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Organize your work wardrobe
Style Tips

Organize your work wardrobe for quick outfit decision making

If you organize your work wardrobe well, you’ll be able to make up your mind in the morning on what to wear to the office much more easily.

I bet you don’t have much time to waste on weekday mornings. But there’s one thing you can do to make your life a little bit easier. And that’s to organize your work wardrobe. If you can actually SEE your clothes, the task to decide what to wear becomes a lot easier and more fun. It’s well worth the time investment.

Follow the steps I recommend below, and not only will you be more efficient, but you may even find a creative side you did not know you had!

STEP ONE – Time to Select, Try On and Sort

If your clothes are all in the same place, first separate them by spring/summer and fall/winter.

Then select the pieces of clothing to try on. Maybe you’re not sure if you still like it because you haven’t worn the piece for a very long time, or you’re not sure if the color suits you. Maybe your weight has been fluctuating and you want to see if it still fits. Might as well take the time to try these pieces of clothing now.

You DON’T want to keep your closet full of stuff you don’t wear. It crowds it and prevents you from seeing what you actually have to wear. You end up frustrated thinking you have loads of stuff but never anything to wear.

Make 4 piles.
Now, as you try on, you’ll be making a different pile on your bed for repairs and alterations, dry cleaningcharitable organization, and storing (for when it becomes trendy again).

Be honest and ask yourself.
Is it flattering? If you hesitate at first glance, then it probably means something is off.

  • Does it need adjustments? Bring it to the tailor.
  • Is it too small or just not a good fit for your figure? Give it up.
  • Could it be outdated because the trend has come and gone? If your item is in good condition, store it for the future. Trends do come back.
  • Are you simply bored of seeing it? Then store it. When you take it out again after a couple of years, it will feel like a new acquisition.
  • Is it stained or worn out? I know, these are often our favorite clothes. Put it on the dry cleaning pile. But if the fabric is clearly worn out in certain areas, it’s definitely time to give it up or toss it.
  • The color is not flattering? Give it up.
  • Last but not least, your workwear should be comfortable. If it’s not the case, give it up!

STEP TWO – Make Categories, Groups and Sub-groups

Hangers.
First, use uniform hangers. Same shape, same color. It will allow you to focus on your clothes without too much distraction. Also make sure to use larger and shaped wooden or plastic hangers for your blazers to preserve the shape of the shoulder lines. Always remove the wire hangers (I bring them back to the cleaners).

Categories and groups.
Separate your work clothes from your weekend clothes.  The very casual sweaters, jeans and fancy pieces you wear when you go out in the evening should be at another end of your closet. Then within your work clothes, group together your skirts, blazers, pants and tops. Finally, within each group, organise your items by color.

STEP THREE – Last But Not Least, Your Accessories

Scarves.
Put your scarves on hangers. Scarves happen to be back in fashion this summer. You’ll be much more inclined to add one to your outfit in the morning if they are well in sight. I must credit my niece for once giving me this really great idea!

Shoes.
Separate your work shoes from the rest. Then you have two choices. Either you group together your flats, pumps and sandals, or, you group them by color. Personally, I go by color. Then when I’m building my outfit, I simply have to select the shoe style that fits best with the look I’m in the mood for.

If you have A LOT of shoes, I suggest you group them by shoe hight and then sub-categorize by color.

Jewelry.
Since statement earrings are trendy this summer, sort what you have to see if they can fit with some of your work outfits. Find ideas of work appropriate styles here.

Bags.
Bags should be grouped by size. If there are still too many to choose from (a woman never has too many bags of course, but you know what I mean), also sort them by color.

Build a Few Work Outfits

I know, by this time you’ll probably be thinking “hey, let’s not get overly perfect here“. Just take a break, go make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee. It’s definitely worth investing a few more minutes to do this last part. Don’t you like leaving the house in the morning looking sharp and feeling confident?

Think of the mornings when you’ll be rushing with time, yet will want to look the part for an important meeting with clients or managers. By putting together a few work outfits ahead of time, you’ll be more relaxed knowing you’re equipped to deal with those mornings. Try to find a couple of options with each statement piece you have. Your statement pieces can be a skirt, a blazer, a top that stands out, and so on.

Looking for outfit inspirations? Have a look at Pinterest/MarthasWorkshop. You’ll find a wide selection of ideas on these boards: Works outfits (with a Plus size sub-category), Casual Friday Style, Spring/Summer 2018, Accessories. Working in a more artsy, fashion friendly environment? Check out The fashionista.

MORE: Work Outfit Inspirations to Wear Now

Miscellaneous Tips

Tip #1: Do you have a nude strapless bra to wear with your sleeveless dresses and tops? It’s a must. Another option is to have a bra with transparent straps. You can normally find these straps separately in specialized lingerie stores.

Tip #2: It’s very useful to have a few pairs of « no-show liners ». Those ultra low-cut socks you can wear with flats or other shoes that otherwise will hurt your feet. They exist in beige and black. Remember, it’s important to go for the really tiny ones, so no one can see them coming out of your shoes!

Tip #3: Only bring your clothes to the dry cleaner when they’re dirty. Frequent dry cleaning will damage out fibers and fade colors. Plus, it will make your white cotton shirts yellow. I use a clothing steamer when an item needs to be refreshed. It’s a handheld travel size one that I leave handy and ready to use (except for the water). As for my white shirts, I normally wash them myself.

There you go. Follow these steps to organize your work wardrobe and you will thank me later, believe me! Let me know if you have any questions or comments below. Always happy to know what you think!

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  1. Tammy

    Great advise, while I wear uniforms for work, I could still stand some organizing for my everyday wear. Thanks for the tips!

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