We recently got a memo from our HR reiterating the importance of the office dress code in the work place. They have observed that more employees dress “too casual” and although we do not have a strict dress code, we are encouraged to dress appropriately especially for those that are dealing with clients.
Whether you are a newly hired employee or someone who is aiming to climb the career ladder, it is important to know the basic rule of power dressing. And corporate power dressing does not need to be stiff and boring. We can still be fun, fabulous and chic while maintaining a sense of appropriateness in the office.
Here are the key wardrobe pieces that every career woman must invest on in building your office capsule wardrobe:
- Tailored Jacket. Tailored jacket is one of the most important pieces that you need to have in your closet. This versatile piece never goes out of style and can be mix and match in almost everything in your wardrobe to create a chic office look. If you are just starting to build your office wardrobe, it is advisable to get one that is in neutral hues such as black, navy blue, gray and brown. Just make sure that it fits you perfectly, not too tight or too loose.
- Tailored Pants/ Slacks. Just like the tailored jacket a pair of tailored pants works wonders in your capsule wardrobe. This is essential especially when you need to do a presentation or appear for a job interview. It does not necessarily essential that you buy it together with the jacket. However, just like the tailored jacket it is highly recommended to get it in neutrals so you could easily paired it off with any kind of your office tops.
- Button- down shirt. A button down shirt is one of the most classic pieces to be included in your capsule wardrobe. Normally worn together with a tailored jacket and pants, it can also be doubled as key layering piece to add oomph to your office look. Buy your button downs in light and pastel colors to balance the neutrals in your key pieces.
- Pencil Skirt. Every career woman must own at least one pencil skirt in her closet. This piece serves as an alternative to the usual pants & jacket combo. It adds a touch of femininity to your wardrobe. Although wearing a pencil skirt is tricky for some, do remember that a perfectly fit pencil skirt must not be too tight or too loose. Its hem should end in your knee or slightly above the knee. Mid- thigh pencil skirt is definitely a no-no.
- Blouses. Blouses in pastel or light colors definitely add a flash of fashion in your office wardrobe. It is great to wear them under a jacket or on its own. You can mix and match them or layer them. Just be careful not to overdo the layering though so you won’t look overdressed. You can also get them in different hues, patterns and textures to make your wardrobe interesting.
- Cardigans. Cardigans are good alternative to your tailored jacket especially when your dress code is casual. One thing that is good about cardigan is that you can stash it in your bag or office drawer and you can easily pull it out in case your office gets a bit cold.
- Little Black Dress. The all time favorite little black dress is a closet staple because this versatile piece can save you from any wardrobe problems. LBD can easily dress up or dress down depending on what you paired with it. LBD works magic if you need to attend an after-office party. All you need to have is the right kind of accessory. One important rule of thumb in power dressing: If you are undecided on what to wear, choose the little black dress and you are good to go.
- Dark washed denim pants. Dark washed denims are as important as the tailored pants in your capsule wardrobe. Contrary to the old belief, dark washed denims are appropriate to wear in your casual Friday look. Just be sure that it is not ripped or too tightly fit.
- Structured Bag. Let’s admit it, every woman is obsessed with bags just as we are obsessed with shoes. A structured bag is one of the most important accessories in power dressing as this holds all your everyday essentials (make ups, wallets, mobile phones, etc.). A structured bag needs not to be expensive but tough enough to last your rigorous schedules. Buy a bag that fits all your everyday necessities as well as your important papers.
- High- heeled shoes. A pair of sturdy but comfortable high- heeled shoes is a great way to complete your office look. Get something that is in neutral hues and no more than three inches in height.
You do not need to get everything of these key pieces all at once. It is better to build your office wardrobe little by little and update them whenever you feel that you already got tired of your wardrobe. More importantly, inject your own personality in building your capsule office wardrobe.