For my first post we’re going right back to the basics of how you can quickly build up a versatile corporate wardrobe without needing hundreds of different pieces. Just follow the four “F’s”.

Foundation

Start with the basics in your wardrobe and build a versatile capsule wardrobe from there.

I know that this sounds easy – but it isn’t.

  • Start with neutral colours as a base e.g. navy, charcoal, taupe or beige, brown and black.
  • From there buy the pieces that you would wear the most e.g. skirts, pants, jackets and dresses in one or two of those neutrals.
  • My personal favourites are navy and charcoal – YOU DON’T HAVE TO WEAR BLACK!
    • Black is a harsh colour that most people can’t wear against their faces, navy and charcoal are far more forgiving – especially for those days that you aren’t feeling so fresh and chirpy.
    • A lot of the neutral colours can be worn with each other easily.

Flexibility

Purchase corporate fashion garments that easily work together.

  • Don’t buy “outfits” that only work with each other – it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying one hit wonders that will sit in your wardrobe and can only be used in the way you purchased them.
  • When purchasing coloured items – purchase in colour packages. E.g. buy a tank top, shirt, cardigan, necklace and scarf with all the same colours in it. Therefore creating many outfits when mixed with your neutral coloured foundation items such as pants and skirts.
  • Accessories such as scarfs, necklaces and handbags are the easiest way of creating a versatile wardrobe – necklaces are best when matched to your basics. So when using coloured necklaces remember the comment above about colour packages.
    • Longer necklaces – lengthen the neck and draw the eye down the body making you look taller.
    • Watch out for a post solely on accessories soon.

Footwear

I LOVE LOVE LOVE SHOES!

  • Keep your shoes at a height that is comfortable for yourself to wear. Everyone is different and everyone can handle a different height of shoe for work.
  • Courts are the best work shoe if you can wear them. If you can’t wear courts, Mary-Janes are a great alternative (I am in this group – I can never stay in a pair of courts, I always fall out!).
    • Colours to go for – navy, black, grey, brown and taupe. These should match your foundation garments e.g. navy pants matched with navy, grey or taupe shoes; or a charcoal skirt match with grey, black or taupe shoes.
    • You can always were different textures – I love patent shoes and animal prints – these are very elegant and create very polished looks.
    • Pale or nude coloured shoes always make your legs look longer.

Fit

Tight is not always best!

Key tips to keep in mind:

  • Flatter your body shape – it is always better to purchase a size bigger and get it tailored to fit your body.
  • You want to feel comfortable and classy at work – therefore plunging v-necks and hipster jeans might not be work appropriate! Also try not to show your bra straps – but if this might happen (summer time is the ONLY time), match your straps to the colour of the top or dress you are wearing.
  • It’s better for your garments to have a looser tailored-feel – they may feel loose when you are standing but ALWAYS do the sit test, even with tops and shirts.
  • Most garments shrink a little in the wash – so be careful with your purchases.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be building on these basics above.

Let me know in the comments what tips you swear by for building your corporate wardrobe.

Image credit: Shutterstock