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Professional Wardrobe Staples

When I started my first job out of college, my wardrobe was painfully unprepared. I didn't have all of the professional wardrobe staples I should have and didn't have the cash to go out on a shopping spree. Let's face it, I had just graduated college. I was broke.

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One of the hardest parts was determining what pieces we're absolutely necessary and where I should start shopping. I had never really worked in a professional environment before.

Now that I'm past that stage, I thought I'd pass along what I believe to be a list of the absolute basics of any professional wardrobe. These are your must-haves. For those just starting out in the workforce with limited salaries, I did my best to find affordable options.

1. If you're working in a professional environment, a suit is a must. These this jacket and pantsare from The Limited, which offers great options, usually at a decent price.

2. All the places I interviewed for jobs at we're in conservative offices, so a white button down shirt for interviews was a must for under a suit. It's not something I would typically wear to work, but would absolutely have on in the closet. Since I don't wear mine often, I chose a lower-priced one from Target. If you're likely to get more use out of it, I'd invest a bit more in a nice one.

3. I think every professional woman needs to have a basic black pencil skirt. This can be worn in place of pants with a suit jacket. I prefer skirts and dresses to pants (I honestly don't wear long pants at all April-October), so my pencil skirts get a lot of use. This one comes from H&M, which offers great low priced options.

4. Since my office isn't quite professional enough to need a blazer everyday, I wear a lot of cardigans. My closet is full of them. Target has some that are very reasonably priced.

5. You definitely need tops to wear under blazers and cardigans. I only have one on here, but you'll need several. Since I'm usually wearing mine under something I prefer light-weight sleeveless shells like this one from Dorothy Perkins.

6. A nice sheath dress is a great alternative to a suit for a professional work environment. Like I said before, I'm almost always wearing dresses or skirts, so I've stocked up on tons of dresses. ModClothcarries tons of cute dresses like the one shown above.

7. A pair of black pumps are essential. They go with nearly everything and if you can only have one pair of shoes in your professional wardrobe, this should be it! You can get them at any range of prices, but this is a low-priced pair from Target.

8. Finally, I think every professional woman needs a trench coat. It's jacket weather most of the year in Wisconsin, so I made sure to invest in a nice one. They'll generally last you a long time, so I recommend you do the same. This particular one is from J. Crew, but you can pick one up in most professional stores.

Any other pieces you've found to be essential to your work wardrobe that I haven't listed here? Let me know!

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Posted in Design Post Date 12/15/2016






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