I mentioned that I fed a lot of my creative energy into style blogging, and I did for quite a few years. One of my favorite posts was based on a real-life scenario a friend dealt with at work. With a single day’s notice in the form of an email, her office went from yoga-pants-and-sneakers casual to strict business casual. Not an easy task for someone who’s spent years in a casual environment.
She reached out to me for both a sympathetic ear and some ideas on how to quickly and cheaply snag some key pieces to start transitioning her wardrobe so that it was a better fit for the new dress code. I gave her my ideas and then started thinking about taking what I told her and making it into a blog post. After months of working on it, I was able to publish Going Business Casual on a Budget.
Below is an excerpt of the post, but you can click through afterwards to read the whole thing, which includes ideas on where to shop, what to buy, and even a handy printable.
Before you start building a new wardrobe, you’ve got to see what you already have that’s work-appropriate. This will not only help you figure out just how much (and what types of pieces) you’ll need to buy, but by looking at what you already have, you’ll be better equipped to find pieces that coordinate with what you have. This will make remixing all that much easier. So dive into your closet and take a look at what you already have that’s new-dress-code-friendly (most likely tops) and put them all together in one area of your closet. Don’t forget to look at your jackets, cardigans and light sweaters, suits, and skirts.
And don’t just assume things fit, especially if you haven’t worn them in years. Now is the time to do a quick fashion show for a friend or family member (or the dog, whatever works) and make sure what you have fits you right. If it doesn’t, donate it!
At this point, it might help to snap a quick photo with the camera on your phone so you know what colors and patterns you already own. Of course, when starting to build a new wardrobe from scratch, I do recommend sticking with basics first. Solid, neutral colors are much easier to remix and won’t get a second glance if you re-wear them during the same week. Crazy patterns and bright colors are often harder to work with in that respect.
Once you’ve evaluated your closet and figured out what you already own, it’s time to set your budget and start shopping. $150 is generally a reasonable wardrobe reinvention budget. It’s a fairly easy amount to save up quickly, and while it’s an amount that’s also easy to spend quickly, you’ll find that it can be stretched pretty thin if you’re smart about shopping. But really, the amount you budget is ultimately up to you.
To date, Going Business Casual on a Budget is my most re-pinned post. At this point, it has over 1,400 pins, and I anticipate that growing even more as the post ages. It’s a good combination of relatively timeless material and easy to digest information, as well as a printable that provides readers with a good takeaway. Like I said, one of my favorite posts, and one I felt was worth re-posting here due to its work-life relevancy. Enjoy!