Building Your Work Wardrobe Basics Part 1

Kheushla Powe

Most corporate jobs either require business professional or business casual. Some smaller offices may even let their employees wear casual attire. Whatever your office dress code is, it can be difficult trying to be code appropriate and fashionable. Being fashionable and appropriate in the a work setting can be tricky.  You want to be cute while staying within the dress code. No one wants to work with or promote a sloppy or unkempt person, no matter how hard of a worker you are. Bottom line your appearance is important. This post will walk you through building the basics or foundation of your work wardrobe. This will be the first post in a three part series.

In this series we will cover building wardrobe basics for business professional, business casual and casual. Todayโ€™s post will cover business professional. Business professional is defined as mostly conservative, dark and restrained. This consists of pant suits and skirt suits with nice blouses or tops. You can also wear dresses with a jacket. Although itโ€™s considered conservative, business professional does not have to be void of fashion.

Here are a few basic guidelines for business professional attire:

  • Stick to a neutral color palette
  • Simple accessories like pearls
  • All suits and skirts should be tailored to fit (Ladies, this does not mean tight)
  • Dresses and skirts should be no more than 1 to 2 inches above the knee
  • Shoes should be on the conservative side. Steer clear of heels over 3 to 4 inches

To begin building your basics or foundation, you can start with the following items:

  • Three Blazers
  • Three pair of slacks
  • Three dresses
  • Eight tops
  • Start with two pairs of shoes (neural pump or flat, black pump or flat)

Places to find your basics:

  • Banana Republic
  • Banana Republic Factory Store
  • Ann Taylor
  • J. Crew
  • J.Crew Factory
  • H&M
  • Zara
  • TJ Maxx
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Saks Off Fifth
  • Neiman Marcus Last Call