If you are a soon-to-be graduate, starting a new job, or looking to update your work wear following a recent promotion, position change, department move, or other significant professional event, you might be staring into a closet full of clothes that are no longer appropriate for the next chapter in your life. Congratulations! You now get to invest in a new work-appropriate wardrobe. The possibilities are endless. However, your bank account most likely is not.
So, what pieces should a working professional splurge on? Or save on? I’m tackling this corporate work wear question in a two-part blog, and this week I’ve got some tips for work wear essentials that definitely fit under the “splurge” category. IMO, these pieces are worth a little extra cash as they’re used often and incredibly versatile. The last thing you want is to be freezing on a windy day even though you’re wearing your winter coat, so on that note …
#1 A Winter Coat - If you live in a climate where it snows, sleets, or isn’t Miami, spend the money and invest in a work-appropriate winter coat. I personally wear a long, black wool coat (as it hides winter stains and matches everything), but I’ve been coveting the Lisbet Coat from Marge Clothing. This stunning coat is not only incredibly sophisticated and chic looking. It’s a show stopper that will keep you warm during long commutes and turn heads on the train.
#2 One Stunning Suit - Nothing says you’re ready for an interview, big meeting or a jam-packed day like a classic suit. And a word of advice … buy the matching blazer + skirt + pants. If you’re spending the money purchasing a navy skirt, also purchase the matching blazer, and if you can swing it, purchase the matching trousers. This way you know that the fabrics will be exactly the same. I made this mistake early in my career and wore a black pencil skirt + black blazer from different retailers. When I left for a client lunch and stepped into the sunlight, it was so apparent (and embarrassing) that the two pieces were not the same shade of black. I absolutely love the way that The Limited displays their tall suits online. You can easily see which pieces + colors are grouped together, and the site often has sales!
#3 Trousers - Invest in several quality pairs of trousers - they’re a work wear staple, and an item you can wear year-round. I search for synthetic materials (often wrinkle-free) and natural fibers, as well as pants that are lined for the winter months. Opt for basic, neutral colors (black, gray, navy) that will mix and match well with blouses, sweaters, oxford shirts, etc. that you might already have in your closet.
#4 Sheath Dresses - Stock up sheath dresses (with and without sleeves). I absolutely adore a sheath dress for the office as they’re a quick pick from the closet (for those mornings with 7am meetings when I’m not awake enough to mix/match outfits). They’re also easy to combine with other pieces in your wardrobe. Throw on a blazer over the dress, add a sweater, or put on a pair of tights and you’ve got a whole new look. On a budget? Check out places like Marshalls or TJ Maxx. If you’re looking for an investment piece, check here or here for my latest obsessions.
Making a worthwhile investment now in these items, and taking care of them means that these corporate work wear essentials will still look stunning years from now. I’d love to hear from you … what work wear items have you splurged on?
Sourcing + curating stylish work wear for chic, polished, professional and classy ladies everywhere ... thanks for following along!
Work wear, corporate styles and and business fashions for chic + corporate women.