How To Build A Working Wardrobe

Build A Working WardrobeAre you praying for a sale?

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’? Let me show you how planning is way better than praying (when it comes to shopping anyway).

In order to show you this clearly and concisely I will need to be clear and concise. In order to do that you will have to play along and pretend you all fit into one category at the moment. Here’s the category – professional female, entering job market, striving for a promotion in her current job, re-launching a career post empty-nest syndrome or recreating herself and launching a new business. The point being, that she/you need to build/rebuild a working wardrobe and it needs to be within your budget.

Now I want you to realize that there are ways around everything – you could wait months for a sale, shop out of season, scour the consignment shops or dive into the Good Will dumpster. But realistically, an intuitive, stylish, flattering and functional wardrobe will not be your end result. So let’s get to work!

First, let’s talk about the essentials necessary to start to build your future style success!

Building a Working Wardrobe

  • A 2 or 3-piece suit – jacket, skirt & pant
  • Crisp white no-iron long sleeve shirt
  • Patterned or colorful long sleeve blouse
  • Patterned or colorful short sleeve or sleeveless blouse
  • Day dress
  • Textured jacket
  • Pattern separate skirt
  • Dark wash jeans to wear with a heel
  • Classic or statement necklace
  • Classic thin belt, neutral or color
  • Pop of color handbag
  • Pop of color scarf
  • Nude closed toe heels
  • Black closed toe heels

Second, let’s talk money sense!

Budgeting a Working Wardrobe

  • A 2 or 3 piece suit – jacket, skirt & pant  (90, 60, 70)
  • Crisp white no-iron long sleeve shirt  (60)
  • Patterned or colorful long sleeve blouse  (50)
  • Patterned or colorful short sleeve or sleeveless blouse  (50)
  • Day dress  (90)
  • Textured jacket  (90)
  • Pattern separate skirt  (60)
  • Dark wash jeans to wear with a heel  (60)
  • Classic or statement necklace (40)
  • Classic thin belt, neutral or color  (20)
  • Pop of color scarf  (15)
  • Pop of color handbag  (50)
  • Nude closed toe heels  (50)
  • Black closed toe heels  (50)

Third, let’s work the numbers so you understand.

Mind you, these are average prices; you could shop at higher or lower price points. I have reflected mid-price better quality prices, say Banana Republic, Lord & Taylor, Ann Taylor and the like.

The total ‘retail’ price for this package is $905. Now before you drop your coffee, let’s dive deeper.

  • Most discounts and family-day coupons run between 25 and 30%.
  • Let’s be conservative and deduct 25% (-226.25) – now we are down to 678.75.
  • Stay with me here…
  • Did you happen to count the number of items we have in our cart?
  • That magic number is 16.
  • Divide the total cost of 678.75 by 16 and your average cost per item is down to $42.42.
  • Are you happy so far? Here’s more good news…
  • If you wear these items only once a week …drum roll please…your cost per wear per item is 42.42 divided by 52 (weeks per year) = 82 CENTS!

82 cents ladies – now I call that shopping with purpose!

8 pieces:12 outfits

Check out these outfits from Banana Republic – this is 8 pieces translated into 12 outfits.  You don’t have to have a closet chocked full of clothing to be well dressed. Plan your wardrobe; don’t just leave it to chance. Less is more!

Have questions? Want a personalized plan for yourself? Book a complimentary Boost Your Image Breakthrough Session with me. We’ll chat about building and budgeting your wardrobe. Then we’ll move on to your closet, your image and whatever else comes up! I look forward to ‘meeting’ you on the phone!

Doreen Dove empowers women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. She is an image consultant, personal stylist and professional speaker. Her extensive background in all aspects of retail has uniquely qualified her to work with women of all ages and professions, coaching them to personal style success.


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