I don’t have an endless supply of clothes to wear for work. Surprise. This means I frequently rewear a fair amount of clothes and outfits that I have in my closet. If Anna Wintour repeats outfits even with a $200,000 annual wardrobe allowance, it’s perfectly acceptable for me to do the same. Below are some tips you should use to mix and match work outfits while keeping your wardrobe fun and fresh.
1. Separates are KEY.
This is obvious. You can get far more wears out of a pair of slacks than you can out of a dress.
For example, if you have a cute dress like the one in this article, you can wear it standalone or perhaps with a blazer or a cardigan. Your options are pretty limited. To be frank, it’s such a standout dress I only wear it a few times a year.
On the other hand, the pants in this article are incredibly versatile. I can wear them with an oversized blazer and a blouse, with a pullover sweater, change to a button-down, or wear it with the matching blazer–the options are nearly endless.
2. Don’t Pair Accessories with Garments.
We all get stuck doing this every now and then. Do you ever catch yourself wearing that one necklace with that one blouse. . . every time you wear it? I used to have a bad habit of forgetting to mix up my jewelry and other accessories. I had one shirt that I would always wear with this one blue, teal, and gold necklace. You’d never see me wearing that shirt with a different necklace.
Switching up the accessories you wear with garments in your closet ensures that you are wearing fresh, new, exciting looks each time you walk out the door. This means switching up necklaces and earrings, wearing different bracelets or watches, not always pairing the same shoes with the same purse, and having a few different belts or scarves to work with.
The same goes for clothes, too–don’t always wear a particular blouse with a particular pair of pants that you usually put together. Be intentional about switching it up. I used to wear the blazer in the photos at the bottom of this article with the dress in this article. Eventually I graduated to wearing it with skirts and pants and other dresses, but it took me being cognizant about varying my outfits to branch out and try something new.
3. Layers, Layers, Layers.
You can wear a white blouse a multitude of different ways simply by layering on other pieces to change the look up. A white button-down with a cardigan and a pencil skirt looks completely different than the same white button-down underneath a pull-over sweater, paired with some chinos.
4. Use Staple Pieces.
I talked about important staple pieces you need in this article. You can mix and match staples far easier than you can standout pieces. Staples are typically pretty simple, which makes them more versatile. For example, you can wear almost any shoe or blazer with a little black dress. Any color cardigan, silver, black, or pearl accessories, any bags, on and on. On the other hand, if you have a bright orange dress, there are certain shoes and other accessories that may clash with the color, which limits your options and versatility.
5. Switch up Your Styling.
You may have noticed this if you read my blog every week, but I’ve worn the blouse in this article in many other outfits on my blog. You can find it here. And here. And I’m sure there will be many more. The difference between these different outfits is my styling. In one outfit, I wore the blouse under a blazer, but left the blazer hanging open. I kept the blazer closed in the next outfit and let just the top of the shirt peek out. In another, I wore the blouse standalone, taking off my blazer for many of the photos.
You can switch up your styling by changing up accessories, leaving a shirt untucked on occasion (like wearing a button-down underneath a pullover sweater and not tucking it in), rolling up the sleeves of a blouse you usually wear unrolled, etc. If you need some ideas, scroll through the Fits page for some different ways to style your work clothes or check out the White Collar Glam Pinterest account, here.
Many thanks to Angel Ross for recommending this topic! If you think of something you’d like to hear more about, send me a message here!
Yours in the mix,
P.S. The blazer in the photos below is from The Limited when they were doing a special collaboration with the tv show Scandal–one of my favorites. You can see in the photos below that there’s a tag in the inside of the blazer that says, “Gladiators in Suits.” So. Much. Yes.
Pictured below: blazer (The Limited, Scandal Edition (old), similar here), blouse (Ann Taylor, similar here), slacks (H&M, similar here or here), pumps (Jessica Simpson, similar here) watch (Bulova, here).