This past week has been full of new and exciting things in my work-place, which also involves actually having to dress up for work. How do normal people do it everyday?!
I remember being in high school/college where my wardrobe revolved around the current styles of the season – it was ever-changing and ever-expensive keeping up with the latest trends. After over a year of working at a job that I don’t necessarily have to dress up for on a regular basis, my collection of yoga pants and tank tops had grown immensely and my trendy outfits were basically non-existent. Which is why over last month I decided to declutter my closet, get rid of all the things I no-longer wore, and begin collecting versatile wardrobe pieces that can double as cute going-out clothes as well as functional work attire.
Honestly, I have my friend Brooke to thank for the inspiration for this post – she truly has the best minimalistic business-casual wardrobe that motivated me to simplify my closet.
As I went through my closet, I noticed I had accumulated a LOT of sweaters over the winter. I love anything cozy and soft! Narrowing it down, I truly only wore three-to-four of them on a regular basis – one white, one tan, one olive green, and one red with tan stripes. All four staying within my primary color-scheme, so I held onto those and got rid of the rest.
I also accumulated boots upon boots upon boots. I. Love. Boots. I ended up taking a look at the boots I actually wore – a tan pair of heeled ankle-booties, a black pair of riding boots, and my rain boots – #rainyShanghai … The rest ended up being one-time wears that were taking up space in my tiny closet. I narrowed down my closet to my favorite items that I wore the most often, with a few randos here and there, and probably cut my closet half, if not more.
Putting up the winter items, I moved onto my summer pieces – which were very few since most of my summer clothes had been sent home with my mom when she came to visit me in November. As it was already heating up in Shanghai, I knew I was going to have to find some summer-friendly attire, but since I’m on a mission to get back to the basics, I wanted to only buy pieces I knew would be functional in the workplace as much as the real world.
I was taught by my mother and grandmother to always have the basics – two-to-three neutral-colored tank tops, four-to-five blouses of similar or neutral tones and prints, black slacks, tan/brown slacks, a modest business-style pencil skirt, two-to-three simple dresses (a black dress is a MUST), and a few different color cardigans or blazers to throw on over anything. Add in a few pairs of jeans and jean shorts for life outside of work and the wardrobe is fairly ready to go (besides shoes and accessories, of course).
My latest go-to outfit is a simple, sleeveless jumpsuit (thanks again, Brooke) – these babies are my favorite because 1) it can be a full outfit by itself, and 2) throw on a cardigan or blazer and it’s work-ready! Dress it up, dress it down, or leave it be and you have an outfit for many occasions in just one purchase.
I like to keep to a similar color-scheme no matter the season – my favorite colors to build off of are burnt orange, olive green, mauve, and neutrals as these colors are the easiest to mix-and-match. When buying shoes, I tend to go with black or nude, with the occasional mauve. For summer, a pair of nude flats, nude peep-toe heels, black wedges, and black sandals are all I really need.
Since clearing out my closet, I have purchased a burnt orange jumpsuit, a black jumpsuit, a black blouse-tank and a light blue blouse-tank, fitted khaki capri slacks, a black cardigan and a mauve cardigan, three neutral-colored casual tank tops, and two pairs of jean shorts.
With just these items, I have almost a month’s worth of different outfits! What are your go-to basics in your closet?
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