I work a lot. Hell, I spend more time at the office than I do at home. With that being said, if I couldn’t incorporate some of my personality into my work attire, I would most likely die a slow and painfully colorless death. Dramatic? Perhaps. But, I think a lot of us have this perceived idea that business attire needs to be muted in order to be professional. I’m here to tell you, this is not the case. Here’s a few hot tips to consider when building out your business wardrobe:
1. Buy Staple Pieces. These are the more expensive investment pieces you’ll have in your closet. Take for example, my staples: Italian leather loafers, black pumps, pencil skirt, 3 piece-suit, 1-2 high-end ties, briefcase/work bag, A-line dress, leather belt, and a pea coat. Buy these for quality not quantity. And whether I mix and match them with less-expensive items, or throw them all together for an executive meeting, they’ll be sticking around for a while.
2. Once you’ve invested in your staples, you can start building out your wardrobe. The less-expensive items.
3. Tailor your outfits. I cannot stress this enough! You could purchase a second-hand suit for $10 and make it look like a million bucks – if you tailor it. When its tailored, it looks expensive; and when it looks expensive, it looks like you’ve invested your hard-earned money, showing you care about how you look.
4. Buy blazers in different colors and design. In the article 5 Gorgeous Affordable Blazers, I list my favorite blazers that are great for not just the office, but any occasion. And they’re affordable, which allows for you to mix and match with other outfits.
5. When you find trousers you love, buy them in doubles. I made a rookie mistake, and ordered only one pair of the most incredible trousers. I wore them all the time to the office, and when they were worn out, I could never find them again.
6. Never under-estimate dry cleaning. Yes, it can be expensive at times, but I’ve ruined too many good blouses that I’ve learned my lesson.
7. Wait for seasonal sales, this gets you more bang for your buck. Then tailor everything!
8. Be daring on colors – but careful on cuts. Get adventurous with colors, textures, and prints. But be careful with too low of cut shirts, and too short of skirts or dresses.
9. Mix your staples with your cheaper finds. Example: I’ve paired a $7 blouse, $16 trousers and a Louis Vuitton tie together. The entire outfit looked like I walked out of vogue.
10. Remember, it’s all about how you wear your outfit, not about who made it.
At the end of the day, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to look good. Your clothes are just an accessory to your personality; and your personality will out shine anything you wear.