Q&A: Foundation Pieces for your Work Wardrobe

September 18th, 2008

 Q: I’ve got a $250 budget to update my work wardrobe for Fall. What are the 2-5 key pieces you’d recommend I spend my money on? I’ve already got black pants, a gray suit, patent pumps, white shirts, and a decent bag.

Textured Belted Dressby Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: With a gray suit, white shirts, black trousers, pumps, and a decent bag, you already have the core foundations for your work wardrobe.  As you already have these core items, your next step is to expand your wardrobe foundations while adding visual interest to your wardrobe through color, texture, and pattern.

Two other foundation items that are going to be worth the investment are an elegant work dress and a slimming pencil skirt.

The work dress will seamlessly take you from work to an evening out.  Plus, a dress is so easy to wear - just slip it on, and you’re done! 

High-waisted Microstripe SkirtAs for the pencil skirt, you can dress it up with a bright blouse or a crisp white shirt.  But you can also make it more accessible by wearing a sweater - and in business casual offices, even a nice tee.

For these two basics, try checking out Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Club Monaco, and J Crew.  Try a bunch of pieces on and see what fits you best.  Since these are foundation pieces, they’re worth the investment.

Pictured: High-waisted Microstripe Skirt | $89 at Banana Republic, and Textured Belted Dress | $150 at Banana Republic.

What have you bought this season to update your work wardrobe? Share your style with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: Shopping Guide,Women

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Daughter  |  September 18th, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Best purchase of the season: $4 red sunglasses.

  • 2. Jenny  |  September 18th, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Key Location: Martin + Osa. Free Shipping & Free returns!

    Dress, One of my best purchases so far!
    Its the most COMFORTABLE ponte dress! feels like i’m wearing less to none!:


    Second, the high waisted skirt is a must:

  • 3. laughing808  |  September 18th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    I purchased two pairs of shoes, a pair of boots, three shirts and one pair of pants.

    I plan to purchase at least one more suit, preferably blue and some long sleeve shirts.

    I don’t normally set a budget, but I t hink I’m gonna start doing so.

  • 4. kiddo  |  September 18th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    this doesn’t work if you’re a gal and have horrible legs that you never want to see the light of day. I NEVER wear skirts, or if I do, they’re never shorter than ankle length (but that looks sort of out-of-place in an office environment).

    Even wearing hose, I don’t want anyone to see the shape of my legs. (Not quite cankles, but I think of them similarly.)

  • 5. Trisha  |  September 18th, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Kiddo – if you’re a pants kind of gal, look into a few pairs of great trouser pants. Ones that drape over your curves. Have at least one pair for high heels, one pair that works with medium heels, and a pair that works with flats.

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