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It's tempting, when facing the perpetual what-the-hell-do-I-wear-to-work conundrum, to just throw your hands in the air, head to your nearest J.Crew, and buy one of everything. But any seasoned office drone (*winks*) knows you only really need a slim selection of items in order to truly master "business-casual" attire. Ahead, 22 cool-girl workwear essentials worth stocking up on, even if you're only on an assistant's budget.

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The Moto Jacket

BlankNYC, $98

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Take it from us: The moto jacket is the ultimate cool-girl work essential. It’s not quite as formal as a blazer, but it still gets the job done.

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The Midi Dress

Stella McCartney, $985

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Denim is a classic staple, fit for practically any work environment. Business casual has so many variations these days anyways, but a sophisticated look like this one is definitely part of the vocabulary.

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Low-Heeled Sandals

Steve Madden, $79

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When you don't want to deal with switching out your shoes on the commute.

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The Shirt Dress or Jumpsuit

Lush, $36

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A jumpsuit for the creative types who love a good wide leg. If you're not really the type to wear jumpsuits, try a dress equivalent in the classic shirtdress.

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The T-Shirt/Shift Dress

Topshop, $40

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A non-schlubby t-shirt dress that you'll be thankful for come summer.

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Flats

Nicholas Kirkwood, $475

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An extra comfortable pair of leather flats that you can simply slip on and go.

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The Cotton Top

Zara, $30

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When the average button-up shirting options all start looking the same, it never hurts to break it up with something fun but still work-appropriate. Case in point: this checkered V-neck option.

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Sling-Backs

Chloe, $695

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A shoe in a timeless sling-back style looks especially good with cropped trousers and still looks fresh with tights in cold weather.

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The Navy Trouser

Leith, $45

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If you want to shop navy trousers that won't make you feel like a total office drone, look for a pair of non-starchy options like these stylish high-waisted ones.

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Loafers

Madewell, $158

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You'll get plenty of mileage out of these clean white oxfords that go with everything (and won't slow down your commute).

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The Pencil Skirt

Kit and Ace, $78

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A high-waisted pencil skirt that won't feel like it's constricting your movement. This one's extra stretchy and comfortable, but still looks tailored.

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The Cover-Up

Mango, $60

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An ideal sleeveless vest for warmer days that's like a trench without the arms: wrap it over a dress for an added layer of warmth and style.

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The Goes-With-Everything Jacket

Wilfred, $149

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A fitted bomber jacket that won't feel too trendy to wear again and again.

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The Tunic Dress

Whistles, $129

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A versatile dress that still covers up your arms (for more conservative office environments) and is easy enough to slip on with a pair of heels and be ready for your commute.

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The Cropped Pant

Zara, $16

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A very Kiera Knightley-esque pair of cropped men's-style trousers with flattering darting up the sides.

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The Button-Up Shirt

H&M;, $50

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A crisp white shirt will never go out of style. If you work in an extra creative office environment, you can get away with layering it under a camisole with culottes or a spaghetti strap dress à la Kendall Jenner.

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The Lady Bag

& Other Stories, $235

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The answer to boring work totes: a chic Céline-worthy lady bag with sleek hardware details.

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The Midi Skirt

Achro, $70

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Midi skirts are the Goldilocks of skirt lengths that make dressing easy. This one's exceptionally styled, with gold heart details and a flattering wrap waist. Wear it with a classic dress shirt or a sweater and look instantly pulled-together.

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The Silk Top

Cos, $99

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A breezy top with flowery draping details is a pretty work staple to layer with everything else.

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The Tote Bag

Auxiliary, $125

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A reliable tote bag to handle your laptop, your lunch, and anything else you can think to cram in there.

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The Shoulder Bag

Chloe, $819

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A no-frills shoulder bag with only enough room for the essentials is a perfect choice for when you're running between events and don't want to carry a ton.

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Pumps

Reiss, $110

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A workwear essential (even if you never wear heels) for interviews and special events that require a stricter dress code. This one comes in a chic scalloped design that will pop against any ensemble.

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