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Buying A Wardrobe For Women's Professional Business Attire

Nov 4, 2007
Did you get a new job? Were you just promoted? Are you moving into a new career? If you need to put together a collection of professional work clothes, I'll give you some good advice that could save you time, money and frustration.

First of all, you should start with the suits and build around them as your basic building blocks. After that, add the blouses. Then add shoes and accessories last. What I am laying out here, are the very basic items you need to start your professional wardrobe. Once you have these garments you can expand it with more extravagant things.

You save a lot of money if you, in the beginning, buy garments that all match with each other and therefore can be interchanged to create several outfits with fewer garments. The higher the number of different outfits you can create with just a few garments, the more money you save. I don't recommend buying a blouse or a jacket that you can only wear with one thing, not in the beginning anyway.

When shopping for women's business suits, try your hardest to find three of them where the material matches enough that you can interchange the jackets and the pants/skirts to create "new suits". If you can pull this off, your wardrobe budget will stretch so much farther - tripled, in fact. This means that when you have purchased your first suit, you should bring it with you into the dressing room when you are shopping for the second one. This way you can try them on together and make sure the jackets and pants can be interchanged before you buy it. You can also, after checking the store's return policy, just bring them all home to try them, mix and match with what you have in your wardrobe, and then return the ones that couldn't be re-created into other outfits. I suggest going with two suites in basic colors, for example one black and one gray. Then the third one could have a bright color, for example red or burgundy. But in order for all three of them to match, the material has to be kind of similar.

When the three suits are established, you have accomplished most of the work. Add to that three basic white blouses. At least one of those is a must have in every woman's closet, but having three is better: the basic white blouse is a classic you can wear with almost everything, and often, without looking like you are repeating yourself. Then scout for three additional blouses in colors that contrast your suits, but preferably match all three of them. For example, black, blue, green, fresh pink - whatever your style may be. This step is much, much simpler, and less costly than if you make a mistake purchasing the wrong women's business suit. Throw in a top with a fun print to have handy when the situation requires you to look less conservative. Grab a pair of black pants that fit you well, simply because they are good to have around on those days when you just haven't had time to make it to the drycleaners.

Lastly, the shoes. When starting a new professional business attire wardrobe all you really need is at least one pair of black leather heals, and one pair of black flats for days when you are just too uncomfortable for heals. Just make sure that each of the pairs of shoes go with each of the three suits. Those two pairs will get you by for starters. Later your budget will allow you to get more creative with your shoes.

The whole idea is to have a plan in mind before you head to the mall, and to buy garments that match each other as much as possible. Like I said, the hardest part is matching up the suits, but it's worth putting the time and effort into it, because it will save you money, and also it will save you time in the long run. When you are rushing out of the house in the morning it will not take a lot of thinking and looking through your closet to decide what to wear - the outfits are already created. Everything matches. Just grab something swiftly and feel confident knowing you are very well put together as you dash out of the house to great the day.

My Recommended List:

3 suits (two with pants, one with skirt)
1 pair black pants
3 basic white blouses
3 basic blouses in different colors
1 print top
2 pairs of shoes (one pair of heals, one pair of flats)
About the Author
Johanna Magnusson is a seamstress. She writes for http://www.basicblouse.com "Where you can always count on finding a good quality basic white blouse, to go with women's business suits, or with casual/comfy work clothes."
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