Greetings Divas! And welcome to what I hope will be another fabulously productive work week. As you may recall, the Chronicles has played host to a series of post designed to help Professional Divas build a professional wardrobe. In the first installment, I shared my suggestions for 10 basic staples that every professional woman should have in her closet. In the second installment, I added nine additional items which were meant to add to and complement the basics. In this final installment, I hope to add some more items to this list that will hopefully round out your professional wardrobe.
Before we get into these final steps, let’s take a look back at the items we previously added to our closets. The 10 basic items are:
(1) A complete suit in black, navy, or charcoal gray;
(2) A sheath dress;
(3) A black skirt;
(4) Black pants;
(5) A button-down white shirt;
(6) A black blazer;
(7) Quality blue jeans;
(8) A classic trench coat;
(9) Classic black pumps; and
(10) A set of pearls.
And the next items are:
(11) A second complete suit
(13) Basic tank tops
(14) Button-down shirts
(15) Khaki pants
(16) Another sheath dress
(17) Navy blue and dark brown shoes
(18) Work bag
And now for the final list of items to round out your professional wardrobe:
(20) A Third Complete Suit – By now you’ve already purchased two complete suits in black, navy, or charcoal gray (as suggested in the first two installments). This time, purchase another complete suit in the third, remaining color. Remember that a complete suit includes a blazer, matching pants, and a matching skirt. As I said before, score a suit in light wool material that would allow you to wear the skirt and pants as separates, which gives you more outfit options.
(21) A Patterned Pencil Skirt – What do I mean by patterned? Not solid! Think about it…you already have a black, charcoal gray, and navy blue skirt (which came with your suits). This time, pick up a skirt with a neat pattern on it. Something that can be worn with a solid button-down shirt, or a cardigan, or a blazer. Something funky, but not too distracting.
(22) Brown Pants – This is an easy piece to add to the items you have already purchased. Be sure to choose a classic cut that fits comfortably. As with other staple pieces, select a pair of pants made of light wool material. These pants would pair well with cardigans and button-down shirts.
(23) Another Blazer (Not Black) – In the first installment, I suggested that you purchase a black blazer, which would pair well with dresses, skirts, pants, and jeans. This time, score another blazer in a different color. Like the black blazer, this one should be versatile and comfortable, which would allow you to optimize it as an accessory. If you’re really feeling bold, get one in a bright color…just a thought!
(24) Another Work Dress (Like the Sheath) – In the previous installments, I suggested that you have two sheath dresses in black, brown, or gray. This time, get yourself another work dress. It doesn’t have to be a sheath, but it should exude the same effect: classy and professional. Try to purchase a dress that is a different color than the previous dresses…we’re going for variety!
(25) Pin-striped Pants – Another easy piece to add to your wardrobe that would pair well with existing items. Again, classic cut…comfortable fit.
(26) A Variety Shirts – Now that you have your suits, skirts, and pants in your closet, try to find different tops that bring variety to your wardrobe. Maybe it’s a wrap shirt, or a turtleneck, or cashmere sweater…in any event, these shirts are a great way to bring some personality, and color, to your wardrobe.
(27) Red Pumps – So, you’ve already gotten the classic black pump, a navy blue shoe, and a brown shoe. Add some edge to your growing shoe closet by adding a red pump. There’s nothing like a red pump to give a professional outfit some kick! Red shoes look great with black, gray, navy, and brown, all of which are within the palette of your basic professional wardrobe. Like all other shoes, your red pumps should be high quality (which does not always mean expensive), and comfortable. And while you’re purchasing your red pumps…
(28) Black Knee-high Boots - …pick up a pair of black knee-high boots. Now, I know some of you are thinking that knee-high boots are completely inappropriate as career wear, but let me explain. Try pairing these boots with a knee-length pencil skirt and white blouse…not bad right? If you’re game, try to score plain, leather boots with a modest heel. Nothing gaudy!
(29) Belts – In 2012, belts do so much more than just hold up your pants. Belts can also make an outfit pop! The great thing is that you can score quality belts that are not too expensive, and that can work with a variety of different outfits. Try to get belts in different shapes, sizes, and colors to complement your outfits. For starters, be sure to get belts in black, brown, blue, red, and gray, which happen to be the same color as your basic shoes. Then, try to get belts that match your cardigans and dresses.
(30) A Nice Watch – Every Professional Diva should have a nice, basic watch that complements her wardrobe. And by nice I don’t mean expensive. The watch that I wear on a daily basis cost me $25, and it looks great with every outfit I wear. When looking for this watch, look to find one that is not distracting or gaudy….simple is better.
This concludes the Chronicles’ series on Building a Professional Wardrobe. Once you have compiled this basic wardrobe, continue to build upon it by purchasing items to enhance the basics. Additionally, you should start to add more color and variety as time goes by, like suits, skirts, dresses, and pants in different shapes and colors. You should also build on your footwear and accessories. In all instances, look for quality clothing and accessories. Finally, take care of your clothing…be sure to follow the cleaning instructions on the label.
Thank you all so much for following this series and participating in the discussion! Please feel free to add additional comments below regarding this installment and the previous post…I love to hear what you have to say! Have a great week!