Construire la garde-robe parfaite pour le travail.

Build the perfect wardrobe for work.

Build the perfect wardrobe for work.

Whether you work at a law firm, a nonprofit, or at home, it's important to have nice clothes to wear. Not because of how they look, but more importantly because of how they make you feel. The ultimate work wardrobe should help you feel professional, confident and ready to take on whatever challenges the day brings. In this article, we'll give you the basic steps to follow to create a true work wardrobe . The idea of ​​creating a professional wardrobe in harmony with your personal style and your company's dress code .

Our most loyal readers know that we regularly write about the different possibilities of dressing for work. This is why the idea of ​​this article is mainly based on 3 basic strategies. We want to give you some recommendations for creating a professional wardrobe adapted to the type of company you work for .

So we will first develop the basics of a professional wardrobe for a large company, then for a start-up or a company where the dress code is more casual and, finally, the basics of a wardrobe to create if you work from home (as a student, freelancer, self-employed, etc.). Of course, to facilitate reading and understanding, we will treat these subjects separately. Indeed, in our opinion, they all require a relatively different approach.

The basics of a professional wardrobe

First of all, let's quickly review 3 criteria that the ideal work wardrobe must meet:

  • Your professional outfits should not only make you look good but also help you feel professional. You must feel confident during your presentations (products, services, achievements, objectives, interventions, etc.) such as during meetings or during an interview with your supervisor or the management of your company.

  • Your professional clothing must be comfortable but also 200% functional. Indeed, you need to be able to concentrate on your work without having to worry about a skirt that is too tight, a dress that is too daring or hampered, etc.

  • Your professional wardrobe and the clothing it contains must also respect the culture of the company you represent (as well as its dressing code), while reflecting your personal style.

Wardrobe for a corporate position*

*for most medium-sized companies to large organizations (law firms, financial sector, etc.) Basic strategy:
  • Build a wardrobe made up of clothes that you can easily combine and that you will only wear for work.

  • Keep your professional wardrobe separate from your regular wardrobe.

Regardless of your personal style , if you work in an environment with a very strict and professional dress code , we invite you to fashion a completely separate work wardrobe. This way, you'll not only have an easier time preparing your outfits for work, but you'll have less difficulty expressing your own style in your free time. A dual wardrobe will help you avoid finding yourself, most of the time, with items that work great at work but don't fit in with your personal life.

Find a good source of inspiration for your office outfits

If the corporate wardrobe code brings to mind words like “dull” or “boring,” maybe you need to add some new sources of inspiration to your list . First, you can start by observing your office colleagues. How do they dress? How do they interpret your company’s dressing code? What elements could you incorporate into your office outfits? If, unfortunately, none of the people in your company turn out to be stylish, develop other sources of inspiration. For example, you can take inspiration from television series in which the actresses are very often dressed chic while remaining realistic. Some are real sources of inspiration. For example, you can take inspiration from Rachel Zane in the series Suits, Claire Underwood in the series House of Cards or even Nessa Stein in the series The Honorable Woman.

Create a wardrobe just for company days

Once you have an overall idea of ​​the type of look you want to wear to work, focus on finding a few key, versatile, quality pieces that will serve as the framework for your professional wardrobe. Think perfectly fitted pants , stylish pencil skirts , a few chic blazers , and comfortable shoes. Since your actions are somewhat limited by the formal dressing code of your company and your functions, make sure that the details are impeccable: Slim fit, quality fabrics, suitable colors, etc. Instead of jumping on the first black blazer that comes along, try to find one that has a current style, fits your figure perfectly and is made from quality fabric. Next, find a range of tops in different styles (blouses, blouses, cardigans…) that you can mix and match with your key pieces. This selection, made up of various key pieces and tops, constitutes your professional wardrobe. A wardrobe that you can embellish with accessories and unique pieces and to which you will devote a real budget and a lot of effort to keep it updated. If you choose correctly, 20 pieces are enough. For example, you can build your wardrobe with 3 dresses, 3 blazers, 3 pants, 3 skirts, 8 tops and 3 pairs of shoes.

Use accessories and details to personalize your professional dressing room

Accessories are a good way to personalize your office look without breaking the dress code set by your status or company. Don’t hesitate to go back to what helped you find inspiration for your professional style. Then make a list of anything that could add color or depth to your outfits: a few bracelets, a necklace, a belt or an elegant watch…

Casual-chic wardrobe (chic and casual) *

*For start-ups, small businesses… Basic strategy:
  • Curate a selection of more formal key pieces to pair with your regular clothes

Analyze the styles of your work colleagues

If you work in an environment that doesn't really have a literal dressing code, you obviously have a lot more freedom when it comes to dressing. However, even though there is no official dress code, most companies have a handful of unspoken rules or guidelines that everyone follows. These can sometimes be complicated to understand when you take your first steps in the company. So, if possible, whether it's to dress to make a good impression during your recruitment or for your first day, look around you to see what the employees are wearing. Is there really no dress code? Do employees walk around the premises in shorts and flip-flops? Or does everyone seem to stick to a casual yet chic look? Casual-chic means you can avoid a suit but still want to look polished. Also, at the office, you will avoid strapless dresses, skirts that are too short, flip-flops, etc. To establish your work outfits, go through your wardrobe piece by piece. Choose all the clothes that you can already wear within your company. You will definitely find tops, blouses, beautiful jeans, pants and some elegant skirts. These clothes are your dual-purpose pieces that you can wear in the evening or on the weekend and which will be perfectly suited to more formal choices for your working-girl look .

Buy a few extra clothes for work

Once you've identified clothes that can do double duty, you need to analyze what else you need to buy to fill the gaps.

Add some options to your outfits

Always think about the most important groups: bottoms (pants, skirts, dresses), shoes, jackets and tops. If your current style is already close to casual-chic, you may only need a smart blazer jacket, cute blouses and work-appropriate shoes. Additional Tips: Even if your company's dress code is smart casual, it's a good idea to have at least one or two traditionally "business" items of clothing on hand. This way, you won't be caught off guard if a special event comes up. Imagine you have a meeting with a major investor, a conference etc. A blazer, matching pants or skirt, cute shoes, and a dress shirt or two could go a long way.

Write down examples of outfits

Once you've selected all of your key pieces, take the time to put together some examples of work outfits. This will allow you to avoid the stress of the “last minute”. If you have not already done so, we invite you to arrange your wardrobe so that it meets the 3 essential criteria of your new professional wardrobe.

Wardrobe for those who work from home*

*Freelancers, students, self-employed… Basic strategy:
  • Invest in comfortable clothing that will keep you feeling comfortable and ready to work.

Understand that even your professional wardrobe deserves your attention

Yes, you can pretty much wear whatever you want. Of course you can talk on the phone with your customers dressed in your pajamas. It's your right. However, just because no one sees you doesn't mean your professional wardrobe shouldn't be important. If you look at the 3 fundamental criteria that a professional wardrobe must meet, two of these criteria apply to your situation:

  • You want your clothes to make you feel confident and help you feel professional.

  • You want these clothes to be comfortable and functional.

Furthermore, you also expect your clothes to put you in the right state of mind to work. Going to work is always easier when you do what most people do when they go to the office: Get up at a certain time, take a shower, get ready, get dressed, and sit down at a desk which is only intended for his professional activity. These rituals are important to be effective. And, if you work from home, you need to create these rituals yourself. And, believe us, your clothes are a crucial element of these rites that you must put in place.

Invest in comfortable clothes

Even if you can prioritize your comfort, make sure you have nice T-shirts, long cardigans, fitted pants, loose shirts etc. Putting on a little makeup and some jewelry in the morning will also allow you to prepare for unforeseen events such as a last minute errand, a Skype call, a meeting scheduled during the day, etc.

Have some professional outfits on hand

Even if you work from home, you'll probably need to leave the house from time to time for client meetings and business events. So make sure you have a few dressier outfits in your wardrobe for these occasions. Look through your calendar to get an idea of ​​how often you need a professional look. Then, create a small set of pieces that you can combine. For example, pants, a simple blazer, blouses and a few heels. What do you wear to work? Are you happy with your current professional wardrobe? Do you have any clothing advice for people starting out in a new company or taking their first steps in the workforce?

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