When choosing clothes for a professional wardrobe, clean lines, neutral colors and subtle accessorizing all speak of quiet confidence and capability. It’s the poised, knowledgeable look that matches your professional demeanor. Style, color, fit and quality are all elements of a sharp business wardrobe that will give you the confidence to succeed in your chosen field.
Pick your style
When building your business wardrobe, pick quality over quantity: a few good pieces will look better and last longer. Especially when it comes to shoes and handbags and other accessories, design and materials will stand out. As well as style, there are some practical considerations that will guide your shopping. Classic, neutral, mix and match styles will give your business wardrobe more versatility and staying power.
Even with professional clothes, just wearing the same clothes and colors day after day can get boring. With a wardrobe of basic pieces including shirts, skirts, pants, accessories, and shoes that you can mix in different combinations, you can recreate your work self every day. Accessories and shoes are the time to add your own individual touch to your business wardrobe.
It’s also important to find clothes that fit right. It’s worthwhile to invest some time and effort to find your correct size and the style that best suits you. Many stores have shoppers who can help you as you try out different styles and sizes. Collections like Michele have basic pants and jeans for all sizes and figure types for a clean, professional look.
Start with the basics
When building a sharp business wardrobe, start with a few good basic pieces. They will serve as the foundation for a professional wardrobe to which you can add slowly as you find the right clothes and accessories to match. Basics should include shirts, a skirt or two, two or three pairs of work pants, a suit, shoes, handbag, and accessories like jewelry and scarves. Layering pieces like camisoles, t-shirts, and turtlenecks can add variety and a touch of color.
As you expand your work wardrobe, you can add softer touches like blouses in pale greys and dusty rose, dresses that can be paired with blazers or sweaters, and less structured handbags like a bohemian hobo or bucket bags. Remember, your wardrobe will also change with the seasons, with softer styles and colors for spring and summer.
Basic white button-downs are the way to go when you’re just starting to build your business wardrobe. Once you start to add to it, you can go for softer looks like blouses in neutral grey, soft rose, pale blue and beige.
A basic black woolen skirt is a staple for every working wardrobe. Style and cut matter, so choose a skirt that suits you. It will take you places!
Basic work trousers in black, grey and beige are another wardrobe staple that makes dressing every morning much easier. They don’t have to be boring, however. The style and fabrics can add a subtle touch of power wear. For 2019, fitting pants are being replaced by more flowing styles, including wide leg pants.
Suits or blazer
Depending on how formal your workplace is, you may need a basic suit or two in black, grey or navy. It’s always a good idea to have one for important occasions like presentations, meetings and such. In less formal settings, you may be able to get away with just a blazer that can be worn over shirts, blouses, t-shirts, and turtlenecks.
This is your chance to individualize your look, with jewelry, brooches, handbag, and scarves. They should match the overall look of professionalism.
For women, it sometimes seems that work shoes and comfort are two different things, destined never to meet. Fortunately, some brands do manage to achieve this combination. These brands tend towards the higher end, and that’s also a good choice when it comes to shoes. Better quality shoes will not only look better and last longer, but your feet will also thank you.
Building your business wardrobe is your chance to project a capable, professional image that matches your capabilities at work. Choosing clean, classic styles in neutral colors will build a foundation on which you can add touches of individuality and color to create your own personal style.