Let’s face it, if you work in an office or any other corporate setting, choosing an outfit for work can be straight-up boring and super basic. Depending on your profession, dressing up for work is often not something very many of us looking forward to doing. Every job follows a different standard of dress code, so depending on where you work, you may be allowed more flexibility in your wardrobe than others. However, if your job requires you to wear formal wear then you know what a drag it is to wear the same boring suit every day. Don’t get us wrong- we love suits! But you don’t have to limit yourself to only wearing suits to look formal at work.

See below for some examples of how to dress professionally for work and NOT look basic. While this blog post is mainly directed towards individuals who are working in a corporate profession, the outfits suggested below can be applied to any professional setting or event that requires formal wear. 


  1. Patterned & Coloured Suits

As we said, we love suits! A nice suit or blazer is a business staple and is a classic piece that everyone needs in their closet. However, there is no need to stick to your typical black or navy matching pant/ skirt suit. To add a little bit of spice to your basic suit, we suggest opting for a coloured or patterned blazer. From tartan to stripes and checkers, the possibilities are endless and the mix of patterns and colours are great options for not looking so basic at work. Plaid blazers especially have been extremely popular for the last couple of seasons and are a piece that you can definitely incorporate into your office wardrobe. We recommend selecting a darker tartan print or a plaid suit that is neutral-toned for the office. If pattern doesn’t do it for you, you could also try wearing a suit with a bold colour, like fuschia or emerald green, to add more creativity to your outfit.


  1. Restyle and Layer

A fun way to not be basic and switch up your work attire is to layer different pieces to create new looks. Instead of wearing the same outfit over and over again, layering is a great way to add some creativity and experiment with your wardrobe so that you don’t look basic. Layering is also a great option for those on a budget who don’t want to splurge on new pieces but still want a fresh take on their closet. We recommend layering a turtleneck under a sweater or layering a dress shirt under a sweater for a less basic and a more polished look. As well, instead of wearing the same basic dress, you could also try layering a dress over a long-sleeved shirt to restyle your outfit and add a creative twist.


  1. Slip Dresses

Slip dresses are often overlooked and are definitely not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of formal wear, but if styled properly, they can actually make great outfits that are stylish and professional for the workplace. Slip dresses are super versatile and are the perfect touch to take a formal outfit from basic to chic and fashionable. We recommend layering an oversized sweater or turtleneck over a slip dress, paired with high booths and tights for a complete look that is formal and not basic for work.


  1. Monochromatic

Dressing head to toe in a single colour may seem boring and dull, but a monochromatic outfit is a perfect solution to looking effortless and chic, and not basic at work. For an office setting, we suggest dressing in monochromatic hues of black, brown, grey or white to keep it simple. However, if your workplace has a more relaxed dress code, we suggest wearing a monochromatic outfit with a bold colour palette like mustard yellow or red as a statement piece. A great part about wearing a monochromatic outfit is that you don’t necessarily have to have each piece matching in the exact same shade. Wearing different shades of colour sometimes actually adds more dimensions to your outfit, so you definitely have the flexibility to play around with different shades and do whatever works for you.


  1. Accessories

A great way to elevate your outfit at work from basic to stylish is by adding accessories. Adding accessories is especially a great tip for those who have a very strict dress code at work and do not have the flexibility to switch up their outfits. Whether it be incorporating earrings, necklaces, rings, belts, scarves or any other piece, wearing an accessory is the perfect way to take your outfit from basic and repetitive to fashionable.


Dressing formally for work doesn’t have to be a boring or daunting task. It’s always fun to add some creativity and individuality to your outfits and we hope this list provided some inspiration on how to elevate your work attire from basic to chic.