Dress like a boss with 8 key pieces

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Dress like a boss with 8 key pieces

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MILLY founder and Know Your Value panelist Michelle Smith knows the value of dressing your best at work, whether you’re at an interview, a client meeting, or a sales pitch. Here are Michelle’s eight mix-and-match essentials that will help you dress like the boss, Monday through Friday.

1. Slim sheath dress 

Invest in a well-fitting sheath dress, a piece that is timeless and flattering on all figures. For your first investment, choose a solid, dark color such as black, charcoal, or navy. You can always expand your wardrobe later on to include a print or pop of color. 

Michelle suggests: Italian Cady Stretch Mika Dress

2. Tailored jacket 

A jacket is an essential piece for work attire – and is preferable to a cardigan, which can read as soft and weak. Donning a jacket will give your figure a strong, powerful line. 

Michelle suggests: Italian Cady Stretch Cropped Jacket

3. Silk blouse 

Blouses are the versatile building blocks for your wardrobe. Wear them tucked in or free-flowing, with a skirt or pants, with a jacket or without. A loose-cut white blouse is a smart purchase as it compliments all body types and pairs easily with any bottom. 

Michelle suggests: Katalina Blouse

4. Pants 

Depending on your frame, choose between a slim pant and a wide-leg pant, and pair with a blazer, blouse, and heels. For petite frames, the paperboy trouser is a trendy look, while the wide-leg pant is flattering on curvier figures, falling away from the hips and elongating the legs.

Michelle suggests: Italian Cady Stretch Paperbag Trouser or Hayden Pintuck Trousers

5. Classic pencil skirt 

Pencil skirts are timeless, classically feminine, and professional. Consider wearing your skirt at knee-length, and pair it with a blouse and jacket.

Michelle suggests: Tech Stretch High Waist Pencil Skirt

6. Statement coat 

This often-overlooked piece is essential in your work wardrobe. Flattering on all figures, a well-tailored statement coat creates structure and pulls together an outfit. It can be worn both after work and on weekends. 

Michelle suggests: Zip Coat

7. Structured work tote 

People often notice your handbag before your clothes. Make sure to have a classic, structured handbag that is spacious enough to fit your career essentials, such as a resume or portfolio.

Michelle suggests: Isabelle Pebble Large Tote

8. Leather point-toe pump

Always wear a closed-toe shoe. A mid-heel is ideal – approximately 3 to 3.5 inches high. A pointed-toe pump will elongate the leg and enhance your business getup. 

Michelle suggests: The Manolo Blank “bb” pointy-toe pump (inexpensive copies are also available for those on a tighter budget).

For more looks curated specifically by MILLY founder and designer Michelle Smith, check out our MILLY BE THE BOSS SHOP and get ready to #SHOWYOURVALUE. Follow Michelle Smith on Twitter and Instagram @millybymichelle and stay up to date on all the #KNOWYOURVALUE tips from our five-city tour with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski!

You can also check out more MILLY advice here:

Five spring fashion trends for the officeHow to incorporate the spring 2015 runway trends into your work ensemble.

Meet MILLY’s Michelle SmithA Q&A with Michelle Smith about her career journey.