IGTV: Business Professional Essentials from Ann Taylor [I’m 5’4” for reference]
After receiving requests for more work outfits, I decided to focus on business professional essentials for this IGTV. If your dress code at work is business professional, it’s important to have good workwear basics so it’s not only easy to style outfits, but to also look professional no matter how you mix and match your pieces! I also plan to put together business professional & casual capsule wardrobes posts soon (it’s on my to-do list!).
This was my first time shopping for workwear at Ann Taylor and I am shocked I never tried their pieces when I worked in corporate!
After college I worked in Finance for a few years, and the company I worked for had a VERY strict business professional dress code policy. Like no bright colors or patterns strict. I mostly wore suits and heels every day to work so I’m very familiar with business professional outfits!
From my experience, the best investment suits are ones from Theory. These are beautiful, quality suits, and their fit is PERFECT (which is amazing given how hard it is to find correct-fitting workwear for my petite size). After a couple of years working a friend introduced me to Theory and I decided to invest in three suits (black, navy and grey) and two silk blouses. They have received so much wear and will forever remain in my closet as classics.
That said, when I received my order from Ann Taylor, I was extremely pleased with the pieces! The quality, detailing and fit of these pieces are excellent–especially given the price! An entire suit at Theory will cost around $800 (made from eco-conscious wool) while a suit at Ann Taylor is under $300 (made from a polyester-blend).
Tops/blazers: I tried both XS Regular and 0 Petite in the tops and blazers and they fit almost identical. There are only slight differences in these sizes (like the sleeve length) and since I typically don’t need petite in my tops (I have longer arms and a 32D bust), the 0/XS Regular is probably my best fit but I’m always going to try 00/XXSR next time. UPDATE: There is only a very small difference between the sizes, but since I have longer arms I decided 00R or XSR is the best fit for me. Be sure to check their sizing chart for you exact measurements to decide which one is best for you!
Bottoms: I bought 0 Petite in the bottoms but they were definitely a size too big and a 00 Petite would have fit better so I’ll include my correct 00P sizing in my outfit details below. I typically wear XS in bottoms so I should have ordered the 00P, but I was worried the petite was going to run very small (but it doesn’t).
Dresses: I also typically wear xs/small in dresses and the 0P dresses which fit tts for me.
There are lots of great pieces, but my absolute favorite item from my order is their Mila Leather Pumps. If only I had these in my life when I worked in corporate before!! These are the perfect leather pump. The height is perfect, they are so soft and comfortable and the nude color is the perfect nude shade! I realize there are a lot of ‘perfects’ in that sentence, but they are hands down the best all-around pair of heels I’ve tried on (in terms of comfort, color, quality and price).
*My investment pair of heels I bought for work were these Jimmy Choos, but they are a little high at 4” for wearing all day so I would recommend the 3.5” heel or lower if you are looking for an investment heel for work. These can be taken to a cobbler to have worn out parts replaced so they are a forever classic wardrobe staple.
A quality black suit is an essential for work. This skirt and blazer are very similar to the wool suit set I own from Theory and has a nice lightweight feel. Opt for a fitted black top to wear with a black skirt to create the illusion of an LBD. I love this sleeveless mock neck sweater as it is extremely versatile and comes in the perfect shades: black, navy and white.
ANN TAYLOR SEASONLESS MOCK NECK SWEATER 0 Regular, BI-STRETCH SEAMED PENCIL SKIRT 00P, LONG ONE-BUTTON BLAZER IN BI-STRETCH, MILA LEATHER PUMPS |TORY BURCH ROBINSON TOTE [on sale!] | EYEBUYDIRECT NOTTING HILL GLASSES size small [on sale!]
I changed into a classic white button up and switched to black heels. I love how this button up has a silky feel/look which gives it a more feminine look compared to other button ups. It’s unsurprisingly called the ‘Perfect Shirt’!
This blouse is so fun and can be worn so many ways! Tie it in a bow or let it hang loose, wear with a skirt [seen below] or pants or wear under a dress!
Since I’m only 5’4” I found it best to stick to ankle pants. I never have to worry about getting them hemmed, and they can be worn with heels or flats! These are beautiful pants and I like to opt for navy instead of black for the warmer seasons.