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Dressing for Success: Office Inspiration for Everyone

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

Dressing for an office setting can be difficult. I recently found that finding affordable, well-fitting, and quality professional attire was not an easy task. Finding something that fits properly was actually really hard, especially for someone on the short and petite side.

Another problem in women’s office wear is that many retailers cater to the average woman’s body size, with no options for petite, curvy, tall or any other variety of shapes and sizes that don’t fit the norm. However, don’t let shopping for work clothes bring you down! Here is a list of clothing stores organized by size inclusivity, affordability, and range of options.

Image source: Unsplash, Hust Wilson

1. Inclusive sizing & a wide array of options: Ann Taylor Loft

This clothing store tries to cover all body shapes and sizes: they have a plus section, a tall section, and a petite section! They have a great sale section and a wide variety of simple and colorful work clothes.

2. Affordable: H&M

H&M has a wide variety of professional wear at really affordable prices. They have an especially great selection of button-down shirts, which is perfect for more casual or more professional settings. Another great thing is that their sizes are numerical, so they offer a wider range of fit options!

However, they do tend to run on the small side. But, if you’re looking for something affordable that will satisfy all of your professional wardrobe needs, H&M is the place. Another tip is to order online: they have a wider selection of their professional clothes online and it’s often much easier scrolling through the website than shopping in the actual store.

3. Fun and quirky: Zara

Zara also has a surprisingly good selection of office-wear attire, if you look carefully. Their website is a little hard to go through, but they do have great options if you take the time to look. They also have a fairly large selection of professional shoes: lots of manageable heels and cute flats.

However, they also run on the small side, in my opinion. The best thing about Zara is that it’s very affordable for professional clothes and they’re unique!

4. The win-win: Old Navy and Gap

You simply cannot go wrong with these two. Old Navy has some of the best quality affordable professional clothes out there with a good variety of things to choose from. Gap is a bit more expensive with slightly nicer quality items. I highly recommend the work pants from both: they usually come in tall, petite, and now curvy sizes and they have a huge variety of colors, prints, and fits that are guaranteed to please everyone. An additional plus is that all of their stuff is really comfortable and lasts a long time. Look out for sales and you can find amazing deals on many items!

5. Shoes galore: Nine West

Surprisingly, cute professional shoes can be hard to come by. While Nine West tends to be on the pricier side of things, their shoes are quality and will last forever. They have the widest selection of kitten heels (small pumps for the office) that I’ve come across. Their styles are up to date and to die for cute. If you’re willing to spend a little extra on cuteness and quality, they won’t let you down!

6. Jewelry: Francesca’s

Accessories are a fun, easy way to spice up whatever you’re wearing to the office! Francesca’s has an enormous variety of jewelry. They have long necklaces, statement necklaces, and great earrings and bracelets. They usually do lots of deals on their jewelry so it might be a good idea to pick up a few things to get the best bang for your buck.

Have fun shopping!

Cover image source: Unsplash, Stil

Ever since her friends encouraged her to join Her Campus at UCD, Olivia has developed a passion for writing and social media. She loves drinking coffee and tea, walking her dogs, and religiously watches the Great British Baking Show. Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris are her two biggest role models and they inspired her to follow her passion for politics and work in public policy. While she may not ever make it as a contestant on the Great British Baking Show, she loves all things baking and hopes to visit the UK someday.
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