I am lucky, as a Real Estate Broker and Realtor®, my professional wardrobe is fairly flexible. If I know I’m going to be at inspections all day, I can dress down. No one has time for looking in a crawl space with 5″ heels on. Whereas if I am going on a listing appointment, I can spruce up. Starting from scratch can be hard to build your professional wardrobe. I had a lot of trial and error. But, along the way I devised a few tips for creating a professional wardrobe.
Want to take a great outfit to BAM an awesome one? Add a statement bag. I have a few I love. This nautical inspired one goes with just about everything all summer long. I also have a large purple Kate Spade bag that fits everything from my laptop to all the paperwork I have to carry around and always gets comments. It can take any outfit to the next level and really add a little extra oomph into your professional wardrobe.
Show Some Blazer Love
Blazers are my secret weapon to elevate any outfit from casual to professional. Jeans and a t-shirt, for most offices, is not appropriate work attire. But throw on a blazer, a great pair of shoes and you have a polished, professional look that will work for most environments. Here I paired my favorite t-shirt dress with a blazer to take it from lazy summer days to office chic.
Day to Night
We are all busy, business women who are trying to balance careers and having a life. #GirlBoss! Know what no one has time for? Going home and changing between work and going out to meet friends/co-workers/clients. Having a wardrobe that easily transitions outfits from business days to after hour specials is a great trick. Switch out your structured jacket from the day with a swingy little cardigan for example, will take you from the boardroom to cocktails with the girls with an easy transition. Or switch out your heels for a pair of flats you have stashed away in the car and you’ll be all set, and comfortable for happy hour. When so much of our networking happens outside of the office, it’s necessary to have a professional wardrobe that works for both.
Find pieces that fit your body well. I have a long torso, which means often times shirts that fit other people normally run a little short on me. I use to try and fight it, buying that cute shirt anyways. And, then I would spend the entire day uncomfortably tugging it down and worrying about it riding up while I was reaching for things. Don’t be like me. Know your body, know what looks good, what you feel confident in, and what you don’t.
Rule of Threes
Ever have an outfit that you should be cuter than it is? Chances are you are missing out on the rule of threes. Take an outfit from bland to polish by adding a third piece. One and two are the basics of your outfit, think your pants and shirt. Then number three is what will take your outfit to the next level. This can be a cardigan, jacket, vest, or a statement accessory like a scarf or fashion jewelry. It will take your grocery shopping on the weekends outfit to office wearable in 2 seconds flat.
What are some of your tips for building your professional wardrobe looking chic in the workplace?