An investment in a professional wardrobe is an investment in your career and your future. A well put-together wardrobe not only helps garner respect and credibility in the workplace, but it also boosts your confidence. When you dress professionally, you’ll be viewed in a more positive light, feel more professional, and be more productive.
While a nice wardrobe isn’t always cheap to put together, keeping these few tips in mind can help you strategically build a stylish, yet professional, wardrobe while spending your dollars wisely.
Keep it Classic. While you may be tempted to purchase the latest fashion trends, these items generally cost more and go out of style quicker. Stick to classic styles that will last season after season, such as a simple black suit. With classics, you can always update your look by adding an accessory, such as a new tie or scarf, or mixing and matching with other pieces.
Stick to Neutral Colors. When purchasing foundation pieces – slacks, skirts, and suits for example – avoid loud colors and patterns. Neutral colors, such as blacks, browns, and tans, mix and match much easier, and allows you to wear the item over and over again.
Make Quality Purchases. The pieces in your wardrobe will be worn many times, so don’t skimp on quality. If you opt for less expensive clothes, you might end up spending more in the long run by replacing worn-out clothing. Determine if the item’s fabric will stand up to the wear of repeated use. This doesn’t mean you have to spend $1,200 on a designer suit, but choosing a stronger fabric will allow you to wear it longer. Even if you pay a few more dollars for a suit, the price per wear will be less expensive as you wear it over time.
Know What You Want. Before you head to the store, figure out what you want or need to complete your wardrobe. This will help you avoid impulsive purchases. Having your clothes organized at home can help you identify the missing pieces in your wardrobe and help you buy items that will complement or complete an outfit. This will also help you avoid buying something you don’t need or something that won’t go with what you currently own.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, a work wardrobe isn’t something you can put together overnight. However, by making good choices, you can gradually build a professional, yet cost effective, wardrobe you can wear long term.