The corporate world is already difficult to navigate, but when you’re a Black woman, it’s a million times more difficult. The microaggressions and the constant feeling like you’re under a microscope are just some of the many things that Black women go through in the corporate world. When you’re in an entry-level position, especially, it’s hard to know what the ins and outs are in terms of how you present yourself professionally. Many times you’re fresh out of college or making a huge career change, and the corporate world’s dress codes aren’t always the best or many cases, affordable. There are a few places that are accessible to those of you who need good slacks and well-fitting blazers or appropriate office tops.
We went looking so you didn’t have to! Here are some affordable and stylish brands that specialize in the workwear department below.
The Frankie Shop
The Frankie Shop is great for the petite girls like me. If you’re struggling to get pants for the office that don’t look like a flood happened at your feet, this is for you. There are three-piece suits, pencil skirts, and blazers galore at the shop. Currently, there are only brick-and-mortar stores in New York and Paris, but their online store is super helpful with sizing, with most things fitting true to size.
COS is one of the chicest and most affordable places to shop for workwear that in various silhouettes and colorways. The brand is all about quality as well as accessibility, and it shows. There are pieces for everyone with this brand not everyone does workwear the same, and they know it. Take the blazer pictured below; it has fun extra pocket details, a different play on the usual drab plaid.
Madewell goes by the ethos of making people feel seen and included and making them look effortlessly good. In the office, it’s hard to get that effortless feel, but the laidback energy of Madewell accomplishes that sentiment so well. If your office space is a bit of a Google-type workspace, this brand would be great to turn to for those days when an important meeting comes up, and you want to dress to impress.
For those of you who are more of a blouse and pencil skirt wearer in the office, this is a good brand to turn to. There are a plethora of relaxed tops that are office attire friendly and still comfy with a professional touch. There are lots of tailored sets and separates to shop from and well-fitting sweaters that have pops of color to add to the usual neutrals that we’re used to in the office.
Honestly, J. Crew is a staple that we don’t often give enough credit to. When you think preppy, you think J.Crew, but now when you think corporate, you should also think J.Crew. The brand is a legacy brand and has been bringing up quality workwear items for years. If you’re a risk-taker in the office or have a much more relaxed dress code in the office, I highly recommend J.Crew for their fun pops of colors in their suits and sweaters. You can really make yourself a celebrity at work by pulling a look like the one below. By the way, this look is professional! Black women in corporate are professional. Just had to throw that in there.