Monday, January 25, 2010

The Multi-Purpose Wardrobe

I know there's tons of fashion blogs out there but I find that a lot of them don't focus on a girl who has got to go into an office everyday and can't really wear a mini skirt or much less a tank top. So I decided to aim a post about a week in the life of a career girl. I know often times it feels really easy to wear unimaginative outfits; a black 'power suits' don't exactly salivate our fashion glands, but there are ways to take simple 'boring' pieces and turn them into stylish ones by mixing and matching.

The key is to have staples in your wardrobe. Things that can take you from a team meeting to a night out with the boyfriend. I follow a few keys and I always have in a bag by my desk with a pair of jeans, cute flats and dangly earrings, because you never know when you will get plans half-way through the day.

Now, as far as work pieces I do always recommend buying a black suit; but I wouldn't wear it together unless you're going to a funeral and even then you can get creative. Think Elle in 'Legally Blonde' while wearing her black suit her first day at court. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. How to do it cheaply? Go to your local consignment store or goodwill boutique, they always have fabulous silk scarves for less than $5. I once found a Hermes in Miami for $15, I hand washed it (because it smelled) and was good as new.

For this post I selected 10 articles of clothing and basic accessories and made 7 outfits, for all the days of the week. I assure you that there's still many more outfits to create with these because they're such basic pieces. All pieces are under $100 for this post; many are much less than $100.
one week in the life of...
A Week in the Life...
A Week in the Life... by isabellecs featuring Nine West shoes

And now our week begins... Mondays is 'power' day, a lot of meetings usually happen on Monday so you want to look your best. Try to wear a skirt if you have it, and feel free to add a neutral purse. A black purse in this outfit would make it black overload.

DOTW - Monday

Tuesday... still keep 'dressing up' you never know if a meeting will be called and you need to be presentable. If you work in a conservative office, make sure you wear skin-toned stockings.
DOTW - Tuesday
DOTW - Tuesday by isabellecs featuring Banana Republic jewelry

Wednesday you can ease up a bit but add to a relatively low-key ensemble a fun scarf that is sure to make people stop and ask you about it. You can wear it around your neck or even pull your hair back in a low ponytail and tie it around the band.

DOTW - Wednesday

Thursday... beiges are great because they're neutrals like blacks. Thursday is a great day to pull out the more casual 'khaki' tones.Once more, if you work in a conservative office make sure you wear stockings.

DOTW - Thursday
DOTW - Thursday by isabellecs featuring J Crew

Friday, if you're lucky enough to have 'casual' Friday at your office this is what management means by 'casual Friday'. It does not mean tights as pants, jeans with holes on them, SUPER skinny jeans, t-shirts, shorts or anything see-through. Much less flip-flops.

You need to make sure that even if it's Friday if the supervisor calls a meeting people will still be able to take you seriously. I remember when I did one of my internships in 2000 I worked for the City Accountant and one of the junior accountants wore tights and a blouse one Friday. I can tell you my boss, the City Accountant, didn't like it one bit. This is especially true if you work for a woman; we are more critical and will hold things against you if you come one day and I can tell the color of your purple bra; this means I can't trust you with a client because maybe they'll also be able to tell that you enjoy the Glamour collection at Victoria Secret.

DOTW - Friday
DOTW - Friday by isabellecs featuring GAP

The magic about these clothes is that you can carry it through the weekend; whether you're heading to a party with friends on Saturday night or meeting the bf and his parents for brunch on Sunday.

DOTW - Weekend

A few other notes to remember:
  • if you can't paint your nails weekly or get them done, at least remove all color from them and keep them clean and cut. A neutral tone to wear all week is OPI's Barefoot in Barecelona. It'll match ANYTHING you wear.
  • DO NOT wear open-toed shoes without the toes done. Please.
  • Spritz on perfume the moment you get out of the shower; this way the fragrance dries as you get ready and the scent doesn't get on your clothes, plus a lot of people are allergic to many scents and you dont want to send your cubbie-mate into anaphylactic shock.
  • The Hair. I dont care how cute your outfit is; if your hair looks like it belongs to a homeless person chances are you've ruined the outfit. If you dont have time to do your hair in the morning because you've overslept keep the following in your car or purse:
    • a small bottle of hairspray
    • a comb
    • bobby pins
    • hair ties
Pull it back in either a neat pony tail or a neat bun. That way you'll look sleek and stylish. 

Happy Monday and good luck surviving the work-week! :)


  1. My favorite outfit you picked is Wednesday (really mostly because I would feel the most comfortable in it). Except for the stockings on Monday which I love and would wear a skirt when it's freezing just to wear them! I've been eyeing those on Gossip Girl and really want a pair but haven't seen them anywhere! Great article!

  2. I word of warning about stockings... they become addicting to buy and before you know you end up with a drawer. Not that I'm talking about person experience or anything... ;)

  3. I also agree with Jenn i loved the wednesday outfit. looks so effortless but classy and most importantly comfortable. i love all the accesories except for neckales( not big on neckales but crazy about rings and shoes. i also like the sunday look.
    really enjoy your blog keep them up. :D


  4. love this post!

    lovelove, M.

  5. o i love this post! great tips. especially the one's abt the hair and nails. hair can for sure ruin a look. speaking of looks my fav is tuesday. it's the most practical for me b/c i don't have to dress up for work, so my weekend wardrobe also doubles a my work wardrobe.

  6. I sometimes wish I didn't have to dress up for work but then I think that if I didn't I'd loose my love for skirts, tights and sky-high heels