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by Vault Careers | May 20, 2019

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Whether you’re new to the working world or hoping to revamp your style, building your professional wardrobe can be daunting. From color coordination to determining what is and isn't appropriate to wear to work, there are many factors to consider when it comes to your daily attire. As you navigate your own style, consider the below helpful tips on how to easily build your own professional wardrobe.

1. Have a set of essentials

Every professional wardrobe should have a set of essentials on rotation. From a signature blazer or suit coat to your favorite skirt or dress pants, be sure you have some go-to items in your wardrobe. Essential parts of your wardrobe should include simple pieces that are easily dressed up by your accessories. Though you may have to spend a little extra on these signature items, they’ll be staples of your wardrobe for years to come. Consider shopping for name brands when it comes to the items you know you’ll keep with you for a while. If you ‘e wary about cost, you can find second-hand name brand pieces for less by shopping at places that sell used clothing. Online thrifting company thredUP offers professional name brand pieces from fashion lines like Madewell to help you fill your wardrobe on a budget. Be on the lookout for classy clothing items you know you’ll be able to wear with anything, every day. The most versatile items are also the most essential.

2. Choose some statement pieces

Once you establish the essential aspects of your professional style, try to incorporate some items to make your look stand out as well. Whether you buy bright colored earrings or a unique belt, there are many accessories that you can stock up on to add to your wardrobe. Items that will surely add to your professional look and help you stand apart from the crowd include fun purses, patterned ties, pastel socks, and even a statement laptop case. Find out which statement accessories work best for you and your look, and have fun adding them to your closet. You might be surprised what an extra pop of color and fun patterns can do for your overall style.

3. Don’t be afraid to be different

An important part of building your wardrobe as a professional is making your look your own. Choosing items that truly embody your identity as a working professional is a vital parts of the wardrobe building process. While it might be easy to mimic the style of the rest of your co-workers, don’t be afraid to embrace being different. Part of expanding your wardrobe is choosing to buy items that make you happy, no matter how different they might be. Remember that you can maintain a professional look without losing yourself in the process. The next time you’re looking to make some additions to what you wear to work, push yourself to try on something different that you’ve had your eye on.

4. Make use of what you already have

Never underestimate the clothes you already have. Though there may be some items that are necessary to retire from your closet, you might just find a few treasures in the mix as well. Familiarize yourself with the trendy concept of “tidying up” and look for older clothes that spark enough joy for you to add them to your professional wardrobe. There are many items that can be dressed up with accessories or a simple cardigan over top, so don’t write off that blouse you haven’t worn in years just yet. You can always practice some fun DIY projects as well to turn old t-shirts into ready for work looks. Be creative with what you have and you won’t regret it.

Building out your professional wardrobe might seem like a chore at first, but if you look for creative ways to change your style you may find yourself enjoying the process. Identify your essentials first and then look for ways to show off who you are.

Nora is a thoughtful and creative writer who values eco-friendly fashion and professional development. When she's not working, you can usually find her looking for hidden treasures in the sales section or with her nose deep in a good book.

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