Are you dressed for success. Since you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking of building a professional wardrobe. Remember, just because it’s for work, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. First I’ll give you some tips that apply to both men and women. Then we’ll get into the specifics of creating a wardrobe for you good sir (or ma’am!). Ok, so let’s get you started.
Professional Wardrobe Advice For Both Men and Women
Whether you’re a man or woman, you can get the most out your professional wardrobe these frugal tips:
- Choose neutral colors for your base. Colors like gray, navy and black make sure your clothes all go together easily. President Obama says he wears only gray or navy suits because it helps him free up time for more important decisions!
- Spend some money on quality pieces that you’ll probably wear regularly.
- Use accessories to mix & match your look.g. men can use ties, and women can use jewelry to add different hues to their professional wardrobe.
- Get different versions of a piece that fits you perfectly and you really love.
Ok, keeping these things in mind, let’s move on to the specifics. Ladies first…
Building a Professional Wardrobe for Women
It’s a little trickier for women. The main reason being that their work outfit isn’t as straightforward as a man’s suit-shirt-tie combination that can be used throughout the workweek. Plus, many fashion magazines would tell you that you need a somewhat different esential wardrobe for every season.
Before we get into the list of items you should get, keep three things in mind:
- Load up on the basic outfits
- Go easy on “patterns”
- Make room for one or two showstoppers for special occasions
OK, here are the basic work outfit items you can add to your wardrobe:
- White button-down
- Black turtleneck
- Black tank
- 2 short-sleeve T-Shirts (white and black)
- 2 long-sleeve T-shirts (white and black)
- Crewneck sweater
- Pair of jeans
- Black pants
- Denim jacket
- Wool skirt
- Black suit
- Pinstriped oxford shirt
- Black dress
- Silk blouse
- Gray trousers
- Fitted jacket
- Classic trench coat
You don’t have to get every item on the list (although you may be dying to do so!).
Building a Professional Wardrobe for Men
Putting together a work wardrobe is much simpler for men. Just throw in a few suits, shirts and ties and you’re basically done. However, it does take just a little bit of planning to create a wardrobe that really helps you broadcast confidence and professionalism.
Here’s the simple formula for a minimalistic wardrobe:
- Get 10 items (2 suits, 4 shirts, 3 ties, 1 pair cufflinks)
- Multiply them (2 x 3 x 3 x 1) and create 24 combinations
- Use them to look sharp throughout the month!
Here’s a detailed list to help you complete your professional wardrobe:
- 2 formal suits
- 4 plain shirts
- 2 checked shirts
- 3 ties
- 5 pocket squares
- 1 classic tuxedo
- 2 slim dark jeans
- 2 slim neutral chinos
- 2 belts
- 1 watch
- 1 pair of sunglasses
- 1 neutral cardigan
- 2 go-to blazers
- 1 turtleneck sweater
- 2 dress shoes (black and brown)
- 1 pair each of loafers and moccasins
Of course, you don’t have to buy everything listed here. You can pick and choose according to your own style and taste.
Final Advice – Personalize Your Look
Whether you’re a man or woman, you can and should personalize your look. You want to be impressive and professional in your own, unique way.
Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune on your professional wardrobe. Nonetheless, you can always invest in high quality pieces that last longer and boost your confidence. See you at the office!