Dresses

10 New Places to Shop for Stylish Workwear Clothes

stylish professional black woman shopping for stylish workwear clothes

We’ve recently heard of a bunch of new places to shop for stylish workwear clothes — so we thought we’d round them up and take a look!

Most of these brands prioritize natural fabrics, sustainable materials, and ethical production — and most are founded and run by women.

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10 New Places to Shop for Stylish Workwear Clothes

Quince

Quince, which makes women’s and men’s clothing as well as home items, uses natural fabrics that include sustainable materials (for example, their organic linen clothing collection and organic cotton towels) and aims to make its packaging materials 100% compostable by the end of 2021. They also focus on choosing factories with fair wages and sustainable production — and on keeping their prices affordable. Sizes are XS–XL.

If you’re a cashmere fan, you’re in luck: The company’s website has a whole page devoted to “cashmere 101” and describes their own line, which is made from 100% Grade A Mongolian cashmere.

If you’re heading back to the office soon, check out their “back to work” capsule, which includes basics like comfortable, stylish workwear clothes in cashmere, linen, and washable silk, such as the pictured blouse.

The Summer House

The Summer House, which is based in India, gives me “Eileen Fisher, but hipper” vibes. Their styles feature a lot of flowy, feminine silhouettes with dramatic lines, and they focus on natural fabrics. I’d say that natural fabrics and non-fitted styles sound great for returning to the office after months and months of wearing WFH clothes, but do note that a lot of Summer House’s clothing would probably only work in a creative or business casual office (with some not appropriate for work at all). Pictured is one of their more typical-workwear styles in washable silk. In general, sizes are XS–XL.

The brand uses natural, sustainably made fabrics, such as organic cotton, Tencel (made from wood pulp from sustainably harvested trees), undyed fabrics (or fabrics dyed with azo-free and natural dyes), and artisanal fabrics produced by weavers. (They have a very detailed care guide for all of their fabrics.)

The Summer House’s clothing is ethically made in India, and the company notes on their website:

Our biggest passion is working with rural artisans to sustain traditional craft techniques and textiles. By collaborating directly with them or partnering with vetted local NGOs that provide assistance to them we help vulnerable craft communities move away from exploitative practices.

{related: The Best Made-to-Measure Clothing for Women: Workwear & Beyond}

Oak + Fort

Oak + Fort (hmm, hipster business name generator, anyone?) makes women’s and men’s clothing and accessories as well as home items. Like The Summer House, many of their women’s styles are flowy and feminine — shifts, and so on. Sizes are 0–14 / XXS–XL, depending on the item.

Note that Oak + Fort does carry a lot of non-work-appropriate items, including slip dresses, sundresses, jumpsuits (well, YMMV), and rather low-cut styles. Their “outerwear” page (which actually goes beyond outerwear) offers more office-friendly options than some of the other categories. The pictured sweater is available in five colors in sizes XS–L.

The company’s “Oak Refined” collection has the tagline “Intentionally designed, with sustainability at its core” and focuses on bodysuits, tees, bralettes, cropped tops, and joggers in EcoVero viscose, organic cotton, recycled polyester, and recycled cotton. Their Sustainability page explains that they’re continuing to “take steps towards environmentally conscious design.”

TOAST

TOAST, which is based in the UK, makes women’s and men’s clothing and accessories as well as home goods. They focus on natural fabrics like linen and cotton and feature a lot of relaxed silhouettes such as shifts and tunic dresses, as well as higher-waisted dresses (aka the “When are you due?” shape for many of us, alas). There’s not a ton that you could wear to a formal office, but some workwear basics are among their most popular items. They also have some beautiful Ikat designs and block prints, both from India.

The company has a lengthy, detailed statement on their ethical and environmental policies on their website, including information on their code of conduct for their suppliers, policies to minimize waste, recyclable and biodegradable shopping bags and packaging, animal welfare policies, and more. More than 85% of the materials they use are natural, including organic cotton. The pictured dress is 100% cotton and is machine washable.

Note: If you prefer to see clothing on models rather than lying flat for product photos (and who doesn’t?), be aware that TOAST has a lot of the latter at the moment, perhaps because of COVID considerations. Sizes are 6–18 UK / 2–14 U.S.

{related: 9 Fresh New Labels for Workwear}

Anine Bing

Anine Bing, named after its founder, has a lot of casual clothes (graphic tees, joggers, jeans, etc.) but also offers some excellent workwear pieces, such as this crisp white shirt (also available in black and pale blue), this beautiful camel coat, and blazers like the one pictured. Regarding the blazer, the website notes, “As one of our best-selling wardrobe staples in brand history, we update this coveted blazer each season for a fresh take.” Sizes are generally XXS–XL. The brand also makes jewelry and shoes.

I should point out that the white shirt is styled with black leather pants, and that’s a good indicator of the brand’s general vibe. Here’s another one: The brand is “Inspired by Scandinavian simplicity and American energy,” according to the website. Their non-workwear styles range from leather shorts (hmm) to stirrup pants (I’d heard they’re back, and yep, here they are…) to these beautiful lace bras.

Besides the company’s website, you can find Anine Bing clothing at Nordstrom, Shopbop, Revolve, and Net-a-Porter.

AYR

AYR stands for “All Year Round” and aims to be an alternative to fast fashion. They carry a lot of basic styles that could be stylish workwear clothes in a less formal office: simple short-sleeve and sleeveless tops, button-front blouses, skinny jeans, and a couple of blazers. Besides work-appropriate items, such as the shirt pictured, AYR makes sweatshirts, joggers, shorts, etc.

They have quirky product descriptions — the shirt pictured, which is among the brand’s bestsellers, is described as “a banker on Wall Street, until she cashed out and started a new career as a florist on Nantucket.” Each item page also has a “Made In” section that details its production, e.g. “This family-owned factory is located 20 minutes outside of Lima, Peru. For the past decade, it has specialized in premium Peruvian pima cotton knitting and sewing. It is WRAP, GOTS, and Fair Trade certified.” (Some of AYR’s styles are made in the U.S.)

Note: According to their size chart, AYR’s sizes go up to 3X, but unfortunately, there’s no way to filter by size when you’re browsing items, and some of them stop at XL.

{related: Six Brands for the Stylish Vegan Professional}

ADAY

ADAY focuses on sustainable, comfortable, and high-quality pieces, and its website notes that “70% of our products are made from recycled, regenerated and natural fabrics, over 45% of our factories and mills generate a portion of their energy from renewable resources to make our pieces.” They carefully screen the factories they work with and require them to agree to their Commitment to People and Commitment to Planet.

All of ADAY’s clothing is machine washable (such as the pants pictured) — and if you need to have an item tailored, send a photo of your receipt and they’ll send you a $15 gift card (!). The “vast majority” of their clothes are vegan, and their fabrics include wool, recycled cashmere (from “from upcycled scraps from luxury fashion production”), and cruelty-free merino wool. All of them are Bluesign and/or OEKO-TEX certified. The website’s FAQ has a ton more info on these and similar issues.

Regarding sizes, ADAY has added XL to every new collection and are working to add 2XS and 2XL in their bestselling styles. Their website categories helpfully offer “best for petite,” “best for tall,” “mom essentials,” “travel,” “work,” “lounge,” and more. Their workwear styles include blouses, blazers, tailored pants, and more.

Cobalt Street

Cobalt Street, which is a relatively new company (founded in 2019) focuses on making clothing ethically and sustainably — in the U.S.A. The eco-friendly fabrics they use are Tencel (made from cellulose), organic cotton, Better Cotton Initiative Cotton, and recycled nylon (more details on their blog), and their size range is XS–XXL.

The brand doesn’t offer a ton of styles but has some workwear basics, like square-neck dresses, wrap skirts (such as the one pictured), and black cigarette pants. They have some more casual pieces as well. A note about the cigarette pants: They’re wrinkle-free AND have FULL-SIZED pockets that can fit a phone.

Another bonus: They feature customer-submitted photos of the clothing — love it! (Here are some more brands that use real women as models!)

{related: 30 Workwear Brands You Probably Haven’t Heard About}

Thought

Thought, a British company, makes women’s and men’s clothing and accessories. Its ’90s origins are rooted in sustainable men’s shirts and beachwear, but today their collections offer a lot more. (Their name has evolved, too: In 2017, they switched from “Braintree Clothing” to Thought.) Their clothing is available in UK sizes 6–18, equivalent to U.S. 2–14.

Thought focuses on responsible sourcing and uses natural, sustainable fabrics; prioritizes fair wages and ethical treatment at their factories; keeps production small; and works toward zero waste by doing things like using scrap fabrics to make headbands and choosing recycled polyester. Their website shares their code of conduct, environmental policy (and a lot more info on their principles), and they encourage customers to donate and repurpose clothing they no longer want. In addition, they’re founding members of the Ethical Fashion Forum and Common Objective.

Finally, to their styles! Their women’s pants range from denim to joggers to culottes (not a ton of workwear options). Their dresses — made from organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and Tencel (as pictured) — feature comfortable, relaxed styles (many with pretty florals), and a lot of midi lengths. Note: If you’re looking for sheath dresses or other silhouettes for a more formal office, you should look elsewhere.

Birds of North America

Hookbill Dress, $153 on sale

Birds of North America (“Birds” for short) is a Toronto-based Canadian brand that was founded in 2007. Their styles, which have a size range of 2–18, feature their “signature bold, colorful prints.” Some of them remind me a little of the offerings from Svaha (which we recently featured over on CorporetteMoms), and a lot of them might be too bold for some offices. (They are so pretty, though!)

Birds actually seems to offer more prints than solid colors (such as the pictured dress) — and they range from bright florals to tie-dye to plaid to nautical themes. Most or all of the dresses are lined.

I like Birds’ “ReNesting” program, which buys back customers’ clothing in exchange for a credit toward their next purchase. Some is resold, some pieces are repurposed, and some are recycled. (Check out our post on where to recycle, donate, and sell your work clothes to find more brands that do this.) They also fundraise for the North York Women’s Shelter, an anti-violence women’s and children’s shelter in Toronto.

Readers, do tell: What new-to-you brands have you discovered lately? In general, which stores are your favorite to shop for stylish workwear clothes?

Stock photo at top via 123rf.com / stockbroker.

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