4 Must-Have Staples For A Great Business Wardrobe

As an award-winning news anchor and CEO, I need my looks to work as hard as I do.
Tamsen Fadal

One of the very best things about experience is that it helps you figure out who you are and what works for you. What’s more, you accept it!

For me, that means I’ve finally figured out my work wardrobe—one that combines style with comfort and versatility—and, in order to do that, I’ve devised a razor-sharp shopping focus.

As a journalist, news anchor, speaker, and CEO of a multi-platform media production company, I’m always on the go. That means my business wardrobe needs to work as hard as I do. I’ve learned that tailored styles in quality fabrics (in neutral, wear-with-all colors) make the most sense. My advice? Focus on the classic pieces that will stand the test of time, season after season.

The goal is to fill your closet with pieces that can be mixed and matched, no matter the occasion (everything you own should be wearable in at least five different ways!).

The really good news? Business classics can be found at every price point, so buy what works for your budget. Here are my go-to’s.

Business Wardrobe Essential #1: Sleek Black Pants

No matter the season or the reason, black pants always work for me. These, from Proenza Schouler, have been my faves for years and counting, which justifies the higher price tag.

Proenza Schouler High-Rise Flared Pants

Under $200

Spanx The Perfect Pant, Hi-Rise Flare

Under $100

Gap High Rise BiStretch Flare Pants

Under $50

Old Navy High-Waisted Pixie Flare Pants

Business Wardrobe Essential #2: The Perfect LBD

The little black dress is a must-have for any woman’s closet, but especially for business clothes. I can honestly say I’ve gotten more compliments about this $30 dress from Amazon than anything else in my closet—it not only looks like an expensive designer dress, it wears like one, too.

MUXXN Retro 1950s Sleeveless Slim Business Dress

Under $300

M.M. La Fleur The Etsuko Dress

Under $200

Spanx The Perfect Sheath Dress

Under $100

Calvin Klein Sleeveless Seam Front Scuba Crepe Crew Neck Sheath Dress

Business Wardrobe Essential #3: A Crisp, White Shirt

A structured button-down is the perfect layering piece and instantly adds polish to any business outfit. Because of how often I wear a white shirt, I invest in these. When I’m trying them on in a dressing room, I make sure to really move in them. I don’t want anything pulling, and absolutely no gaping. My favorite brands are Veronica Beard and Theory, but there are many other options at many other price points.

I love the waist-defining cut of this Veronica Beard top.

Veronica Beard Rosamund Shirt

Under $300

Theory Tenia Luxe Cotton Shirt

Under $200

Ministry of Supply Aero Zero Oversized Shirt

Under $100

Chico’s No Iron Stretch Shirt

Under $50

Calvin Klein Gathered Button Down Shirt

Business Wardrobe Essential #4: Layering Tank Tops

I use tank tops for extra warmth when needed, and I also like the way they add interest to an outfit. I’m not a cleavage girl, so instead of lacy camisoles, I wear tanks under my business attire.

Under $200

Naked Cashmere Carolina Crewneck Cashmere Tank
J.Crew Cashmere Sweater-tank

Under $100

Eileen Fisher Pima Cotton Blend Tank

Under $50

Chico’s Zenergy Cotton-Cashmere Tank
Tamsen Fadal

Tamsen Fadal is an award-winning journalist, speaker, author, and menopause advocate. She is the CEO of Take Flight Productions, a multi-platform media production company dedicated to telling empowering stories that inform and inspire. She is seen nightly in New York City anchoring the evening news. Tamsen’s passion lies in championing women’s stories of courage, forging new paths, and being bold in midlife and beyond.

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