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The following post is from Marissa over at Thirty Six Months, where she talks about investing, paying off her student debts, and saving money along the way. I really enjoyed it because I am all about investing in quality. In fact, based on Marissa’s recommendations I might re-evaluate (AGAIN) my own work wardrobe. Make sure to stop by her blog and say “Hi.”
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I pride myself on my frugality, but I also love quality. I love quality in a lot of different things, especially my wardrobe. I work in an environment where I deal with a lot of clients on a daily basis, and some of these meetings end up being outside of work hours, thus any item of clothing has to be versatile enough to go from day wear to evening wear with minimal effort.
When I first started my blog and started to pay off my debt, I thought that I could slash my wardrobe budget easily and I could find the same item of clothing at a fraction of the price. Oh, how wrong I was.
A wardrobe, especially a work wardrobe, essentially sets the tone of how business meeting will be conducted. Especially when you are meeting a client or employer for the first time. It sends a message about how seriously you take yourself and the tasks at hand. The only exception to this rule would be the creative types. They have their own style that doesn’t fit into a box.
Now, I am not saying that you need to buy the most expensive pieces all the time but there are times where certain items of clothing can be considered an investment. I’m sure Aloysa will agree with me. (a note from Aloysa: ABSOLUTELY!)
Because I travel a lot for work, I need my wardrobe staples to be very flexible. So if you are thinking of building a work wardrobe from the ground up, I would recommend investing in the following pieces.
2 pairs of pants
One grey and one black. Pay close attention to the stitching at the seams and make sure it is a “heavier” material. Ladies, this will keep everything where it supposed to be without adding any giggly areas.
A fitted blazer
This can be worn over jeans or over dress pants and instantly dresses up an outfit. I throw mine on over jeans and a t-shirt and add a scarf or a bracelet and am ready to go in a few minutes.
These can be in brighter colors. Not only will they provide warmth, but they will also dress up or complete an outfit. Again, fit is extremely important. You have to be able to close the buttons without bulging in places.
A winter coat
I invested in a black wool with embellished buttons. I can wear over casual clothes and well as dressy ones. Its very warm. Stay away from ‘puffy’ jackets if you can. They are hard to accessorize.
2 Great pairs of heels
I have a pair of 4 inch black stilettos that instantly dress up any outfit and make me feel like a million bucks. Make sure it is good quality and invest in a pair of insoles. There is nothing worse than being at the party of the year and you wanting to go home because your feet hurt. I also have a 2 inch pair for some of my dresses.
A black dress
No, not that kind of black dress. This type of black is can go from the boardroom to cocktails after work really easily. I like a combination of Rayon and polyester. Remember that cardigan I mentioned earlier, well throw that one and some earrings and you are all set.
7 work blouses
The key here is to keep it modest, but fitted, and make your shoulders are covered. Trashy doesn’t get you the promotion, ladies.
This will be different for everyone since not every type of shirt fits every body type. I have a dark gray pencil skirt and a black fuller skirt. They serve the same purpose. The key is to make sure that is not too short and if in doubt, wear some dark tights underneath.
I am not a big jewelry person, but I do throw on the odd necklace once in a while. I am allergic to certain metals to I sometimes swap necklaces for scarfs. These can dress up an outfit really easily/cheaply.
Well, there you go. These are my wardrobe staples and constitute the biggest chunk of clothing budget, but these items are timeless and can be worn for a few years. I mix and match different seasonal items to keep my wardrobe temperature appropriate.
What are some of your items that you spent a lot of money on? And was it worth it?