Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Building A Professional Wardrobe

Work Clothes
Since the recession hit, a lot of people have become more insecure about their jobs. This leads to a "oh I didn't think of that but it makes sense" trend of people dressing more professionally. The logic goes something like: when you look more professional you are perceived and act so - an easy way to boost job security! Here are some tips on building a great work wardrobe.
  • A suit. You should at the very least own a blazer and matching pants, and a matching skirt and dress never hurts! If you have yet to own anything, I recommend starting off with gray in a lightweight wool - wearable year-round!Banana Republic is a great place to buy affordable suit separates ($200-$300 for a total suit). They tend to use the same fabric season over the season, so you can always wait to get the skirt or dress next time. Other places to look would be Emporio Armani ($300-$400) and Club Monaco ($200-$300). If you're ready to take the plunge into something more high end, I definitely recommend going in person so it can be tailored then and there.
  • Now it's time to build around the suit, starting with some fun tops. Sure, everyone needs one crisp, white button down, but don't be afraid of some bright colors or patterns. Check out Thomas Pink if you don't know where to start, or Victoria's Secret if you're on a budget.
  • You probably won't need to wear a full suit every day, so you'll need some non-matchy bottoms, a few pencil skirts and straight leg trousers will fit the bill nicely! While neutrals like black and beige always work, you should have a few bright pieces to jazz up your look. And remember to buy some in a lightweight, summer fabric (cotton or linen) and some in a thicker winter fabric (tweed)! Try Anne Klein or Express if you're looking for affordability.
  • As for dresses, almost anything should match your suit jacket, but look for flattering sheath shapes first. Nordstrom has a ton in cute colors and prints to browse. And no bare shoulders please!
  • Finally, don't forget to accessorize! If you're lacking any classics, it's time to pick them up, whether its a pair of sling back pumps, a structured tote or some diamond studs! I'm particularly fond of Cole Haan for shoes and Kate Spade for purses, but Nine West and Bandolino have some great options too at more affordable prices.


Eyeliah said...

It is important to dress the part, especially when our jobs are on the line, but the other side of the coin is it can be hard to afford to dress so nice when are wallets are aching!

Anthea said...

Ahh the working basics! Great feature. Want to link exchange?