5 Items Every Working Woman Should Own


[Photo credit: Shot by Kelley]

So I got to thinking about my humble beginnings as a young woman venturing into the corporate world after college. I held jobs prior to that time period. Most in retail and food service. So dressing up in a suit or business casual attire was a little unfamiliar to me. My senior year of undergrad I held an office job at the campus bookstore. This required me to dress up a notch above my prior retail gigs. Though it was a more college student version of business casual. Translation: just don’t show up in jeans and flip flops.

When I interviewed for my first full time job out of school I wore a pink button down blouse with a black pencil skirt. They were staples from the professional attire line up I had for sorority business events. (Mind you this “line up” was about 2-3 go-to outfits.) Reality is, when you’re a full time student, there’s little need for “grown up” work attire.

I remember my mom taking me to the mall to shop for work ensembles right before starting my first job in the corporate world. I’m not sure if she wanted to invest in a young women’s future or just didn’t want me embarrassing her. Either way, bless her little heart and her wallet too. 🙂

In addition to work attire, there are a couple other items I think every working woman should (ideally) have on hand. This is by no means a comprehensive list. Though, from experience, I’d like to think it’s a good start.

1) A black suit

Professional Dress_Suit

[Photo credit: Shot by Kelley]

You just can’t go wrong with a black suit. Besides being able to utilize it for multiple interviews (which is why I’d advise investing in a good quality suit), the separates (blazer and pants or skirt) provide more options when paired with other items in your closet.

{Outfit details: Suit (Calvin Klien- Macy’s); Blouse (New York and Company); Heels (Nine West); Bag (Aldo) }

2) Black pumps


[Photo credit: Shot by Kelley]

Besides the fact that they can be paired with just about anything, they also are just…well…classic! A decent pair will last you for years and career ventures to come.

{Outfit details: Heels (Forever 21) }

3) Transitional bag


[Photo credit: K. Williams]

Think multifunctional meets stylish. A piece that is feminine yet serves the many purposes of the working woman. Something on the larger end is more ideal to fit various items: technological devices (laptop or tablet), sneakers (lunch walk), change of clothes (post work happy hour) and any other necessities. This could be a bag you carry in addition to your purse or as the primary bag with a small clutch inside to carry your essentials (wallet, makeup, etc.).

{Outfit details: Bag (H&M); Suit and Top (New York and Company); Heels (Forever 21) }

4) Flat iron or hair essentials


[Image as found on Pinterest]

Probably the most vital aspect of a woman’s professional image, second to her attire, is her hair. I highlight the flat iron because it can serve as beneficial no matter if you wear your hair straight, curly or natural. It can give you a quick touch up to a straight style or switch up natural or curly styles.

Don’t do straight styles? Here is where you would insert the products most essential to your go-to hairstyle. Perhaps perm rods for natural curls, a diffuser for all over curly tendrils or a curling wand for beachy waves.

5) Padfolio


[Photo by target.com; Exterior]


[Photo by target.com; Interior]

{See cover photo for the one I own.}

I didn’t realize how essential this was until I got to grad school. I remember being new to a job and two former co-workers each had one to take notes in a meeting. They looked so official. There is nothing wrong with a good old fashioned notepad but I feel like the Padfolio just ups the ante. Especially for interviews. It has a neat and professional look that polishes off a nice suit. In addition to the notepad insert, there’s also a pocket (in most models) that can keep paperwork like copies of your resume.


What are your go-to working woman essentials? Feel free to comment below.


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