The Best Budget-Friendly Work Clothes for Your Body Shape

Find yourself with nothing to wear pretty much every morning as you get ready for work? Yeah, we get it. Sure, if we had big business funds we’d line our ginormous walk-in closet with rows of designer suits and separates. But on a real-world budget—after taxes, insurance, social security, 401K and all the rest is taken out of our paycheck—we’ll have to save that dream for the day we dream up with the Next Big Thing.

Until then, the best way to stretch your office wardrobe is to pick up a few affordable staple pieces you can mix and match with the clothes you already own. Whether you’re just beginning your career or could use a new item or two (and really, who couldn’t?), we’ve got blazers, slacks and pencil skirts to fit your body shape and your budget. Now, we have just two words: Work. It.

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1Circle Shape: Blazer

A fun, patterned blazer can work for a Circle shape—it’s all about the silhouette. To minimize your middle, look for a lightweight fabric with a loose fit that hits at the hip. Your belly may be hidden, but your personality will be on full display. Corner office? Here you come.

Asos Curve paisley print blazer, $76

2Circle Shape: Slacks

Tame that tummy with black straight leg slacks (you can even go skinny or tapered to show off your lean legs) that feature a wide waistband to camouflage your middle.

Calvin Klein faux leather waistband pants, $80

3Circle Shape Pencil Skirt

You want to show off your lower half, so pair your simple black blazer with a slim printed skirt. Add a ruffled or trumpet hem to help balance things out, and tackle that boardroom presentation in high style.

Bar III ruffled skirt, $79

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4Triangle Shape: Blazer

Triangle shapes should choose a blazer that’s fitted and cropped to show off your small upper half (a jacket that hits at the hip just makes your top half look larger than it is). And remember, a little flair or embellishment at or near the shoulders can be your work BFF, adding style and drawing the eye up. Can style points earn you a raise?

Mango cropped blazer, $65

5Triangle Shape: Slacks

No doubt, if you’re a Triangle shape you’ve heard this before: The boot cut is your friend. Balance your curvier rear and hips with a dark fabric—a stretch wool is a safe bet—and a hem that skims the floor for a look that flatters your figure.

New York & Company 7th Avenue City SuperStretch boot cut pant, $60

6Triangle Shape: Pencil skirt

Triangle shapes are really A-line gals, but the pencil skirt style can still work if you follow these fashion rules: The skirt should be black or navy, hit at the knee, come in a structured fabric such as wool, have a little stretch and flare just a bit. Got that? Now, go make it work.

Banana Republic pencil skirt, $90

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7Inverted Triangle Shape: Blazer

When your shoulders are broad, stay away from structured styles (and obviously shoulder pads), which can make your upper half look wider. Instead, stick with an unstructured, relaxed fit to slim things down while still looking polished.

Wallis navy blazer, $58

8Inverted Triangle Shape: Slacks

When your upper half is larger than your bottom half, help balance it all out by opting for boot cut or wider leg slacks. And don’t be shy about nabbing slacks in a bright color (uber trendy) or fun pattern, or with embellished pockets or other check-me-out details. You spend way too many hours at work not to have some fun with it.

Gap modern bootcut pants, $60

9Inverted Triangle Shape: Pencil skirt

While other body shapes may try to hide their hips, Inverted Triangles want to add some oomph to that area. Wear your simple black blazer with a patterned pencil skirt to balance your body. That’s easy. Now, about balancing that workload? That’ll take more effort.

Chico’s Sara zebra pencil skirt, $99, or the Sara mixed chevron pencil skirt, $99

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10Hourglass Shape: Blazer

Add even more emphasis to your already narrow waist with a shorter, shaped jacket that shows off your curves. This bright red style is eye-catching, for sure, but its simple shape won’t add bulk to your ample bust.

Daniel Rainn cropped blazer, $69

11Hourglass Shape: Slacks

Showcase your curves with a wide-leg trouser that nips in at the waist but also offers a little room in the booty and thighs. A wide waistband with a thin belt helps put the spotlight on your tiniest part.

Express herringbone Editor pant, $80

12Hourglass Shape: Pencil skirt

You, Hourglass gal, were made to rock a pencil skirt. So stick with a classic pencil shape—fitted, to the knee—and make it basic black. Sexy, slimming and timeless goes with everything. In fact, at this price, you can buy two.

Gap pencil skirt, $50

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13Ruler Shape: Blazer

Don’t let a shapeless jacket dwarf your thin fame. Rulers should opt for a blazer that nips in at the waist to create the illusion of curves. And go ahead and think beyond basic black wool here. Look for patterns, fun detailing or unexpected fabrics—Rulers can risk a little bulk in the name of style.

Loft dot print blazer, $100

14Ruler Shape: Slacks

A higher waist, slim cut pant helps define a Ruler’s shape, and since you have the body type to pull off a trendy colorful print—well, why wouldn’t you?

Mossimo printed slacks, $25

15Ruler Shape: Pencil skirt

The thinner your legs, the higher your hem can rise, so don’t be afraid to go a bit above the knee with your skirt (not too far—you are heading to work, after all). While you’re at it, go ahead and pick a colorful pattern. You’re creative on the job, and your clothes can be, too.

Ann Taylor paisley print pencil skirt, $88

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