Business clothing has always been associated with restriction, uptightness and even discomfort. We expect to see business women wearing tight pencil skirts, starchy shirts and boxy blazers. Or, we see them in boring pant suits made from scratchy nylon or that terrible, shiny polyester which becomes hot and clammy throughout the day.
Well, luckily times have changed and business attire is more fluid, varied and welcoming of comfort and style. Here’s our list of the most comfortable clothes for the businesswoman who seeks style, versatility, and overall…comfort to get them through the workday.
Pure cotton is the best fabric to choose as it is soft and breathable, even during hot seasons. We love these wide-legged pants made from 100% organic cotton. You may think it’s odd to choose palazzo pants for work, but it’s all about how you style them.
Wear these pants with a structured blouse or knit tee, a blazer and a pair of heels and you’re totally business-chic. You may not choose these for a super high-profile meeting, but for every day at the office and more casual client meetings, they’re perfect.
Dresses are ideal for work days, especially during colder months as you can layer them with tights, boots and heavier blazers or jackets. Go for soft fabrics with a lot of stretch and movement, so they move with you as opposed to dictating your movements or making you feel restricted.
We love this long sleeved midi dress with ruching and v-neck. You may think it’s a little too fitted for work, but I don’t think there should be restrictions on that, as it suggests that a woman’s body shape should be concealed or hidden at work, which it shouldn’t.
Sure, probably best not to reveal too much skin (that goes for both genders), but there’s nothing wrong with a form-fitted garment in a professional setting. This maxi dress is 95% cotton and comes in a variety of amazing colors.
Breathable silk blouses
There’s no denying the everlasting ease and appeal of a well-fitted blouse, especially in a breathable fabric which moves with the body. Pure cotton or linen is great, but 100% silk has extra lustre, femininity and comfort.
We adore this 100% silk blouse and all of the delicious shades it comes in. The fit is flattering yet rather roomy, with cuffed sleeves and a versatile button-down style. The back is slightly longer to fit neatly and completely into trousers and skirts, but you can wear it untucked too (i.e. with jeans for casual Fridays?).
Silk is extremely soft and breathable to wear, and it resists wrinkling (bonus!). The shiny, lustrous finish adds extra texture and glamor to your work outfit (yes, glamor absolutely has a place in the office!). It’s the kind of blouse which you’d be smart to have in your wardrobe in a few colors, including a classic white.
Lined wool blazers
A well-fitted blazer made of high-quality wool and fully lined will last you for decades, and comfortably so. We think it’s best to get a size slightly larger than what you would usually choose, to make room for blouses, shirts and dresses beneath. Plus, a roomier, more casual-fit blazer can look fabulously modern and will be a joy to wear.
(Ever worn a blazer which is very slightly too small? It’s so restrictive when trying to go about your daily work life, especially if it’s too tight around the shoulders and upper back).
We really love this wool blazer with full lining, especially in ‘Glen Plaid’. You’ll see that it looks slightly roomy on the model, allowing for rolled sleeves and a turtleneck fitting easily underneath. A blazer like this will take you through Winter, Fall and Spring (depending on the climate, of course) and will go with absolutely any work outfit.
When it comes to tops, you don’t always have to opt for the blouse or shirt. You can go for t-shirt styles in fabrics such a cashmere which immediately take away any overly-casual indication the style may have.
For example, we love these 100% cashmere short-sleeved sweaters. The luxury of the fabric is ideal for a professional environment, but the softness, breathability and flexibility of the fabric is ideal for your comfort when at work.
Wear under a wool blazer, tucked into wide-legged trousers or a fitted skirt, or wear jacketless in warmer months. Layerable, durable, comfortable and versatile between seasons. You could have a long-sleeved option as well as short-sleeved to cater to changing seasons.
Work clothes for the business woman must be comfortable. No one deserves to struggle through the day wearing hot, ill-fitting, restrictive, itchy clothing. Don’t be afraid of loose or form-fitting styles, as long as the fabrics are daytime/professional appropriate and they’re styled for the occasion. Go for cotton, soft wool and silk for maximum comfort. Think about layers, seasonal versatility and fabric quality when overhauling your business attire collection.