Building a Capsule Wardrobe for Work

Finding the Right Look

Capsule wardobes had a major moment a few years ago. Everyone was talking about throwing out all their clothes and starting fresh with a carefully curated capsule wardobe. The idea is nice, but didn’t quite catch my interest. That is, until I had the need for a professional wardrobe. I am now very excited about the prospect of creating a work capsule wardobe. I do not often need professional clothing, but want what I do have to be nice and easy to mix and match.

Why A Capsule Wardrobe?

As a lot of you know I work from home, which means that most of the time I’m wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt or maybe a dress if I’m feeling fancy (or if it’s hot and I’m trying to avoid the AC.) Before wfh, the offices I have worked in have been super casual. In fact, people were known to come to work in pajamas at my first job.

On a few different occasions last year, I found myself in more professional settings. For 3 to 5 days at a time I needed to be able to fit into scenarios where I would be presenting solutions and representing my company. These were really exciting opportunities but I was also really stressed out leading up to them because my wardrobe was lacking. I was nervous I wouldn’t be dressed appropriately and wouldn’t look right. That I would look too young, or inadequate and wouldn’t be taken seriously etc, etc. Considering these opportunities were really important ways for me to assert myself in my career, it was really frustrating to feel restricted because my closet did not support this setting.

I’ve decided that the solution for me (because I’m not often in these scenarios, but am likely going to be in them more often) is to create a capsule wardrobe for work. I’ve stayed away from capsule wardrobes in the past because I don’t want to put too many limits on myself. While I do try to keep my closet on the minimal side, it’s nowhere near capsule Style.

Anyway, I’m really excited to share the process that I’m going through to create a capsule work wardrobe that fits a lot of different criteria. I’m going to start out by sharing some of those criteria with you and then as the journey progresses I’ll share some of the pieces that I put together for my capsule selection!

Considerations

Being a Creative
For those of you that are in Creative roles in the workforce, you understand that there’s a weird kind of expectation of what you should look like or how you should break the mold of the normal professional. On one hand this is really cool because it allows you to break some of the rules that a lot of people feel that they need to stick to because you are already expected to be ‘different.’ On the flip side sometimes people read way further into what you’re wearing then they should. Example: if you wear a purple top and somebody just heard you talk about how purple does X Y and Z in a food setting then they start reading into the color of your shirt and really you just like the purple shirt.

Not Wanting to Sacrifice Personal Style
I still want to feel like myself.

I’m pretty sure that most of you can agree that it gets complicated trying to feel like yourself while still looking professional. it’s can be really tough to marry those two personas together to create your own work style. that’s something that I’m really going to be focusing on with these pieces.

 

Feeling Confident
I want all of these pieces to be something that I can put on and feel confident that one I’m going to feel good in them but to that I’m going to look like I know what I’m doing.

One thing to note right off the bat I’ve already decided that these are not going to be low priced items I know for a fact that I want quality and in this case I do think that price is associated with quality it’s not always the case but for this type of clothing I definitely think it is so I will be spending more on less pieces very intentionally.

 

Quality Over Quantity
This is going to be key. My focus is to find items that are good quality and that will make getting dressed for work events fun and simple. When complete, this collection should be timeless enough that (assuming the clothes still fit) I am wearing the base pieces 5-10 years from now. Ideally I will switch out some pieces over time – add a new top here or a pair of fun shoes there – but the base of the wardrobe should be long lasting.

Work Capsule Wardrobe Inspiration

I have been all over pinterest lately checking out different outfits that blend casual with business. One of my favorite spots I have found so far is Death By Elocution – I could honestly scroll through this tumblr for days. That’s where A LOT of the images below came from. On top of what is here, I’m pulling inspo onto this office fashion pinterest board if you want to follow along.