Dress for the life you want to live, not the life you’re currently living. We’ve all heard that phrase several times but what does it truly mean? It can be a quite confusing statement and come with many misconceptions. For example, a college student might think: ”Why can I not wear Hollister every day? There is no need for me to be in a suit when I am sitting in my Econ 201 class on a Thursday evening.” Or the corporate warrior woman who has no desire to climb the ladder may loathe the business professional attire required of a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday position. Here is where the problem lies in both situations: dressing for where you are in your life leaves you tugging at the world in which you’re trying to live instead of focusing on where you want to be.
I am a 26 year old “fashionprenuer” and I should dress as such. It can be really hard for people to transition their wardrobe from college bohemian chic to classic & polished professional with a flip of the switch. That’s where having 5 key wardrobes staples helps. You never know who you’ll bump into when grocery shopping or studying at Starbucks. I met the Director of Public Relations for Neiman Marcus while at Starbucks crunching store numbers. She complimented me on my Prada wedges and I raved about her Givenchy Tote. Cards were exchanged and a friendship was forged. Now let’s build you a Dress For Success Wardrobe that can be used at any age and any time frame in your life.
1. Classic Trench
A Classic well cut trench coat can last for seasons and be used during anytime of the year. Invest in one that is tailored to your body. For cost-conscious consumer Michael Kors makes a great single breast trench. Higher-end well crafted Burberry is an excellent investment.
2. Classic Black Pump
A classic crafted 4” black pump can take you from day to night with no issues. Invest in a great pump that can last more than a couple wears. Also take it to a shoe repair and get the soles redone for longer wear. Nine West makes a great pump for an astounding price. If you’re willing to splurge, Serio Rossi is will be a great return on your investment.
3. Little Black Dress
The little black dress became a staple in the American women’s closet the day Audery Haprner made it so with Breakfast At Tiffany’s. A LBD can take you from interviews, weddings, funerals, lunch dates to many more occasions. As with the trench, find one that fits you and your body style. Victoria Beckham makes great dresses that embraces all body styles.
Your purse can speak for you without your even knowing. It can say she makes power moves or she throws everything in there and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. A tote that shows no logos and has little flashy hardward is a win. You can look professional without stating how much money you have. Marc by Marc Jacobs makes several cute purses with a wide variety of price points.
Your wardrobe is not complete without a great blazer. I suggest purchasing a black or Grey blazer. They can be paired with several things in your closet. This helps you get multiple wears out of different outfits and styles. Ralph Lauren makes a fabulous blazer.
If you already own any of these pieces you can switch it up for other items to build your wardrobe. Shopping your closet is essential for staying within monthly budgets along with keeping track of what you already own. Furthermore, remember you don’t have to shop steep department stores. Browses your local TJ Maxx’s or consignment shops to spend a fraction of the cost.
What do you think? What are the “must haves” in your professional wear closet?