It’s back to school for the kids and back to work for their teachers and mothers. Perhaps you are a recent college graduate entering the work force for the first time. You don’t need an expensive and exhaustive wardrobe to look fashionably work appropriate. Creating a business capsule wardrobe can be done with a few of my proven tips.
Start creating the color story of your capsule by picking a piece in your wardrobe you really love and creating the capsule around it. It could be a great handbag, scarf, or shoes. For this capsule, I chose a blush leather jacket.
Next, choose a neutral color for your foundation pieces (suit) in black, charcoal, navy, or brown.
Choose a secondary neutral color. You can use cream, bright white, camel or even a cool taupe. A secondary neutral color creates a more cohesive wardrobe.
Now choose your pop of color! For example, I chose Marsala the color of the year.
When choosing your pieces, make sure each item goes with at least three other items in the capsule.
Suit: This is your investment piece. Include a structured jacket, pant, dress or skirt. If you find pieces made in the same suiting material, BUY IT! Purchase from a store that will sell the pieces individually since most women are not the same size on top as bottom. Theory at Nordstrom, Calvin Klein at Macy’s, and Etcetera are examples of brands that sell their matching pieces individually. Break up the suit and wear each of these pieces with other items in the capsule.
Jacket: Include a structured jacket that will go with all of your neutral bottoms. Consider one in a color that will ‘pop’ and add variety to your outfits. Long or short is up to you and your body type. Choose something beyond the traditional blazer with notched collar. Collarless or wide and flow-y lapel is up to you. Perhaps a sleek leather jacket for your inner biker babe?
Dress: Find one in a travel friendly jersey or ponte knit with 3/4 length sleeve. A professional wardrobe requires it to be KNEE LENGTH. Wrap dresses are omni-seasonal and look great with strappy sandals in the summer or tall boots and leather jacket in the fall.
5 tops: Printed silk or polyester blouse with sleeves, shells in black and white, a fine gauge cardigan, crew neck fine gauge silk blend short sleeved sweater, or flow-y yet professional longer blouse.
3 bottoms: Trousers, pencil or flare KNEE LENGTH skirt, and on-trend work appropriate pencil pant.
Shoes: Pumps and loafers. I love a wedge heel! You must own basic black pumps and nude pumps. Incorporating flats or loafers in an animal print or metallic tones add interest to this concise capsule wardrobe. Alternate what pair you wear every day. It’s healthier for your feet and your shoes will last longer.
Structured bag: Another investment piece. Large enough to hold your files or computer. Zip top is best. I adore leather because of the longevity. I prefer a bag with metal feet on the bottom to protect the underside of the bag. Pop of color or neutral is up to you. Find a coordinating small clutch that holds your cell phone, debit card/cash and business cards for lunchtime jaunts or networking events.
Printed scarf: Tie around your neck, waist of the dress, around the handle of your purse, or in your hair. Long, relatively slim, and sheer. The perfect accessory to pull outfits together.
Classic, sophisticated jewelry: Pearls, a classic understated wristwatch. Sterling silver graduated beads from Tiffany’s. Stella & Dot versatile pieces such as the Eclipse necklace. Consider a statement necklace in mixed metals. It work with all of the hardware on your purses, shoes, and jackets.
Final Tip: To update your wardrobe every season, insert items such as belts, necklaces, scarves or shells in the season’s hottest color. by Lori Wynne
Published in August 2015 edition of Northside Woman Magazine