‘curvy’ slacks. They fit perfectly every time – no waist gapping, ample space in the seat and thigh area. I spent a lot of time last fall trying on black slacks at many of these places and I got to Ann Taylor and couldn’t remember why I’d tried anywhere else.

  21. CheriV says:

    Thanks for answering guys! Definitely bookmarking this page. You guys are the absolute best!

  22. Frost says:

    Congrats CheriV!

    I just finished law school and am currently studying for the bar. It definitely depends on what type of law you want to enter into and the environment that will dictate what you should wear.

    To be on the safe side, starting out wear neutrals, not bright colors like in this post. Gray and black suits, with neutral shirts like beige, white, and black. As you progress in your law school career, you’ll be able to get a better feel for what is or is not appropriate. :)

    I bought a lot of my suits from Express and Macy’s (XOXO and their Great Value line have great options, especially Macy’s because they’ll have matching sets that consist of everything from a dress, jacket, skirt, and slacks)

    Good luck! :D

    @Fav1 — Yes, a lot of careers, not jobs, require suits. Aim your career goals high! ;) I’ve learned you do what you have to now so that you may do what you want later.

  23. raah says:

    If I lived in the UK, I would be a regular at Reiss. Some of the sale items are very reasonable

  24. Josie says says:

    Don’t forget the smaller boutiques. Wallis , Ladiesfashionsense.com have a great professional work wear collection at affordable prices in Regular and Plus Sizes.

  25. Keeks says:

    I love shopping at the LOFT for work clothes. As far as I know it is a little less pricey than Anne Taylor but they have some great separates and are always have 40%-60% off sales.

  26. Fash says:

    Express has great work trousers. They have good sales all the time also.

  27. Joslyn says:

    Great post. My first retail job was at Cato. If you have one in your area, they have a “dressy” section that offer business separates, but suits are rare. I cosign with NY&C. That store held me down in college.

  28. Tiffani says:

    I teach middle school, and I buy lots of pieces from The Limited.

  29. Jessy says:

    I second LOFT, Express, TJ Maxx and Banana Republic

  30. binks says:

    I think everybody has it covered on where to shop. But I will also add that when building a professional wardrobe don’t forget the basics…i.e. camisole tops, proper bras/undergarments, a staple bag, simple but chic shoes and jewelry, and a great haircut/hairstyle and application of makeup (you will be surprise how many women undermine the power of a great hairstyle/cut and makeup when it comes to their careers). You want to present the best version of you overall not just your clothes.

  31. binks says:

    Can you add a pinterest feature to your site? It would be much easier for the readers to save posts, inspirations, etc. that way instead of storing it on the computer’s favorites.

  32. laRose says:

    Law students live in sweats and jeans. I know because I spent a year in law school.

  33. Heeba says:

    If in the uk try wallis,Dorothy Perkins,marks and spencer

  34. Tanya says:

    The Limited, The loft by far the most stylish!

  35. In the UK, there are a lot of places on the high street for decent work wear: TK Maxx (the UK version of TJ Maxx), sometimes Primark has surprisingly decent clothes, Next, Marks and Spencer is a classic, Uniqlo, Zara, Phase 8 (pricey), John Lewis (pretty expensive department store), Debenhams (department store with constant sales), Monsoon and Gap.

  36. Amber says:

    The list is too expensive. I would also recommend H&M. I think that you don’t want to overly invest in pieces by those places unless what your getting can be transform into a casual look or evening look. I don’t spend a lot on clothing at work just because if I do, I’m not going to have much to wear over the weekend. The pieces that I buy however I can wear day to night and switch it up to make it casual.

  37. MAC says:

    H&M and Target both offer quality inexpenisve corporate pieces in cute styles (i.e. Pencil skirts, wrap dresses, blazers, and slacks). Their price point for those are uaually between $15 and $30. They also offer good prices on basics like collared shirts and camis.

  38. B says:

    LOFT, Venus.com and Victoriassecret.com are also places where you can find trendy, stylish and affordable clothes for work. Their clothes have great fit and good quality too. TJ Maxx as stated above is also great for dresses.

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