When I began my first full-time job, I faced a fashion dilemma. This was the first time I’d worked in a place that didn’t have a uniform, and I would be free to choose my own clothes for work every morning. What joy!
My excitement was quickly dampened when I spent the initial hours of each morning fretting over what to put on my body. I would stand in front of my open drawers scrutinizing each item and struggling to put together an outfit. It wasn’t that I didn’t have enough suitable clothes, the problem was that I had TOO MUCH CHOICE. I was overwhelmed by the options.
I decided that the best way to tackle this would be to create a “work wardrobe”. I went through my current wardrobe with an eagle eye and pulled a selection of items that were work-appropriate. I then bought a few basic-but-classic items to mix in with them. My work wardrobe solved my daily “what to wear” dilemma and left me with enough extra time each morning to have another cup of tea before heading out the door.
If you’re facing a similar sartorial debacle, don’t worry. Today I’m going to share my tips for putting together a work wardrobe that is practical and stylish.
First of all, remember that less is more. You want to create a capsule wardrobe of carefully-chosen pieces. You want enough to create a full week’s worth of outfits and not much more. If you add too many items to your working wardrobe, you’ll be overwhelmed by choice.
My own working wardrobe contains a skirt, a pair of trousers, two dresses, three blouses and one jumper. Everything matches everything else, so I can mix-and-match outfits from this selection.
To start with, choose simple block colours that team well together. Look for crisp lines and simple pieces. If you can’t resist a beautiful print, select a well-made blouse or jumper that can be worn with a plain skirt or trousers. Dresses are also a great way to experiment with prints, because you don’t have to worry about matching them with anything; they’re an outfit all on their own.
Make sure that you select pieces that suit your body and that you feel comfortable in. You’re going to spend a large portion of your week in these things, so make sure you feel great in them.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on your work wardrobe. Look for items in your existing collection that will work. I would recommend spending a bit more cash on some nice trousers or a simple skirt and then adding a few trendy blouses for each season. Your basics will last longer and look more polished if you spring for good-quality versions.
Although it might seem boring to wear the same things every week, there’s an awesome way to dress up your work wardrobe. Accessories will be your saving grace. Never underestimate the power of an amazing pair of shoes, a gorgeous brooch or a unique scarf. Use your finishing touches to change the look of your work wardrobe and bring a touch of personality to your outfits.
Don’t forget that you can still experiment with your hair and makeup to change your look. I had loads of fun sporting victory rolls and red lippie with my basic work wear.
Resist the urge to add new items to your work wardrobe. If items become worn-out, then replace them as necessary. You might also like to add a few seasonal pieces, such as lighter-weight blouses for summer or pretty cardigans in winter. Be selective about what you add to your work wardrobe, because if you make too many additions you will be swamped with options and you’ll eliminate the purpose of creating a capsule wardrobe.
I’ve found that having a work wardrobe made getting ready in the morning so much easier. It saved loads of time and I knew that each day I walked out the door looking polished and put-together.
Do you have a work wardrobe? What do you like to wear to work?