How to build a professional work wear closet

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Answered by: Olaak, An Expert in the Clothes for Work Category
So you got the job, you know the work; you are ready to make a difference and take the reins at work. Now what do you wear? It is very easy to be overwhelmed and lost in the department store aisles in the search for professional clothes for work. Sometimes you might pick several work wear pieces and the struggle to put them together into a professional outfit.

Your work wear is very important. It represents the first impression that you project; to co-workers, to the boss, to the clients etc. You should always look professional. You cannot take any days off. One wrong work outfit can leave a lasting negative impression. You have to wear appropriate work wear every single day. It sounds easier than it is in real life.

Here is a guide to build your professional work wear. It is easy to remember, easy to do and saves you time in the morning. Broken down into three steps.

Step 1: Select your color palette: This is necessary because it eliminates the worry of what color goes with what. If you shape your wardrobe to a specific color palette. You will never have to worry about matching this with that, everything goes together. This is how you build your personal style.

However, how do you pick a color palette? Easy! What is your favorite color? Go with that. In this case, I will select a pink color. (Going forward every work wear selected will fit into the pink color palette.)

Step 2: Investment pieces: Investment here does not mean expensive. Instead, it means these are the items you take time to select; go for quality over quantity. These are your durable items also know as your closet staples.

First investment work wear: Shoes. It could range from heels to flats. Preferable something leather or a material that looks like leather. Avoid sneakers, crocs, sandals, slippers, or wedges. Those shoes are considered casual and are not professional work wear. From the pink color palette example, you can select a pair of black, navy blue, or brown shoes.

Secondly, select a work purse or handbag. Something big enough to carry all your daily work essentials. Make sure it is made from a durable material. This bag should be the same color as your shoes selected above.

Third, select a bottom piece. Do you like pants, or do you prefer skirts, or a shift dress? Get three of these work wear items. Get them tailored if necessary. These items are the foundation of your closet. Get one of the three foundation items in the same color as your bag and shoes already selected above. The other two, get in a color in the pink color palette example.

Step 3: Tops and Accessories: These are your whimsical work wear items. In the same pink color palette, selects tops, blouses, cardigans, and blazers. You can go minimal with 3 to 4 of these work wear items, or more if you want a larger variety.

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