Your Professional Wardrobe: 5 Fashion Must-Haves for Success

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MUNCIE, Indiana – Fall has been claiming fashion victims for several weeks now, and we don’t want you to be one of them, especially if you’re a recent grad who has just started her first “real” job. Add these five staples to your professional wardrobe, and you’ll be among the best-dressed ladies in the office.

Classic Handbag

Sure, you know all about brand name handbags. You saved up for months to buy that flashy pink wristlets that held your ID, cellphone and lip gloss every time you went bar hopping. But now is the time to acquaint yourself with the professional woman’s purse. Check out the selection of luxury handbags from Coach. Perfect for the workplace and a night out on the town, a Coach bag will last for years and the styles are both classy and timeless.

Collared Shirts

Work-appropriate blouses don’t have to be dowdy. Menswear-inspired collared shirts are a classic work piece, but combined with a bold pattern, they are fresh and youthful. No matter how in-your-face the pattern is, it can always be topped with a blazer or cardigan to tone it down, making it a versatile staple you shouldn’t go without.

Classy Cigarette Pants

Matchy-matchy pantsuits are what you may imagine all office-goers wearing, but that’s far from reality. Oftentimes companies don’t even have a formal dress code beyond business casual and it is up to you to navigate the fashion terrain solo. When in doubt, always go above and beyond when styling denim, even if others are wearing it (and just so you know, cutoffs and hotpants are an office no-no). The adage is to dress for the job you want, not the job you have, and by maintaining your professional look, you’re more likely to be taken seriously and promoted quickly. Stick to flattering cigarette pants, and you’ll be safe.

Shift Dress

The shift dress is the holy grail of work attire. There are about a million reasons to wear a shift dress, including:

1. It’s a wham-bam ensemble that takes seconds to put together, but looks like it required lots of thought.

2. Shift dresses are flattering on everyone.

3. Shift dresses are actually comfortable to sit in eight hours straight.

4. Shift dresses go from day to night without needing one change to your wardrobe.

Sold yet? Bustle suggests choosing a jewel-tone dress with a unique twist.

Leather

Leather is hot this fall, according to stylist George Brescia. However, you have to pick your leather wisely. Even if it’s not snowing quite yet, leather flip-flops and strappy sandals aren’t work-appropriate in the fall.

Go for closed-toe leather booties or flats that you can easily walk in and pair with different scarves, sweaters and skirts. If you want to bring even more edge to the workplace, try incorporating a leather skirt or top. Businessweek says these trendy fall pieces are fair game. But stay away from the leather motorcycle jacket – that’s too gimmicky for the office.


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