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How to Build a Work Wardrobe: 4 Tops, 10 Outfits

How to Build a Work Wardrobe: 4 Tops, 10 Outfits

Last week I talked about the basic pieces that make up a fall and winter wardrobe—a capsule wardrobe, if you will—and then showed all the different outfit combinations that could be derived from just those pieces. Now I’m bringing you just four cute blouses and sweaters you could incorporate into that same wardrobe and to come up with 10 more different outfit combinations—yes, 10 more outfits!

Here is the link to the last post for the 17 staple pieces that begin a work wardrobe. In that post I suggested where you could purchase the pieces, but you should always shop your own closet first—you may have some of these pieces already!

How to Build a Wardrobe: 4 Tops, 10 Outfits

Now, here are the four tops that will expand your work wardrobe by 10 more outfits.

How to Build a Work Wardrobe: 4 Tops, 10 Outfits

Loft Floral Pintucked Yoke Blouse

These crepe material blouses from Loft are my absolute favorite. I own several in a few different print and color combinations, and they always look beautiful on their own or paired with a blazer. They look pretty untucked, tucked, or with a partial tuck—super flattering.

How to Build a Work Wardrobe: 4 tops 10 outfits

Ann Taylor Leopard Print Camp Shirt

Having one leopard print top is a fun way to spice up any outfit. This one has a nice classic cut with a pretty (not gaudy) leopard pattern.

How to Build a Work Wardrobe: 4 Tops 10 Outfits

Loft Mixed Media Sweater

The flirty hemline of this sweater makes it a special piece while still being work appropriate. It comes in ivory and blush pink—either color would go with so many outfits!

How to Build a Work Wardrobe: 4 Tops, 10 Outfits

Loft Boatneck Tunic Sweater

Sometimes you just want to wear a comfortable sweater to work, and this one looks so cozy. I love the blush pink—soft pinks can act as a neutral in your wardrobe.


Capsule wardrobe: how to build a work wardrobe. 4 tops, 10 outfits.

The leopard blouse pairs beautifully with the plum sheath dress. This look could be paired with either the black heels or the saddle tan riding boots.

Capsule wardrobe: how to build a work wardrobe. 4 tops, 10 outfits.

This is one of my favorite outfit combinations to wear to work: a leopard blouse with red shoes—such a fun and sassy look. If that’s too bold for you, a pair of black heels or flats would also look nice.

Capsule wardrobe: how to build a work wardrobe. 4 tops, 10 outfits.

Camel, leopard, and maroon—these rich colors come together beautifully for a put-together look. This is the kind of outfit that will impress others with your styling ability.

How to Build a Wardrobe: 4 Tops, 10 Outfits

I also love pairing blush and maroon together. For even more complexity, add in a pair of leopard loafers. So stylish!

How to Build a Wardrobe: 4 Tops, 10 Outfits

A really soft pink will always look pretty with a pop of red. This would be darling to wear around Valentine’s Day.

Capsule wardrobe: how to build a work wardrobe. 4 tops, 10 outfits.

This mixed media sweater would add some interest to a structured blazer.

Capsule wardrobe: how to build a work wardrobe. 4 tops, 10 outfits.

A similar look, but with maroon pants, a grey blazer, and grey booties.

Capsule wardrobe: how to build a work wardrobe. 4 tops, 10 outfits.

Again, don’t be afraid to wear a printed blouse under your sheath dress. The light pinks in this top will soften the look of the plum sheath dress. Very feminine.

Capsule wardrobe: how to build a work wardrobe. 4 tops, 10 outfits.

One again, soft pink and maroon for the win.

Capsule wardrobe: how to build a work wardrobe. 4 tops, 10 outfits.

Finally, this is how I would style the crepe Loft blouse without a blazer. I would either wear the top fully tucked or partially tucked to get a defined waistline.


Honestly, it just takes a few well thought out articles of clothing to make a wardrobe with endless outfit options. When I think about buying something new, I mentally categorize it one of two ways: staple piece or fun piece. If it’s a staple piece and I either don’t have it or the one I currently have is ill-fitting or worn out, it’s a no-brainer purchase. If it’s a fun piece, then I need to be able to visualize at least two or three ways I can wear it before I will allow myself to buy it. Unless I need the fun piece for a special occasion, if I can’t visualize at least a few ways in which it will work in my wardrobe, I don’t buy it. It will just sit in my closet for years, only be worn one or twice, and be a complete waste of money.

Here is a visual I created that may help you through the process:

How to shop for a better wardrobe: staple pieces vs fun pieces

Between this post and last week’s post, you now have 25 different work outfit combinations for fall and winter. That’s enough to not have to repeat the same look more than three or four times! I hope this was helpful and gave you some ideas for how you can tailor and expand your own wardrobe. Next week I’m coming back with another “How to Build a Wardrobe” post, offering a few outfit ideas to take these pieces into the weekend!

Oh, and before I go, I want to wish you and your family a beautiful holiday season. I hope it’s filled with love, laughter, and lots of good food! Happy Holidays, my friends!

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2018 in Review

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