I love What Not to Wear. If they did a Houston version, and I didn’t have a full time job, and I had any time or a degree in fashion, I would totally host it. I don’t think I could be harsh, but I could be helpful. A dear friend of mine suggested for a few years that I help her shop for an updated “look.” She is beautiful so her wardrobe just needs a little refreshing to match. We’re finally beginning the effort now that she’s done having kids and has moved and is ready to start fresh. First, we’re putting her current wardrobe into four categories: Goodwill donation items, Dress for Success donation items, Send to a Tailor for updating items, and Must Keep items. Then we’re going shopping. I made a list of wardrobe must-haves for any working mom. I mentioned it to a few of my colleagues and they said, please send that list, we need something like that.
So I decided that today’s post would be the list. Ideally, as a wardrobe grows, it will contain multiple items in each of these categories plus “extras.” However, we’re all on a budget these days, so start small. Inventory your closet for the items you already have (that are in good condition and fit). Then make a shopping list, and don’t limit yourself by only looking at pricey stores. Shop sales and clip coupons, shop second hand, or shop budget (say Old Navy for jeans, Marshall’s for a sundress, and Target for sandals). Note though, DO invest in some higher end items as well – you can tell when something is well made and, if it will be worn a lot, it’s worth the added investment (for example, get a beautiful pair of black pants or a power suit). Finally, this list is developed for: women working in a business casual environment who must be more formal for meetings or interviews, women who need to be modern but casual for kid activities on the weekend, and finally women who want a fabulous party or date night option.
Leave a comment with any of your must have items I neglected. Without further ado….
1. Flat front, well-fitted, black pants (and ideally other neutrals as you go).
2. An unique blazer and a black blazer (perfect for work or the weekend over jeans).
3. A power suit.
4. A beautiful blouse – preferably one great white button down shirt as well as a pretty feminine blouse.
5. A neutral pencil skirt.
6. A fitted sleeveless dress for work and a beautiful party dress/cocktail dress for night.
7. A colorful cardigan.
8. A bold shell.
9. Classic black heels (the heel is not stiletto but is not chunky).
10. A few interesting accessories (fun necklaces, printed scarves, colorful handbags, to change the look of an outfit).
11. A modern pair of jeans in a dark rinse with a straight leg.
12. A cotton sundress.
13. An embellished tee and solid colored tee.
14. Lingerie that fits your figure now – seamless panties, a pair of Spanx, a great bra.
15. Pretty sandals.
16. A sexy silky/satin blouse (can pair with pants, skirt or jeans for a night out).
17. A pair of walking shorts (NOT capris!).
18. Fun ballet flats.
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