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Redefine office fashion with expert-approved work clothes that prioritize comfort

Say farewell to the fuss of traditional work clothes.
Vivian Le / TODAY

Gone are the days of stiff suits and high heels ruling the workplace. Whether it's a big office or a cozy co-working space, everyone is looking for clothes that make them feel comfortable and confident.

Many shoppers are seeking comfortable attire that works into their active lifestyles, whether it's juggling meetings and deadlines or transitioning seamlessly from the office to post-work happy hour.

However, making these pieces work for the job market can be difficult as different dress codes, mobility requirements and industry standards call for traditionally formal clothes.

What it means to dress for success in today’s world is changing. But don't fret. Our experts from all over the map have uncovered the secrets behind finding the best comfortable work clothes.

Industry dress codes | What to look for | Best fabrics | Fashion experts favorites | Educator favorites | Realtor favorites | Editor-approved picks | Shopper favorites | How we chose | Meet our experts

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Top and trending work clothes

What professional work clothes look like for different industries

You've probably heard it before: "The pandemic changed everything." However, these changes flipped office fashion on its head. Primark’s global concept trend lead John McCormack says people aren’t willing to return to traditional dress codes of work attire.

Post-pandemic shoppers are not willing to compromise on comfort or style. However, finding pieces that look professional while being comfortable can take a trained eye.

Our experts say each industry is different. Teacher and librarian Des Schnell says stretch is essential for all of her work outfits as she works with smaller children.

“Any pieces I buy need to be modest enough for a classroom. Nothing with words or slogans on it, unless it’s classroom specific,” she explains.

Schnell says an uncomfortable outfit can hinder her ability to do her job.

“If I’m not comfortable, I am instantly in a bad mood and it makes it impossible to teach,” she adds. “I also need to make sure I can bend down, get on the ground and essentially move like a child.”

In contrast, real estate work attire is traditionally formal. New Jersey-based Realtor Christina Murphy says offices have started to phase out uniforms as most realtors tend to stick to business casual attire.

For licensed Realtor Shannon Banks, high-quality pieces are a necessity while getting the best deals for her clients.

“As agents, we are always on the go and our days are always different, so being in clothing that looks presentable no matter where I’m at is a must,” Banks says. “I can be doing anything from showing properties to business owners, to meeting with clients that I’ve known for years, so knowing the clientele that I’m meeting with determines how much I dress up too.”

On a typical day, Murphy says her outfit consists of a pair of comfortable dress pants with a tank and a blazer or, a sundress for warmer weather.

"I wear a lot of basic pieces because it's just easier," she says. "As long as I have a blazer and it looks professional I'm good to go."

Building a wardrobe that allows them to show homes to any type of client while being comfortable is key.

"I can be showing anything from a beautiful home to a piece of land and everything in between," Banks explains. "Staple pieces for me include dark jeans that I can dress up or down, sweaters that I can layer and cute shoes like booties or sandals that aren’t super high-heeled."

What to look for when shopping for comfortable work clothes

Our experts say creating a wardrobe that’s both comfortable and dripping with professionalism starts with choosing the right materials and cuts.

"Pieces that blend luxurious comfort with an unmistakable statement of style embody the essence of high-end workwear that feels as good as it looks," says Stealth Startup CEO John Imah.

Stylist and content creator Kenzie Welch suggests shoppers wearing work attire that aligns with their personal style.

"If you are wearing something that doesn’t feel like you, you may feel less confident and comfortable in your day-to-day tasks," Welch says. "The other most important thing to consider is the fabric and silhouette of your work style."

Our experts suggest shoppers keep an eye out for more relaxed or slightly oversized shapes and styles, as they are the key element in creating a comfortable work wardrobe.

"Tailoring has become more relaxed, so invest in a more oversized blazer," McCormack says.

Also, choosing neutral colors is a great way to get a bigger bang for your buck.  

Just starting to build your work wardrobe? McCormack says the best way to start is using a capsule wardrobe as a template.

"When adding to it, pick pieces that complement the existing items, allowing longevity and ease when creating new outfits," he says.

Best fabrics for comfortable work clothes

Fabric choices are also key when building your comfortable work attire wardrobe. As Imah says, not all fabrics are created equal.

"I lean towards those that promise to keep me looking sharp from the first espresso shot to the last email of the day," he says.

According to McCormack, shoppers should focus on breathable fabrics like cotton and linen.

"Most people think linen is just for casual environments, however, you can find lightweight tailored styles that are appropriate for work," Welch says.

She says soft knits or cashmere fabrics are also great for the fall and winter seasons.

"Knit and jersey fabrics will offer flexibility as your body moves throughout the day," McCormack says. "And, if wearing rigid fabrics, wear them in more oversized and relaxed silhouettes, like a boxy blazer."

As for cuts, Welch says wide-leg bottoms have proven to be more comfortable while still achieving a professional look.

Comfortable work clothes, according to fashion experts

H&M Black Loafers

What we like
  • Wide toe box
  • Closet staple
Something to note
  • Runs narrow on foot

Fabric: Polyurethane | Sizes: 5-10 | Colorways: 3

"Comfortable, chic footwear is the foundation of any workday outfit," Imah says.

H&M's loafers strike the perfect balance of style, comfort and affordability. Imah says loafers add "a touch of glamour to professional wear" as they are supportive and chic.

Old Navy Soft-Brushed Blazer

What we like
  • Slim jacket cut
Something to note
  • Runs tight in the chest

Fabric: Polyester, cotton, rayon and spandex | Sizes: S-XXL | Colorways: 2

If you like an oversized fit, our experts suggest exploring the men's section for comfortable blazers. The brown houndstooth print is a worldwide classic and is appropriate for most job settings.

This Old Navy blazer comes in regular or tall sizing and includes a notched lapel and buttoned cuffs.

Abercrombie & Fitch Oversized Poplin Shirt

What we like
  • Light and airy fabric
Something to note
  • Runs slightly large

Fabric: Cotton and polyester | Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colorways: 1

Our experts say this button-down shirt is comfortable enough to sleep in. Welch says Abercrombie's Poplin shirt works with any outfit, any office and any season.

One reviewer on the site said, "I love this top. I’ve had it for about a week and half and have come to wear it at least 3 times. Slightly oversized but in a good way. It's very work-appropriate or can be dressed to go out with friends."

Cuts Tomboy Tee

What we like
  • High-quality fabric
Something to note
  • Works best on short torsos

Fabric: 95% Cotton, 5% spandex | Sizes: XS-XL | Colorways: 3

Welch says a basic tee goes a long way in making work clothes more comfortable.

“Investing in a good quality T-shirt will always elevate a professional style, especially if you pair it with a blazer,” she says. “The Tomboy Tee is sleek and fitted and doesn’t look too casual.”

This top from Cuts comes in regular and short sizing and reviewers say it continues to wear well after years of washes. The majority cotton blend makes this shirt durable as the cotton is resistant to pilling or shrinking.

Zara Stretch Blazer

What we like
  • Straight fit
Something to note
  • Limited colorways

Fabric: Viscose, polyester and elastane | Sizes: S-XXL | Colorways: 3

Imah says a high-quality blazer can turn into timeless elegance.

"This piece is a favorite for its ability to elevate any outfit, offering a polished look without compromising on comfort," he says. "Its versatility makes it a staple for any wardrobe, seamlessly transitioning from office to evening wear."

This blazer from Zara is affordable and made of Recycled Claim Standard polyester, certified to reduce the harmful impact of fashion production on the environment.

Abercrombie & Fitch Sloane Tailored Pant

What we like
  • Comfortable, stretch fabric
Something to note
  • Too many colors to choose from

Fabric: Polyester and elastane | Sizes: 23-37 | Colorways: 16

Welch says the Sloane high-waisted tailored pants are so comfortable they can be worn inside and outside the office. These pants have a partially elasticated waistband to fit everyone.

Reviewers say these pants are a quality, staple pant for a capsule wardrobe.

"Absolutely LOVE these pants, especially for work," one reviewer said on A&F's website. "I got the cream color and was pleasantly surprised that they weren’t see-through at all even when wearing darker undergarments. I can’t recommend these pants enough!"

Wilfred Generation Blazer

What we like
  • Thick, wool fabric
  • Interior pocket
Something to note
  • Best for colder environments

Fabric: Wool, cashmere and elastane | Sizes: 2XS-XL | Colorways: 3

Need a staple blazer? Welch suggests all shoppers add the generation blazer to their cart. Reviewers on TikTok are in love with dressing this blazer up or down as they head into the office. Not only is this blazer made from high-quality materials, like wool and cashmere, but reviewers also say it's a comfortable wardrobe staple they layer into their work outfits.

Always cold at your desk? The thicker fabric in this blazer is perfect for chilly offices.

Banana Republic Oversized Trench Coat

What we like
  • Water resistant
Something to note
  • Runs large

Fabric: Cotton and polyester | Sizes: XXS-XL | Colorways: 2

No work wardrobe is complete without a classic trench, according to Imah.

"This coat is beloved for its timeless design and weather-resistant features, making it perfect for the commuter who seeks to arrive in style, no matter the weather," he says.

Reviewers said this coat is oversized while still being tailored plus, can pull together any outfit.

Aritzia The Effortless Pant

What we like
  • Wrinkle-free properties
Something to note
  • Runs long

Fabric: Polyester | Sizes: 00-16 | Colorways: 15

Welch says every shopper needs a comfortable pair of slacks in their work wardrobe.

Aritzia's pants go with any outfit and are tailored to accentuate your legs. The brand says the crepe fabric was sourced from a Japanese mill and has anti-wrinkle technology.

These slacks also come in four lengths with tall, regular, short and shorter cuts.

Reviewers said these are the best business casual pants on the market.

"I knew immediately when I tried these on that I would buy them," one reviewer said on Aritzia. "The closure lays flat, the fit is so nice right above my hip but not too high-waisted and the quality is excellent."

Veja Campo Leather Sneakers

What we like
  • Can be dressed up or down
Something to note
  • Best for wide feet

Fabric: Leather | Sizes: 5-12 | Colorways: 6

Welch says when striking a balance between comfort and professionalism, the first place you can start is with your shoes.

"Depending on the strictness of the dress attire, most companies have a casual dress code, which means you could wear sneakers with trousers or a dress. In this situation, I recommend a dressier style sneaker, such as a Veja, that’s still comfortable but looks professional."

These white sneakers have a classic and timeless design and one reviewer even said they could ditch the break-in time.

"I bought these to wear on our trip to Ireland this summer and I’m so glad I did! They were so comfortable to walk in and went with many of my outfits! I would definitely purchase these again," the reviewer said on Anthropologie.

Comfortable work clothes, according to an educator

 Alexander Jane Tummy Control Wide Leg Jeans by RFM

What we like
  • Tummy control technology
  • Inclusive size range
Something to note
  • Limited colorways

Fabric: Not provided | Sizes: 0-24 | Colorways: 1

Stretch is your best friend for comfort and your curves. Schnell says stretch is essential for wearing jeans all day while teaching. She also says most of her jeans come from this small business.

Buff Bunny Rosa Pocket Legging

What we like
  • No front seams
  • Stretches for all day movement
Something to note
  • Extreme high-waist

Fabric: Nylon and spandex | Sizes: S-XL | Colorways: 3

Schnell says her go-to leggings are these from Buff Bunny because they are comfortable and reliable. They’re perfect for teachers as they reach around their classrooms and chase around kiddos all day.

"They are super high-waisted so I don’t have to worry about them ever showing any skin," she says.

Nike Court Vision Low Next Nature

What we like
  • Classic design
Something to note
  • Runs large

Fabric: Made of recycled materials | Sizes: 6-12 | Colorways: 7

Schnell lives in her Nike's. She says they are "so comfortable, on-trend and look good with virtually any outfit." They are also easy for teachers to clean up spills and messes in the classroom.

Reviewers say they feel supported as they wear these low-tops all day.

Comfortable work clothes, according to realtors

Gap Linen-Blend Mini Dress

What we like
  • Has pockets
Something to note
  • Best for warmer weather

Fabric: Linen and viscose rayon | Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colorways: 3

Murphy says Gap is one of her favorite brands for work clothes because of their classic designs. This mini dress has a relaxed cut with linen fabric to keep you cool and comfortable during the warmer months.

Reviewers on Gap say this dress is perfect for work as it is conservative yet chic and hits right above the knee.

Express Satin V-Neck Cap Sleeve Open Collar Shirt

What we like
  • Satin-like fabric
Something to note
  • Best when bloused

Fabric: Recycled polyester and spandex | Sizes: XS-XL | Colorways: 4

Banks suggests this Express top because it's modest and stylish. The loose, light fabric drapes around your curves and avoids clinging to your skin.

"I like to throw a sweater over these and I have this shirt in a few different colors," Banks says.

Reviewers say this is an office favorite as the relaxed cut makes it comfortable for any industry.

Banana Republic Espadrille Wedge

What we like
  • Neutral and staple colors
Something to note
  • Lack of smaller sizes

Fabric: Genuine leather suede | Sizes: 7-10 | Colorways: 2

While Murphy says she loves her stilettos, she suggests shoppers opt for wedges for a comfortable yet dressy work shoe.

The espadrille wedges from Banana Republic are a staple shoe you can slip on and off as you transition between projects. Reviewers say the rise and footbed in these lightweight shoes make it easy to walk in these wedges all day.

Athleta Retreat Linen Jogger

What we like
  • Best for warm climates
  • Breathable
Something to note
  • Best for curvy shapes

Fabric: Linen | Sizes: XXS-XL | Colorways: 3

Linen is a staple piece for warm weather. These joggers have a drawstring waist making them easily adjustable. The Retreat linen joggers feature Athleta's signature zippered front pockets with cinched ankles and back pockets.

Banks says she pairs these pants with a button-up shirt, booties or sandals to dress up a comfortable outfit.

Steve Madden Marika Raffia Slides

What we like
  • Elevates any outfit
Something to note
  • Best for spring and summer

Fabric: Raffia | Sizes: 5-12 | Colorways: 2

"As we get closer to summer and warmer weather, sandals are my favorite to throw on with jeans that are on the dressier side," Banks explains.

She says the Marika Raffia slides from Steve Madden are one of her favorites. While these slides are best for warmer weather, reviewers said they add a touch of glam to any outfit you choose.

"These are absolutely the cutest," one reviewer said on Steve Madden. "They can be dressed up or down for going out to dinner, working at the office or running errands! They are so comfortable and a great addition to any outfit."

Pact Airplane Cardigan

What we like
  • Large pockets
  • Vibrant colors
Something to note
  • Loose around shoulders

Fabric: Organic cotton | Sizes: XS-L | Colorways: 5

Sweaters are a must for Banks since the weather in her area can be cold in the morning and warmer in the afternoons. 

"I’m also really into health and I try to wear clothing that have better ingredients like organic cotton, and Pact has some great options," she adds.

This sweater is made of 100% organic cotton and was made in a Fair Trade Certified Factory, committed to safe working conditions and environmental protections.

Editor-approved comfortable work clothes

Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Taylor Wide-Leg Trouser Suit Pants

What we like
  • Lots of color options
  • Works for long legs
Something to note
  • Pills in thigh area over time

Fabric: Recycled polyester, rayon and spandex | Sizes: XS-4X | Colorways: 10

The extra high waist and elastic back make these suit pants not only stylish but also comfortable.

Associate SEO editor Kamari Stewart says these became a favorite in her closet since the moment she put them on.

“They’re super comfortable and are actually long enough for my legs which is a rare find,” she says. “I also love that I can wear them with sneakers, boots or heels and they always work!”

Zodiac Hunter Penny Loafer

What we like
  • Vintage-inspired design
Something to note
  • Shiny finish on material

Fabric: Patent leather | Sizes: 5-11 | Colorways: 4

Our stylists love loafers for a classic, comfy wardrobe and so do our editors.

“These penny loafers from Zodiac have become a new favorite in my wardrobe,” SEO intern Domonique Tolliver says. “They’re easy to slip on and off and the insole has a supportive cushion.”

The footbed also keeps your feet dry in warm weather or after running around at work all day.

Dynamite Fold Over Off Shoulder Top

What we like
  • Chic, contemporary design
Something to note
  • Must be layered in the cold

Fabric: Viscose and nylon | Sizes: XXS-XL | Colorways: 3

Dynamite has so many comfortable work clothes to choose from and this fold-over top is no exception.

The stretchy, knit fabric and neutral colors allow this shirt to transition between all seasons and layer into outfits during the colder months.

"This brand recently came to my attention and I think this top is a great elevated alternative to a basic white tee," Tolliver says.

Dream Paris Chunky High Heel Ankle Booties

What we like
  • Chic pointed toe style
Something to note
  • 3.5 inch heel height

Fabric: Polyurethane  | Sizes: 5-11 | Colorways: 14

When most people think comfortable, they don't think about heels. However, our editors say a block heel can elevate any casual outfit.

Associate editor Allie Wise says she has the leopard version of these block heels and says they add a bit of spice to any outfit.

"Not only do these shoes liven up your work wardrobe with their fierce print, but they also are surprisingly comfortable," Wise says. "I can literally walk blocks and blocks in these without getting tired or a blister."

Zodiac Idra Mesh Mary Jane Flat

What we like
  • Trendy design
Something to note
  • Narrow toe box

Fabric: Synthetic fabric | Sizes: 5-11 | Colorways: 6

Zodiac's Idra flats put a trendy twist on a classic wardrobe staple. Mesh ballet flats have become one of the hottest shoes of 2024 and shoppers online are in love with the trend.

"These Mary Janes were comfortable right out of the box because of their padded footbed. These shoes also have a bit of arch support as you walk around all day," Tolliver says. "However, the toe box seems to narrow out towards the round toe. I would suggest shoppers ordering a half size up if they prefer to have a little more wiggle room."

Grlasen Oversized Blazer

What we like
  • Stylish
  • Comfortable
  • Comes in lots of fun colors
Something to note
  • Prone to wrinkling

Fabric: Polyester, viscose and spandex | Sizes: S-XXL | Colorways: 26

Wise says she loves wearing this oversized blazer to the office so much, she has them in five colors.

"It is perfect for days when you have a meeting or if it’s cold in the office. It is super comfortable and stylish," she says.

Dynamite Gabrielle Stripe Cardigan

What we like
  • High-quality fabric
  • Chic and timeless design
  • Trending style for spring
Something to note
  • Buttons are not metal

Fabric: Viscose and polyester | Sizes: XXS-XL | Colorways: 1

Dynamite is giving shoppers the look of traditional workwear brands but at a fraction of the price.

This bestseller has lived up to its name as its thick, high-quality fabric adds a classic flare to any outfit.

The striped pattern allows you to mix and match the sweater with slacks, skirts and even jeans allowing the piece to transition from your workwear closet to an everyday outfit.

"This style of sweater is trending this spring and I just had to have one," Tolliver says. "Not only is the design timeless but the cut is also tailored to highlight your neckline."

Brooklyn Heights High Rise Wide Leg Pant

What we like
  • Flowy material
Something to note
  • Oversized in the leg

Fabric: Recycled polyester and spandex | Sizes: 0-24 | Colorways: 3

The Brooklyn Heights pants tow the line between workwear and workout wear. Editorial assistant Annie Shigo says she loves these pants because "they're super breezy and flattering but also look like workwear."

Shopper favorites for comfortable work clothes

Everlane The Satin Pull-On Pant

What we like
  • Works in warm and cold weather
  • Feels like lounge wear
Something to note
  • Sold out in larger sizes

Fabric: Viscose | Sizes: XXS-M | Colorways: 4

Professionals online say silk pants are a great hack to feel like you're wearing pajama pants at work. The satin pull-on pants from Everlane are made of a silk substitute and are over 70 percent off right now.

One reviewer said they can't stop wearing these pants.

"I got the printed version with the matching top and have worn them at work, to nights out… the pants are really gorgeous," the reviewer said on Everlane. "It’s so hard to find a pant that fits well on my body, when you have a butt and thighs you thank heavens when you find a pair like this."

Rag & Bone Miramar Sofie Cropped Wide-Leg Jeans

What we like
  • Ultimate comfort disguised
Something to note
  • Faux back pockets

Fabric: Cotton | Sizes: 24-32 | Colorways: 1

Ever wanted to have the look of jeans and the feel of sweatpants? Well Rag & Bone just made your dreams come true.

Their Miramar Sofie jeans are jeats — sweats that look like jeans.

A content creator took TikTok by storm as she showed just how real these jets look and even put them to the test by wearing them to work.

How we chose comfortable work clothes

Building your work wardrobe can be tricky, but at Shop TODAY we’ve got you covered. Drawing from the expertise of seasoned fashion professionals, we prioritized work clothes that seamlessly merged style with comfort. We tapped sources from different industries to give readers a diverse round-up of shopping tips and products. Our experts suggested comfortable clothes that radiate professionalism while allowing easy movement and practicality.

Also, our editorial team highlighted some of their favorite pieces in their closets. By monitoring online trends, we included pieces that are making waves across social media and embrace comfort-centric work clothes.

Meet our experts

  • Shannon Banks is a licensed Realtor in the State of Iowa. Banks is an agent at Skogman Realty based in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area.  
  • John Imah is the CEO of a Stealth Startup. He previously worked as an executive at Meta, Snapchat, Amazon and Samsung. Imah believes that his style factor has often set him apart and leveled him up for his tech success.
  • John McCormack is the global fashion trend lead at Primark stores. McCormack is a fashion concept designer and trend forecaster with over 15 years of experience.
  • Christina Murphy is a licensed Realtor based in Marlboro, New Jersey.
  • Des Schnell is an Arizona-based primary school librarian. Schnell is a content creator sharing educator-related fashion and the exciting moments of working with children.
  • Kenzie Welch is a fashion stylist and content creator helping followers find their style in their wardrobes. Also known as Styling with Kenzie on her social media platforms, she has over 10 years of experience working in the fashion and beauty industry.