“What should I wear to work today?” Whether your office is a slick corporate building, airy loft space, or wherever the next client meeting takes you, chances are you ask — and struggle to answer — this question several times a week. To streamline the process (and set your alarm for a little later!) tune into our new Sunday night column, 9-to-5 Fashion, for five perfect HR-approved outfit formulas to see you through Friday.
1. MONDAY: Long Sleeve Sweater + Fluid Midi + Flat Sandals
Getting dressed for work is extra tough after a long weekend—you need to meet HR-standards, but miss your bikini and cut-offs. A thinly knit long sleeve (aka, just enough coverage for overzealously air conditioned offices), free-flowing midi (this draped Tibi design would be perfect), and flat sandals à la Alicia Vikander, however, offers the ease you crave in the most sophisticated way. Still too casual for your dress code? Just trade the top and shoes for a button-down blouse and low, blocky heels. This timeless pair goes with everything.
2. TUESDAY: Feminine Blouse + Printed Skirt + Ankle Strap Pumps
Welcome to that sweet spot in the week when you’re still pretty fresh from two days of sleeping in, but over the Monday blues. Celebrate accordingly by taking a cue from Melissa McCarthy with a cheerfully patterned midi, like this one from Cedric Charlier (which, bonus, is marked half off), soft, blouse-y button-down, and the prettiest ankle strap pumps in your closet (or order this Alexandre Birman pair).
3. WEDNESDAY: Jean Dress + Structured Sandals + Roomy Satchel
Denim gets a mid-week-worthy upgrade when cut to a crisp button-front shift like Jennifer Garner's here (Current/Elliot makes a similar one). Ensure the utilitarian fabric doesn’t start to feel casual, by re-enforcing the streamlined silhouette with like-minded add-ons—a boxy bag, such as this meli melo option, and simple sandal heels, are both winning bets—and repeat after us: Two. More. Days. You're almost there!
4. THURSDAY: Silk Trousers + Black Blazer + Heels
Do not be defeated by the 48 hours that stand between you and late morning pancakes! You might not be able to wear actual sweatpants quite yet, but Mila’s polished drawstring trousers—so easy to dress up with a blazer and heels!—are equally comfortable. We recommend both these styles from Lanvin and DKNY.
5. FRIDAY: Oversized Top + Kick Flares + Sandal Heels
Whether you get casual Fridays or not, a relaxed blouse with a striking ruffled detail (we’re all for this one by Marni) is a foolproof place to began your outfit. For an of-the-moment finish, add pants with slightly belled hem—if your office doesn’t allow denim, do black cotton or wool instead—and accessories you can take straight to that celebratory martini at five.