Post # 1
I just landed a new job (YAY!) that requires professional dress as it’s very client facing. I’ve been living the life of casual comfort for the last 5 years in my previous role so have had to do a major wardrobe overhaul. Luckily I’m managing to snag great deals on nearly all my items (40% off on my new suit, 50% off on new loafers and pencil skirs, whoop whoop) — but even with these great deals, seeing those dollar signs rack up is so painful!
I’m only buying a base of basics at this point and then will use the initial weeks to scope out what other women in the office are wearing and start filling out the wardrobe from there but this initial push to even get the foundations of a professional wardrobe is cringeworthy.
I’m definitely looking forward to the new job but could totally use a fairy godmother each morning who dresses me for free 😀
Post # 2
TravelingBride31 : I hear you. But once you’ve got some good-quality staples you’ll find you can get away with a few cheaper pieces to mix them with.
I do most of my work wardrobe shopping in the sales; I really like LK Bennett as their stuff is good quality and not mega-expensive, and they have a sale section year-round on their website which is unusual. Might be worth checking out 🙂
Post # 3
TravelingBride31 : A black pencil skirt can give you so much use–you can rewear it every week and no one will notice. I find that (somewhat surprisingly) Target carries great business wardrobe staples at great prices. I also like Banana Republic for business wear–see if you can find an outlet store near you. If you’re open to vintage/thrift stores, I promise you’ll find slews of business wear there. The pencil skirt and basic blouse has been in style for decades and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Post # 4
janna121215 : agree re the pencil skirt but disagree re black; I find navy and grey much more versatile. It’s a bit of a myth that black goes with everything
Post # 5
barbie86 : That’s a good point about mixing in cheaper items once I have my base of investment pieces. At the moment it’s all about the long-term investment items that I should get a lot of mileage out of, which is great except for investment items are expensive and typically boring. Black pencil skirt, black or navy dress pants, neutral silk blouses, etc. Once my savings has recovered a bit and the paychecks actually start arriving I’m looking forward to shopping for cheaper fun pieces!
L.K. Bennett has some great stuff! Will definitely be adding their sale section to my weekly trawling!
Post # 6
TravelingBride31 : I get it.
But…once you have the basics – a couple good pants/skirts, jackets – all you need to do to update your wardrobe day to day or even year to year for a while is rotate what you wear underneath or add in one or two trendy pieces a year to keep it fresh if you want. Really, if you make sure to keep the basics good quality and more classic (rather than trendy) and take care of it your base wardrobe can last you years.
I did a bigger wardrobe update this year so also spent more than usual but I got everything on 40-50% sales and the last time I spent more than a few bucks over the year on my work wardrobe was probably 8+ years ago. I really like Express, BR, Laura Petites/Laura for work basics. I also agree on looking at thrift stores – I find so many shirts/shells and such new with tags at them.
You may not have a fairy godmother to pay but I do think having professional dress makes it very easy to dress in the morning…my biggest dressing decision in the morning is usually what to wear under my suit jacket. My office is business casual but my job itself requires more business professional (sometimes business formal) a lot of the time and I actually just prefer to go professional 90% of the time at office whether needed or not. I think it looks and feels good. 🙂
And of course, big congrats on the new job!
P.S. Tip: always leave a jacket in your office even on “casual Fridays” and such just in case a client pops by. You can throw it over any dress, top, sweater and go from business casual to professional 🙂