Building a new wardrobe

So, what if you have taken a good long look in the mirror and you have decided that maybe it is time to revamp your work wardrobe – where do you start? Is it really necessary to chuck it all and incur all that expense? After all, you invested in some very nice pieces of clothing , gosh – has it been ten years ago now….?

Let’s start at the beginning. First do a closet inventory. Make note of all the jackets and slacks (and, for women, skirts) that are in good repair and also look good on you. Give away any items you avoid wearing because they are not flattering to you or are worn out. Repeat this process with shirts, sweaters, vests, shoes and accessories. Make a list of items you need to make these clothing pieces work more efficiently for you. Perhaps adding a blue shirt to the black suit, along with a blue and black patterned tie would update your look.

Plan a trip to a retailer that carries a line of clothing you admire and can afford. Enlist the help of a trusted friend or relative to help you decide which items fit you well and convey the image you want to project. It is not necessary to replace your entire wardrobe. Refer to your list of items that you made note of that will stay in your wardrobe. Consider how the new pieces you are trying on will work with these items.

It is possible to create a wardrobe of fifteen or more outfits using only twelve pieces of clothing and various accessories. However, they must be twelve carefully selected pieces that mix and match to work well together. The 12 pieces include: 2 jackets, 3 pants (or skirts), 4 shirts or blouses, 2 sweaters, vests or accent jackets, and 1 extra accent shirt (men) or 1 dress (women), to equal 12 wardrobe pieces.

First, choose a jacket and slacks of the same fabric and color, either separates or a suit, in a basic color such as black, gray, brown, navy, etc. Then choose a second jacket and slacks in a color or pattern which coordinates with the first jacket and slacks. Choose a third pair of slacks. For men, possibly a pair of khakis. For women, a skirt or a pair of patterned slacks are versatile. Add four shirts or blouses – one white, one the color of the first pair of slacks, one coordinating with the second slacks, and a contrasting color shirt.

The last three pieces can be finished up with a sweater – perhaps a cardigan that coordinates with one of the tops for the women, or a business casual polo shirt or fine knit Italian sweater for the men. A navy blazer is another useful, classic piece for the men’s wardrobe. A dress is a great twelfth piece for the women’s wardrobe and should be carefully chosen to work under both jackets and the cardigan sweater.

Rejuvenating your wardrobe can be easy and rewarding. It will bolster your confidence and help you project a professional image. And using the twelve piece wardrobe concept to update your wardrobe will make dressing for every workday a snap!

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