This is the time of year that typically a lot of women are returning to work – either after a break or to the workforce because daycare spots are more likely to be available at the beginning of a year as older kids move out of daycare and into school.
It’s also a time of year that it super tricky to navigate in the workwear department if you have been working all summer and are completely over your current workwear wardrobe offerings.
Most of us don’t have a lot of fluffing-about time in the morning. Most households will operate in a regimented, army-like fashion just to get the kids and yourself out of your pjs and out the door.
The key to taking the stress out of the morning rush is to start with a de-cluttered wardrobe plan ahead what your wardrobe week looks like.
Check the weather app for the forecast wear you live, plan out your outfits in advance. Write down each day’s outfit on your phone – or take a photo of it.
Trust me, I work from home and do this trick so I’m not staring blankly at my wardrobe for five minutes figuring out what I’d like to wear.
That’s five minutes I could be spending on my simple summer everyday makeup routine.
These 11 tips for getting your work wardrobe sorted will also help you, whether you’re starting from scratch and needing a whole new work wardrobe or you’re just wanting to freshen up your existing wardrobe.
To help visualise how you can make your summer workwear wardrobe work for you – and keep things varied without breaking the budget – I’ve put together a summer workwear capsule wardrobe for you.
These 15 pieces may be similar to pieces you already have in your wardrobe. One or two of them might be just the style of thing you’ve been looking for to freshen up your office look.
Everyone has a different budget to spend on workwear. What is budget-priced to one person, might be top-of-the range to another. Let’s drop the judgement on that and concentrate on our own budget and work within it. Use what I recommend as a style guide and buy pieces that fit YOUR budget.
I suggest spending most on the workwear basic pieces, shoes and bag – things you might wear every day or repeatedly over the course of a month. Spend less on the more fashion-forward pieces that are more highlight show-pony pieces in a workwear capsule.
When creating a capsule wardrobe – for work, play or travel, starting with a base of neutrals helps you to extend the possible outfit combinations from fewer pieces.
In this case, I’ve chosen black and white as my base – always a wardrobe winner and then used a couple of key pieces to pop that base with colour.
You might choose navy or earthy colours. There is no right or wrong – it’s what you feel comfortable and confident in.
The capsule becomes the foundation of your wardrobe and you can build in more colour and patterns – more show pony pieces – once you’ve nailed the basics.
1. Bird Keepers dress $99.95 @ Birdsnest
2. Sacha Drake dress $249 @ Birdnest
3. Katies tank $14.95
4. Bird Keepers blouse $69.95 @ Birdsnest
5. Bird Keepers blouse $79.95 @ Birdsnest
6. Peter Morrissey shorts $20 @ Big W
7. Target skirt $35
8. Target pants $49
9. Katies jacket $69.95
10. Bird Keepers blazer $89.95 @ Birdsnest
11. Target blazer $59
12. Nine West heels $159.95
13. FRANKiE4 Footwear heels $239.95
14. Uberkate necklace $129
15. Oroton tote $247.50 (on sale)
Just a few possible outfit combinations
1 + 12 + 14 + 15 (swap out different coloured jackets and nude heels as alternative)
2 + 13 + 14 + 15 (white or red jacket)
6 + 3 + 12 (add white or red jacket and accessories)
6 + 4 + 13 (add red or black jacket and accessories)
6 + 5 + 12 (add black jacket and accessories)
7 + 3, 4 or 5 (add jacket and shoes of choice and accessories)
8+ 3, 4 or 5 (add jacket and shoes of choice and accessories)
When shopping for clothes or accessories – even if it’s for work – remember my only rule:
Don’t buy it unless you LOVE it.
Do you work in an office? Returning to the workforce or looking to refresh your work wardrobe?
Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about more casual options for those who work at home, in a relaxed, creative environment or are new to a school or kindy community and looking for options to wear for drop-off and pick-up. On Friday, we’ll be talking back-to-school wardrobes for teachers.
For some real-life office wear inspiration, check out the Instagram feed of my gorgeous friend, Rachel from @redcliffestyle.
* This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something via one of these links I may receive a small commission. Full disclosure policy here.