ICYMI: Return-to-office season has arrived for many. And we’re here to help you through it. Because we know finding conference room–appropriate outfits might be tough after spending the last year and a half working from home in sweatpants. So we rounded up the fall wardrobe essentials that’ll make returning IRL to your 9 to 5 easy. We’re talking stuff that’ll keep those cozy vibes strong and your wallet happy. And spoiler: You don’t have to give up leggings just because you’re no longer taking AM meetings from your couch. Promise.
This open-front, long cardigan comes in 40+ colors and is the ideal work piece to leave on your office chair, wear M–F, and throw on over any simple T-shirt or tank top. It’s made of stretchy breathable fabric and can be easily dressed up or down. Plus it’s got two pockets and is available in sizes XS–3XL. Yeah, it’s a need, not a want. ($27.99+, Amazon)
Mock neck for the win. It comes in a variety of colors, is machine washable, and is made of 97% organic cotton. The textured ribbing has a touch of stretch so it’ll be breathable and will also hug your body nicely. All you need now is a chunky cardigan. ($30, Everlane)
Tell me you wish you had a blanket in your office without telling me you wish you had a blanket in your office. The heavyweight fabric and long silhouette are a must for anyone who runs cold. Plus the functional side pockets are great for when you want to take an afternoon walk around the block or head out for a quick coffee but don’t want to lug around your work tote. Just throw in your credit card and your phone and you’re off to the races. Oh, and it comes in a variety of fall colors and runs from XS to 4X. ($34.99, Target)
Say it with us: Shackets for the win. These transitional pieces are a must for your return to office. The plaid pattern is a classic fall staple, and the stretchy fabric means you won’t be pulling at the seams all day for more room. Use the belt for a cinched look or leave it open for a more casual vibe. Instagram isn’t even ready for your pics. ($34.99, Target)
You can wear this with just about everything. Add on a poncho, coat, blazer or cardigan and you’re good to go. The 100% cotton and allover ribbing pack the comfort. And the square neck and crisscrossed back add some elegance. Win-win. ($24.99, Banana Republic Factory)
This midweight fabric is ‘WFH but make it IRL appropriate’ at its best. The sporty look goes with just about anything — leggings, dresses, jeans, skirts. And it comes in brown, grey, pink or teal. We see so many options in your future. ($27.99, Target)
This retro-esque option from Everlane has a ‘70s-inspired collar and comes in black, white, dark plum, and toasted almond. The material is breathable too, so you don’t have to worry about sweating through it if your office decides to blast the heat come late fall. Get it, get it. ($50, Everlane)
The raised seam down the front adds an elevated touch, and the collar gives those comfy vibes we could all use. It’s made from lofty recycled-polyester yarn with a touch of wool and pretty much screams cozy. ($35.40, Nordstrom)
These have an elastic closure and are lined with some thin fleece so they won’t be see-through. The wide waistband helps contour your curves, and you can dress them with heels or flats to make them a little more special for work. Dressed up, minus all the effort? Count us in. ($24.18+, Amazon)
Bring the couch to your office with these wide-leg ankle pants made from sweater materials. This mid-rise, pull-on style mirrors the feeling of good old-fashioned sweatpants. They’re available in sizes XS–4X and can be styled a number of different ways. Try a tee and sneakers for a casual Friday, or wear ’em with flats and a matching sweater for an important meeting. See ya at the office. ($29.99, Target)
These cotton twill ones make the reentry into pants with zippers more manageable. The flattering fit comes from the diagonal on-seam front pockets and stretchy fabric. The wash (it comes in a number of fall-friendly options) should keep its color no matter how many times you put them through your machine. Plus they have a tag-free label in the back to prevent any itchiness. ($22.97+, Old Navy)
This elastic-waist, straight-silhouette skirt to the rescue. It comes in 15 colors and is an easy way to jazz up your style without skimping on the comfort. The Devil Wears Free People, that’s the saying, right? ($50, Free People)
The one-and-done look is a simple way to reintroduce yourself to getting dressed as a concept. It comes with a tie belt to add definition to your waist and comes in regular, tall, and petite sizes. Oh, and did we mention it has utility pockets? Because it does. Brb, pulling this on and never taking it off. ($49.99, Old Navy)
Just add tights, a cardigan, and some boots to turn this lightweight option into something more substantial for autumn. It’s machine washable and has that flowy fit that’ll make leaving your house just a little bit easier on ya. Plus it comes in a ton of different colors (and some striped patterns). ($19.90, Amazon)
This lightweight, breathable sweatshirt dress is a simple silhouette that can go with anything. Aka the design is basically a perfect blank canvas. Just throw on a scarf, jean jacket, printed tights, knee-high boots, or some jewelry. Cheers. ($19.99+, Amazon)
Keep this cleaned and in your closet at all times. In addition to its many colorways, it’s the long-lantern sleeves, ribbed cuffs, and chunky fabric for us. Wear it with bare legs, tights, jeans...whatever you fancy. Slip it over your head and you’ll be out the door in minutes. No buttons, zips, or anything to squeeze into here. ($32.99, Amazon)
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Skimm'd by Lindsay Schneider, Emmy Favilla
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