Sunday, May 18, 2014

How to build a wardrobe

Graduation is a time for celebration, this rite of passage is an exciting time in a young graduates life. It can also be a time of stress. Recently, the daughter of a friend of mine who graduated from college asked me, "How do I build a wardrobe on a shoe string budget?"

The art of building a wardrobe is a great deal of fun, it is kind of like a puzzle or a game.  A person starts with a neutral canvas and builds on it. I think every gal should own a pair of neutral dress slacks, a pair of work-casual pants, a straight cut skirt and an a-line cut skirt, a jacket to dress up the bottom, a cute sweater and some blouses to wear with the bottom. My go to neutral is black. But it could be gray, or brown, or khaki depending upon your personal style and coloring.  What makes you happy?

Once you have your canvas you can go to town like an artist with watercolors. Try adding a pretty print skirt, or a fabulous dress.  Changing the look with accessories. You would be amazed at the addition of a belt, positioning of a scarf or some fabulous baubles can change a look, and don't forget nail polish is an accessory.

Lets give it a try!


Dress slacks with a cute sleeveless blouse and bright blue shrug, switch out the slacks for a skirt and you have changed the look.


Change up your  solid black skirt for a print, add a black sleeveless shell and the same bright blue shrug and you have three different looks simply by interchanging some of the same pieces. 



Add a black jacket and you have something that could pass for a suit, but with a little flair.


Change the jacket and keep the skirt and the look keeps changing, yet you are using the same pieces.


Are you starting to see a pattern? For those of you that remember the store chain Mervyns, you will understand how long I have owned this turquoise jacket. Because it was a Mervyns purchase. Do you remember their advertising slogan "Open Open Open?"










  • A few things to take into consideration. An office setting will be more conservative than your classroom. You can figure out how to bring your style forward you just need to know what the rules are for your office. If you have questions about your office dress code have a conversation with the office manager. If you wouldn't wear it to church you probably shouldn't wear it to the office. 


  • Hemlines have gone short, and they are super cute and girly but if it is above the knee generally not appropriate for an office setting.  However, for some offices you can put a pair of leggings on under the short dress and a cute pair of ballet flats and voilia!


  • Some offices frown on capri pants.  My question to that company is, "Have you spent anytime in Arizona in the summer?"  Your home office might be in Ohio but your climate is completely different than Arizona, Florida or Texas. Nontheless, you can still keep cool in the summer by wearing fabrics that breath. Try adding some cotton or a great light weight seersucker.  

  • To go sleeveless?  Most offices will frown on it, but in warm weather states we have a little grace. When it is 115 outside most office do not care if you have a sleeve. It is just to darn hot! Spaghetti strap and cami's are generally a no no, but  if you have a short sleeve shrug or light cotton jacket it will can turn it into a do.  


For Heaven's sakes NO FLIP FLOPS! Remember companies don't want to see your behind, belly or anything in between.....


             Be Well,      Laurie                            

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