Dress redo to master what to wear to transition your style when your lifestyle changes.
Dear Sharon: I’m a 36 year old mom who has spent the last decade of my life somewhere between completing school and mommyhood. I’m about to graduate and need some ideas to build a professional looking wardrobe to wear for my new part-time job that’s a bit corporate.
I’m thrilled to enter the business world with my degree under my belt but my student wardrobe of raggy playground clothes or jeans and T-shirts won’t cut it for the real world.
Luckily, my husband has a good job but I still don’t want to start spending too much on business clothes right out of the gate. I would really love pieces that I can also wear when I’m not in the office as this is a part-time job. (via Fashion Advice)
>> Do you work from home? Check out Sharon’s tips on how to decorate your home office
Congratulations on your graduation! You must be so proud of yourself!
When you are in transition, rather than creating a completley different second wardrobe for yourself, which is unrealistic for most of us, it’s best to stick to pieces that do double-duty for both sides of your life.
Meaning the more versatile, the better, and you’ll still be business chic.
A style swap like this also works for any of us who work from home and have to sometimes “put it on” for business meetings. Take a cue from the illustration above as nothing looks too out of the box or unapproachable, and best of all, destined to go out of style fast.
See how we started with a fitted dark blazer as an anchor?
It works because you can dress it up and down – truly essential when it comes to investment dressing.
And by using accessories of varying sophistication, you can style key wardrobe pieces to make sense for the many moments in your life without having to water down your true sense of personal style.
Plus, when you do build that core wardrobe of work wear must-haves, you can use those pieces to dress up everyday go-to’s in your closet from jeans to sweatshirts and beyond. This way, you’ll be able to manage to look your best throughout the week.
Where to get started & pieces to stick by:
- Build a wardrobe of accessories as they can uplift and freshen any look so you can get the most wear (i.e scarves, belts of varying widths and finishes and simple yet sophisticated jewels)
- A classic khaki trench that will both elegantly top off work looks and more casual garb when you are off duty
- A crisp shirtdress in white, black and navy as you can throw it on for instant polish and easily dress it up or down with different accessories -plus, you can layer away from finishing off a look for the office with a structured blazer or a neck scarf to throwing a go-to cardigan over it for days off
- A tailored blouse in white to start with as it can work as a chic anchor for just about any look. And when looking to wear the unexpected, look for fitted blouses in hues & patterns to suit your mood
- Fitted, peg legged trousers in an array of hues are essential as a skinnier fit works best with oversized (read: comfy) blouses and knits and look great with flats too. Plus they’ll look just as smart with sandals for weekend excursions
- Wide-legged flared trousers in black and navy work with more fitted tops and help you look longer & leaner
- Buy one smart skirt-suit and one paint suit (to start with) as you can alternate between wearing a suit together or broken apart
- Even though they sound retro, a twinset is still just as clever as ever as they save time when looking to don a polished look and can be broken apart to get the most wear possible
- Invest in a pair of quality flats that you can wear outside of the office as heels most often just won’t do. Instead, look for mid-priced heels for the office that are both comfortable and offer a sense of edge that you can rotate according to your look that day
- Avoid ‘dry-clean only’ care labels as you’ll want to avoid spending a fortune on your cleaning bill and you’ll avoid having core pieces missing from your wardrobe while they are away— Sharon & Naveed
C’est Chic Crash Course is coming soon. I promise you won’t have to obsess about what you wear. But you will find the chic within yourself to soar, when you want to turn it on.
Did you get the word? StyleWORD. Every day there’s a new motivational tip and style quote to get you going.
Click to look at the looks in the photo above:
JUST ASK: Do you need some quick stylist help to amp up your style? Email us for Fashion Advice.
Published on June 12, 2014