15 Work Must-Haves For Every Budget

We'd all love to spend every day in our most comfortable jeans or sweats, but, in reality, we're spending the majority of the week in work clothes. So, a solid foundation is key. While you probably already have the essentials — button-downs and pencil skirts — why not update your current selection?
Just like our work-style choices vary (some prefer dresses, while others opt for pantsuits), so do our spending habits. You may want to shell out cash for shoes rather than tops, while your colleague is the opposite. That's why we've compiled 15 updated office musts for every budget. Because, you work your tail off for that moula; you deserve to spend it how you want.
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The Comfortable Dress
On those days when you don't want to deal with putting an outfit together, the throw-on dress is your best bet. Go for an eye-catching style like this graphic number and you won’t have to worry much about fancy accessories, either.
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The Comfortable Dress
You'll definitely stand out in this dress, but it'll take minimal effort. Toss it on, add a shoe, and you're done.
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The On-The-Go Flats
Unless you've been cast in the Working Girl sequel (no, no, that's not actually a thing), please don't pair white commuter sneakers with black tights. Nicer flats — try a pointed iteration as an update to the ballet style — is a much more stylish alternative.
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The On-The-Go Flats
The multi-texture detail makes these burgundy flats look high-end.
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The Schlepper's Bag
You drag a lot to the office — laptop, notebooks, folders, tablet, extra shoes, and so on. But, rather than reverting to one of those large, reusable totes to accompany your normal purse, go for one sleek tote that'll fit the essentials and pair perfectly with your 9-to-5 ensemble.
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The Schlepper's Bag
The front pocket on this particular Forever 21 tote gives you even more storage space. Perfect for your metro card, phone, or lipstick.
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The Fancy Commuter Coat
While you won't necessarily need one in June (let's hope not, anyway), you will need a coat for at least six months out of the year. But, remember, you never know when you'll have to go to a last-minute dinner meeting, so choose a fancier-looking style — like this Gucci piece — rather than your parka to top off your look.
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The Fancy Commuter Coat
This icy-blue hue is very right now — as is the boxy silhouette.
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The Everyday Studs
You don't want to be too out there at work with a set of sparkly chandelier earrings, but you don't want to be a snooze-fest either. A quirky shape, complete with a neutral stone is pretty and interesting enough to spark up a quality water-cooler convo.
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The Everyday Studs
These look beautiful by themselves, but will also go with any other piercings you have, too.
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The I-Mean-Business Skirt
Give your pencil skirt a break this season and invest in a full, midi style that'll show your colleagues you know what you're doing. This emerald, satin number is striking, but not too flashy for your ever-important meeting.
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The I-Mean-Business Skirt
Imagine this skirt with a tucked-in blouse. Femme, yet sophisticated.
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The I'm-Never-Late Watch
Yes, we understand you can use your phone to check the time, but rather than looking disinterested in a meeting by whipping out your cell, go for a sophisticated watch instead. Only issue is you'll never have an excuse for being late again. (Maybe that's a good thing.)
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The I'm-Never-Late Watch
An all-black watch feels cool and super fresh.
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The Not-Basic Blouse
A standard white blouse is undoubtedly a classic, but if you're looking to wear the shirt solo (sans sweater or blazer) go for a patterned style that can easily stand out on its own. We're partial to this forward-feeling mock-neck blouse, but a traditional collar works great, too.
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The Not-Basic Blouse
This blouse features slight yellow piping down the buttons for a subtle, albeit eye-catching something extra.
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The Multi-Purpose LBD
Imagine getting through life without an LBD — it's like trying to get through the day without food: It just doesn't work. Select a dress that feels current (note the short sleeves here), but is classic enough to last for years, too. The best part? You can wear one at least three times per week if you switch up the add-ons. Try it one day with a sweater, one day with a blazer, and one day by itself.
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The Multi-Purpose LBD
The leather paneling on this LBD gives it a modern spin.
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The Walkable Pumps
Imagine standing in front of the boardroom or running downtown to a meeting in 5.5-inch stilettos? You'd either fall over from the pain or not be able to walk for days after. Invest in a sleek (yet comfortable) pair featuring a thicker heel (we love this loafer-esque pick) that'll give you a little extra support for whatever the day may bring.
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The Walkable Pumps
The gold detail on the tongue here gives this shoe a little extra punch.
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The Wide-Leg Trousers
When you're not in the mood to wear a skirt and can't fathom slipping into a pair of skinny pants, wide-leg trousers are the perfect alternative. Plus, a structured pair with a sophisticated cuff at the bottom looks ultra-professional with a tucked-in blouse.
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The Wide-Leg Trousers
These make pleats look cool and not the least bit dorky.
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The Happy-Hour Clutch
You never know when your main cohorts will drag you to drinks after a long day. If you don't want to carry your everyday tote, keep a foldable clutch in your desk or in your bag just in case. This polka-dot pouch is eye-catching, but not so loud.
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The Happy-Hour Clutch
Picture this fiery red against your LBD. Knock out.
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The Leave-At-Work Cardigan
Whether it's hot outside or not, offices can always get chilly. But, rather than shivering at your desk for eight hours a day, invest in an in-case-of-emergency cardigan to sling over your chair. Go for a neutral hue so it'll go with whatever you're wearing that day.
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The Leave-At-Work Cardigan
If you're wearing a colorful top, this camel color will pop even more.
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The Wear-With-Everything Blazer
A black blazer is like your office secret weapon. Seriously. Throw one on over anything — from a sweater to a button-down — and you'll look instantly more put together. Just ensure you select a tailored style that fits you like a glove for a cleaner silhouette.
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The Wear-With-Everything Blazer
If you want your blazer to feel slightly different, choose one that's lapel-less.
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The Casual Friday Jeans
Friday is the best day in general, but if you work in a more corporate setting, it's particularly awesome. You get to wear jeans! Sure, your standard skinnies are fine, but try an updated silhouette like a baggy-but-not-too-baggy style.
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The Casual Friday Jeans
A rolled-up hem gives off that perfectly disheveled vibe, without actually looking like a mess.
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