There was a time when the best work clothes stores all sold slight variations of the exact same pieces: a suit seta pencil skirt, a sensible pump, a laptop bag. That was before a series of small workplace revolutions, when office dress codes at some companies became more relaxed and personal style became another form of professional calling card. The rise of hybrid work and working from home full-time has also meant more comfortable and lounge-adjacent clothes can count as 9-to-5 attire. In this brave new world, work clothes stores don’t have to sell the traditional version of professional apparel to be suited for work. I see the flexible definition of “office appropriate” in action on my subway commute every Monday, surrounded by women in various versions of professional dress: three-piece suits, knits slung over pleated skirts, jeans with a blazer and sneakers.
In these little observations and in my own work life, I’ve made a side hustle out of gathering work outfit ideas. I’ve clocked into formal corporate offices for a luxury retailer, the jeans-and-hoodie world of online startups, and the individualistic yet put-together halls of fashion magazines, taking note of what my colleagues are wearing and how to put my own spin on their suggestions along the way. Plus, I’ve logged more hours than I can count Zooming from home into video conferences and panels. So ahead, I’ve laid out the nine best work clothes stores to round out your professional wardrobe. After you find a career uniform you love, you can pile on accessories or put together another outfit with our guide to the best online stores.
Best for classic suiting
Price range: $$$
Another Tomorrow first caught my attention with its so-good-it-looks-custom tailoring: the precise angles on the blazers’ shoulders, the crisp pleats on the pants, the draping on the semi-sheer blouses. Then I dug a little deeper, learning that Another Tomorrow is doubly committed to eco-conscious production. On its site, you can read about exactly which materials it uses and why—along with the materials you’ll never find in its suits. The more time I’ve spent with this brand, the more I’ve stared to see it as the epitome of modern power dressing.
Best for luxury workwear
Price range: $$$$
“It isn’t necessary to buy a new coat every season because the design and the fabrication hold up,” fashion news director Rachel Tashjian wrote in her 2022 profile of Max Mara“[because] the coat will live in your closet for decades.” The same merging of quality and timelessness is evident across Max Mara’s entire line. Wool suits in Glen plaid? Streamlined sheath dresses? Those iconic camel coats? They’re all designed to endure whatever comes on your career journey.
Best for hero items
Price range: $$–$$$$
When I’m filling a hole in my closet that’s shaped like one very specific item—say, a pleated trouser with Katharine Hepburn gravitas or a knitted dress I saw at fashion week and daydreamed about for months after—I usually turn to Net-a-Porter. It has the strongest mix of tried-and-true workwear brands and designer pieces that can behave like an office dress or a business suit if you just believe. Filtering by designer, color, and style usually leads me to those highly particular items my coworkers come to know as my favorites. The assortment is broad enough that you’re not confined to a specific office aesthetic when you shop.
Best for a high-low moment
Price range: $–$$
Here’s an open secret direct from the BAZAAR offices: Some of my most stylish coworkers get their work clothes from COS. I’ve followed their lead and tested trousers, sweaters, blazers, and a coat from the site. Everything skews minimal, understated, and tailored—ideal to mix and match with splurges from a year-end bonus.
Best for functional workwear
Price range: $$–$$$
This is what I love about Argent’s lineup of jewel-tone suits, silk blouses, and a recent dip into office-friendly denim with Agolde: It’s smart. Not smart in a boring, beige cubicle way, but smart in the sense that the designers tackled several gripes women have with workwear while keeping things cute. Blazers come with sneaky interior pockets for stashing a phone or a notepad for meetings; suiting pants are made with performance fabrics that keep you cool when you’re under pressure during a big presentation. These are suits that do the hard work, so everyone can do their best work.
Best for working from home
Price range: $$$
I haven’t completely abandoned the 2020 mindset of prioritizing comfort above all other virtues when getting dressed. At the same time, putting on a “real outfit” makes me feel energized and alert when I’m working from my home office. I found clothes that check both boxes when I tested Vince for the first time. The brand’s California DNA infuses every piece with a relaxed vibe, whether it’s a slightly oversized drop sleeve or a hammered satin skirt with a (miraculously) non-pinching waist. But crucially, each item is more than suitable to wear on a video call from home.
Best for casual offices
Price range: $–$$
Sézane is the unicorn of laid-back workwear. Its pieces are unfussy and on the budget-friendlier side, but they possess that I do not know what of a hidden gem from a vintage store in the 10th of Paris. Between the flowy printed dresses and the heaps of colorful knitwear—not to mention the leather bags and dainty jewelry—you have plenty of bright options for offices where dress codes are minimal. I recommend the Gaspard cardigan as a gateway piece to wear with denim you already own or a pleated trouser if you’re feeling slightly formal. I alternate between wearing the buttons to the front and to the back—and it’s so comfortable, I own it in three colors.
Best for elevated basics
Price range: $$$–$$$$
I fell in love with Totême’s fine-tuned basics overnight. One minute, I only knew it for its Instagrammable wool coats; the next, I was hitting “Order” on the black dress above. This label has a knack for refining the 9-to-5 fundamentals like T-shirts, trench coats, and small leather accessories, all with the intention of making them last. If your style leans more minimal, or you’re refreshing the foundations of your closet, Totême’s edit won’t disappoint.
Best for work travel
Price range: $$
After an extended hiatus from the frequent flier lounge, I’m once again traveling for work. A lot. M.M.LaFleur’s dresses, suiting, and miracle office hybrids like the jardigan, a jacket-cardigan combo, are a lifeline when I don’t know what to pack. First, because the brand is known for simple, streamlined pieces that can translate to formal conferences and laid-back coffee meetings. Second, because most items are made with machine-washable and wrinkle-resistant materials that make keeping a carry-on organized a cinch.
Fashion Commerce Editor
Halie LeSavage is the fashion commerce editor at Harper’s BAZAAR. Her style reporting covers everything from reviewing the best designer products to profiling emerging brands and designers. Previously, she was the founding retail writer at Morning Brew and a fashion associate at Glamour.