What do you consider staples when building a professional wardrobe?
I am making a transition into a job which requires more professional clothing, and I am wondering what pieces you recommend as staples for a (female) young professional to build a professional wardrobe. I like to have things I can mix and match and build various outfits with, I am planning to build up my wardrobe over the next couple of months and am wondering - where do you suggest I start?
I worked in a corporate professional job for many years. I also taught dress code to business school students.
One of the first ingredients are plain skirts and pants. Taupe, black, navy.
Next is blouses. White or tan.
I used to go to Ann Taylor Loft for my clothes or Dress Barn. I know there are tons more to shop at these days including online. I found Ann Taylor had the most professional young woman line back then. I don't know about now.
I also purchased basic color heels. Black and navy.
Then I built off of my wardrobe from those. I used to wear dresses a lot too, so I would often buy solid colors that I could dress up with a scarf, pin, or necklace.
I have also had great luck with Ann Taylor - especially Ann Taylor LOFT which tends to be a bit younger and also a bit lower prices. I definitely have a decent amount of pro-clothes, but I need more of the basics you mentioned - shoes in particular
First of all, it depends on the profession. Business attire has become a lot more casual in this current IT/dot.com generation. But I will always believe your professional presentation should be sharp and polished regardless of where you work (unless of, course, a standard uniform is involved). I recommend:
2 tailored pants suits, neutral colors
3 tailored jackets, neutral colors
2 pencil skirts, knee length, one black, one navy
3 tailored slacks
lots of blouses and shirts to interchange, add bold colors and prints
a few classic pumps, 3 inches or higher
If you're a clothes horse like me, you'll need more but this is a good start. Also take into consideration the dress code of the work place and fit in accordingly with your own unique style.
Totally agree with this. Pick neutral pants and skirts and use your shirts to add style and color.
Makes sense - a lot of these things I do already have, but I am going to need to pick up a few more.
I have a selection of neutrals (basically black, gray, tan, blue) blazers/sport jackets that I can mix and match with other pieces of clothing. For a woman, a good skirt, dress, and pant suit is a must. Acccessories can add to the look if kept simple. This fall scarves are in and they do dress up an outfit or can also give it a casual look if needed. A sweater can also add to a professional look. Always keep a jacket handy to throw on if you need to attend a meeting or meet someone. I wrote an article awhile back on dressing for a professional image and I found that many people, from the comments posted, experience a little anxiety in wardrobes when entering a new job or promotion. I advise them to dress your best the first day and observe what others are wearing so that you can follow the dress code.
I have my first day on a new job tomorrow and that's exactly my plan - going with my conservative gray suit and a colorful top (an outfit I've been given numerous compliments on in the past). Going to bring a cardigan too in case I feel over done
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