How to Develop your Work-Style Wardrobe

As said perfectly by Coco Chanel “fashion fades, only style remains” so style at the office, since we spend roughly 122,000 hours in our lives there, should be a constant. As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on “What Works @ Work” I’ve created a series of guidelines to help you develop this style. How exactly do you develop your work-style? Organize your current style and slowly make changes to your image and wardrobe as you sit fit and grow comfortable. The steps below will help you organize and determine your current style and combine it with the new image you wish to project.

  1. Take a current inventory of your wardrobe and figure out your current work-style. Determine which style category your closet is currently projecting: classic, modern, or trendy.
    • Classic clothes can be worn now as well as years from now and if you coordinate properly from this season to the next. Classic styled clothes are usually flattering to all figures and are often the most comfortable.
    • Modern clothes are minimalistic, though very stylish, and tend to be in muted and natural colors. The height of excitement is usually the architecture of the clothes.
    • Trendy clothes are often seen as high fashion and are usually the looks coming from the runway. The styles change from season to season and often resurface later. This clothing style comes is a wide range of colors and changes quickly.
  2. Know what works on your body type. Not every trend or style is meant for every body shape. Make sure the clothes in your closet fit. Too tight and you’ll look over-weight and feel uncomfortable all day, and too loose clothing will cause your appearance to look frumpy and disorganized.
  3. Determine the message you wish to project with your image. Take into considerations your age, occupation, and lifestyle when determining your new image.
  4. Edit the garments in your wardrobe. Using the information from steps 1 – 3 begin to divide your wardrobe into 4 sections: clothes to keep (make sure you’ve worn them within the year); clothes you can donate; sentimental clothes (ones you don’t necessarily wear, but would like to keep, but should also be your smallest pile); and clothes that need to be tossed.
  5. Add classic styles to any wardrobe category. The classic pieces in your wardrobe are great to combine with the latest seasons trends or more stylish item. They can balance out a look and sometimes end up being the most comfortable garments you’ll own. Some of the best classics are listed below:
    • Black Pencil Skirt
    • Navy Suit
    • Gray or Black Pants
    • LBD (and office appropriate little black dress)
    • White Button Down Blouse
    • Silk Tank
    • Black Patent Leather Heels
    • Sling-back low heels – preferably in a bold color
    • Trench
    • Cardigan Sweater
  6. Search for inspiration. Look through fashion magazines, trade publications, and online fashion sites to build a look book of styles you like. This file will be your guide to shopping as you develop your new image and wardrobe. Remember to look through hair and beauty magazines as well.
  7. As you shop keep the category of your style and the style inspiration in mind. Arrange appointments with a personal shopper or consultant at your favorite stores and bring the materials to help the understand the look your trying to achieve.

A work-style takes more than one shopping trip to develop. You’ll want to continuously edit your closet each season and add more garments.


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