Have you ever been stymied by what you should wear to the office? Or bored with your current standbys? Or perhaps even found yourself, staring blankly in the closet in the morning, wondering what you should wear?
Dressing for the office does not have to be boring, expensive or complicated. In this article, I will look at simplifying women’s clothing. Next week we’ll tackle the men’s closet.
The Basic Work Wardrobe: What’s the Dress Code?
I have worked in all sorts of places in the past few years, each with separate dress codes. It ranged from “suits, hose and heels” to “just don’t wear flip flops or spaghetti straps”. This gives a lot of scope for clothing. I find that I aim for the middle now, even though my past five clients were ultra-casual.
Know What You Have
Inventory your closet. Try on everything. If it doesn’t fit, has stains, looks terrible or you haven’t worn it in six months, get rid of it. Look at what’s left. Are there certain colors or styles that run through the clothes?
Creating Clothing Capsules
To make a very flexible and easy wardrobe, create capsules. A basic capsule is made up of the following:
- Two jackets or sweaters in solid complimentary colors
- Two pants or skirts in solid complimentary colors, matching the jackets/sweaters above
- One top and skirt in a pattern that coordinates with both the colors of the jackets/sweaters above
- A top in white or ivory
- A top in a contrasting color that works with both the jacket/sweater colors above
- Two more tops in another neutral, black or gray
- Two other skirts or pants in a more casual fabric, that will coordinate with the above.
With the above clothing, you will be able to assemble more than a week’s worth of outfits easily and quickly. Buy them in easy-care fabrics, and you eliminate ironing.
These capsules can be varied to take into account seasonal colors, fabric weights and climate.
It makes dressing much easier if you have one heel height and stick to it. This means that no matter what pair of pants you put on, they will be long enough.
Buy decent quality shoes that are comfortable and stylish enough for your tastes. Don’t skimp on your shoes. If you want to see what poor-fitting footwear can do, take a look at the feet of your elderly relatives, who endured years of pointy-toed shoes.
Photo by InfinitelyDigital