How to Build an Office Wardrobe.
We spend 40% of our time at work. Wearing clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable in the workplace (and align with the dress code policy) is actually pretty important.
Here are 6 tips to build an office wardrobe that you’ll actually love wearing.
How to build an office wardrobe.
1. Choose Your “Uniform”.
Create a work uniform or select key ‘anchor’ pieces to serve as a base for your wardrobe. It will help you get ready faster, reduce decision fatigue, and leave you feeling more confident (and stylish) in everything you wear.
The standard work uniform is pretty easy. Slacks, pencil skirts, button-up shirts, shift dresses, jackets etc. But before you start feeling like the corporate world has stolen your soul, remember there are so many different varieties of that look you really can have some fun with it!
2. Dress for the Job You Have.
Most advice columnists will tell you to dress for the job you want. We believe creating a work wardrobe that reflects the job you have, makes a lot more sense.
If you wanna be a rock star, but are working in sales to help pay the bills (for now!) your customers will probably have a lot more confidence in your abilities if you wear your buttoned-up shirt, buttoned-up.
If you’re working as a software engineer, at a company that doesn’t have a dress code policy, you probably can wear anything you want. That’s awesome! Unfortunately, stereotypes are still alive and well. So, if you feel like your ideas aren’t being heard at meetings, you might try updating those hole-filled sneakers, with something that says, “I really do care” a little bit more.
Caveat: We totally believe we shouldn’t be judged, or judge people on what they wear. But clothing is also the skin we choose to wear. So, whether or not you put a lot of thought into what you wear, you’re still sending a message about who you are and how you want people to see you.
3. Limit the number of pieces you include.
Less is totally more. Try the 15x30 challenge with your work wardrobe. You’ll be shocked at how much more brain-space you have in the mornings — and how little people notice exactly what you wear on a day to day basis.
4. Buy Quality items.
Quality items last. They look nicer. They lay nicer. They feel nicer. They are in fact, nicer. AND you don’t have to spend a fortune to buy quality. Quality often has to do with the materials the item is made out of and often these material are more natural fibers. If you shop intentionally, it’s easy to score a silk blouse, a merino wool sweater, quality pants, skirts, and jackets at second-hand stores. After Christmas Sales are also an incredible time to pick up a few items that can be worn year round.
Pro Tip #1: Look for supima cotton shirts, 100% merino wool, cashmere, and wool blends for pants. Avoid polyester as it doesn’t breathe well and often becomes itchy after a few washes — it also sends loads of micro-plastics into the water system with every wash.
Pro Tip #2: Get your best items tailored to fit you. Most clothing is made to fit a specific model and humans come in all different shapes in sizes. Paying a few extra dollars to have your anchor pieces fit you is a great investment in looking and feeling confident.
5. Choose Neutral Anchor Pieces.
When you’re buying those new quality work items, look for neutral base colors. Save the fun and outrageous stuff for more trendy pieces, that are more likely to come and go with the season. You might also stick to a color palette so you get the most out of mixing and matching different pieces.
6. Have some fun.
Just because you work in a corporate setting, it doesn’t mean you have to lose your entire personality. Find dress shirts with a fun patterns, or buy quality accessories that can liven up an outfit.
Creating a versatile office wardrobe will streamline your morning routine, help you feel more confident in stressful situations, and doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Pro Tip: Neutral colored anchor pieces easily highlight a playful tie, skirt, scarf, or accessory that’s easy to change from season to season, without needing to completely revamp your wardrobe.