must haves in a work wardrobe?

  1. ill be starting my last year at university in october and dress like a typical student really. trouble is, one day a week i will be doing an internship with a curator of a local museum. i need some basics that i can wear while im working and for important meetings and things like that.
    where should i start?
    i only own 1 black skirt suit.
  2. I would first build on that skirt suit. Is it a suit that's still out in the store? Can you add a pair of pants to it (and turn it into 2 suits)?

    Next I would make sure I had a pair of black pumps, a structured bag (tote or breifcase also work), a professional watch (i.e., no mikey mouse), and a few tops and sweaters that go with the black pants or skirt. You should be able to make several looks from these pieces.

    As you work more and need more clothing you can add other pants/skirts, additional suits, shoes, and tops. When I buy a suit I like to find one with both pants and a skirt (if you wear skirts) so I can have two suits from the 3 pieces. Since you have a black suit, if you like seperates, you can add things like a tweed blazer to wear with the black pants or gray pants to wear with the black blazer. This will give you more options without having to buy an entire suit.

    If your office isn't very formal (or you go to work somewhere less formal), you can always break the pieces up. For example you can wear the skirt with a cardigan and pumps or the blazer with dark jeans or khakis.
  3. i like to wear light sweaters a lot. they look nice and you don't have to iron them. i hate ironing so i never wear my button up shirts anymore
  4. cherry pie, you are very smart to want to start out with the basics! you have the best, a black skirt suit. a black pair of pants is next, perhaps a tan pair of lightweight wool or blend for everything but winter, and some business shirts like brooks brothers in white, light blue, or skinny stripes are good to look dressy without having to wear your one black suit all the time. then invest in a few good scarves, you can find good ones at consignment places, and you need one good dark purse and one good light colored one, black and tan are great basics, add white shirts or sweaters and you will always look smart and tailored looking. keep it simple especially with a curator, you want to look elegant and not young, right? congrats on your new path and best of luck to you! let us know how it goes and hit those resale shops, you can find good ralph lauren, ann taylor sometimes brand new with tags still on.
  5. oh i forgot to say cherry pie that if you stick with solids you can never go wrong, big prints do not look good on too many people. plus you can mix and match solids more. if you like a dress look, you might splurge on a diane von furstenburg wrap dress on eBay, they are timeless!
  6. Your internship sounds like fun! I interned with a curator my senior year of college too, and I've worked & interned in museums or the arts basically since summer 2003. I hope you enjoy it!

    I'd say I get my most use out of my gray dress pants, khakis and my black pants. I also wear so many cardigans. In the summer they're great to throw in your bag if the AC is getting to you indoors, and in the winter you can mix and match with cute camis and shirts underneath. Light knit sweaters are great too. They are useful fall through spring. I'd also make sure to have one great pair of black shoes and another brown... and then build from there later.
  7. Definately great shoes! And dresses are always easy and fuss free :smile:
  8. thanks everyone. im going shopping tomorrow. i forgot to mantion i also hav a black DVF dress that will go with the suit jacket. im gonna try to gat 1 or 2 shirts and a light weight sweater and some black trousers.
  9. When I used to work, I started with basic solids and then added onto to them. With these items, you get 9 different looks

    Black skirt
    Black slacks
    Crisp white shirt
    Sweater sets
    Simple shift dress

    You'll have many outfits:
    Black skirt suit
    black pant with jacket
    black pant with white shirt
    black pant with sweater set
    Shift dress
    Shift dress with sweater from sweater set
    Shift dress with black jacket
    Skirt with white shirt
    Skirt with sweater set

    Then eventually you can add some beige pants, patterened tops, more dresses. Have fun shopping!
  10. 1.You want to get a waistcoat (or vests, thats what they call it in america), plaid (grey) or black to wear on top of your simple white blouse.

    (heres an example from Topshop:

    2. Slim straight-cut black trousers are the best, they make you look longer and smarter than flared black trousers.

    These Theory ones from are awesome.

    3. A couple of well-made white blouses (1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve)

    4. A satin blouse in jewel tones (Try Zara for this one, they make awesome ones every season!)

    5. A black A line skirt that hits at the knee, really goes with everything. I personally wouldn't suggest a pencil skirt as it is harder to walk in!

    6. A pair of black low-mid slingback heels thats well-made & comfortable.

    7. A black jumper style (or pinafore style) dress that you can wear your blouse under it or wear with a cardigan over it.

    8. A black jacket (pin-striped or grey is fine). You can easily wear your favourite top or dress underneath it and wear it with ur slingback heels that can still work as an office look. (see link below: this kate moss for topshop jacket is a perfect example

    9. A pair of black ballet flats or even silver ones that are comfortable. It goes with your skirts, your trousers. :smile: (try London Sole for these )

    You might wanna get some inspiration from Amanda from the tv show Ugly Betty. She's got the best office style! :smile:
  11. cordeeelia, i was aiming for the amanda look but it might be a bit too high maintenance seeing as i have an hours commute.
    im goona hit up topshop tomorrow and next for some trousers to match my skirt suit.
    i dont want to look like iv made too much effort as the curator im working with looks like she hasnt bought anything since M&S made those horrible pinafores in the early 90s.
  12. I work 60+ hours a week so dressing needs to be foolproof in the mornings when I'm barely alive, much less awake.

    My work closet consists of dresses. Many, many dresses. Throw one on, grab a pair of heels, a structured bag and I'm out the door.

    Congrats on your last year and the internship! Exciting times indeed! Enjoy it!

    (Ahhh, to be young again....!)
  13. Congrats on your internship!!

    Already a lot of great advice in this thread, so much of this could be repeats!

    You've got the prize hands down to start: black suit!!

    other essentials:
    - black slacks
    - white blouse
    - good basic dark handbag or tote
    - understated watch (as zoeyzoo posted, no mickey mouse, lol)
    - low to midheeled closed toe black pumps
    - black ankle boots to wear with black slacks
    - basic black trenchcoat and umbrella

    I also agree with the post to stick with solid colors; much more versatile. You can always add prints later.

    I'm a total separates girl...I won't buy anything (with few exceptions) unless I can wear it with multiple other pieces in my wardobe. It makes getting ready in the morning SO much easier, trust me!

  14. well, good luck shopping hun! :smile: And definitely don't miss out Zara & mango! :-P