Author Topic: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?  (Read 5805 times)

OrangeSnapDragon

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Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« on: June 03, 2016, 05:39:09 AM »
Hello Everyone!

Recently heard a radio show discussing work wardrobes and dress codes, what really intrigued me though was this woman from Sony who decided to basically create her own uniform.  http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a10441/why-i-wear-the-same-thing-to-work-everday/

I work in an office that is business casual and I have a great relationship with my boss.  I think she would be very open to the idea, but I wonder if it will save me money as well as time and the morning annoyance of picking out another wardrobe.  Not mentioned in the article but apparently this women finds the top she wants and negotiates to buy several at a time (I think it was around 10-14).  I could also go more middle of the road and go with 3 'uniforms' so I can dress a little up when we have clients coming in and a little down when it is an administrative day. 

Anyone else had any luck simplifying and saving on work wear?

Thanks!!!

slappy

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 05:43:22 AM »
I haven't done this, but I really want to. More for the time savings in the morning. Also, I have a hard time finding clothes that I like and that fit me well. So if I find something, it would be cool to just buy several at once.  I think I read that Mark Zuckerburg does this with his grey tee/hoodie "uniform".

Alf91

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 05:58:11 AM »
Neat!

I basically have 2 types of pants that I alternate between (one more casual than the other), and several similar-styled shirts. Never really considered it a uniform - more just that I have a hard time finding clothes that fit me well, so when I do, I buy multiples.

Mrs. S

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 06:07:59 AM »
This sounds really awesome! It feels like a great way to reduce expenses as well. Now if you don't go out as much over the weekends like us when would i get to wear some other shit?
My boss recommended I wear some mature clothing if I can( Well I wear casual) so that clients take me a bit seriously since I am too young. I have been thinking of getting some formal shirts and stuff maybe a few months down the line or so. This makes me think maybe similar shirt in different colors can solve both my problems. Right now I wear whatever I can find clean and ironed in my wardrobe.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 09:45:59 AM by Mrs. S »

ZiziPB

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 09:03:40 AM »
There is a long thread discussing the uniform approach to dressing and capsule wardrobe issues:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/spin-off-creating-a-minimalistcapsule-wardrobe/

mskyle

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 09:51:44 AM »
Why on earth does she need 10-14 shirts? I guess if you really hate doing laundry.

I used to do something similar: I had one pair of black work pants and one pair of gray work pants. I had 6 or 7 button down shirts in different colors. All of the shirts went with all of the pants, and they all worked pretty much year round. Every day, I wore one of those pairs of pants and one of those shirts, unless I really really wanted to dress up. I don't think anyone ever noticed, much less cared.

I don't have to dress up for work anymore so I don't have a work-specific wardrobe anymore... I wear the same stuff on the weekend or vacation as I do on work days. But I still don't think I have 14 shirts! Maybe if I combine shirts and dresses.

HipGnosis

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 10:20:25 AM »
My boss recommended I wear some mature clothing if I can well I wear casual so that clients take me a bit seriously since I am too young. I have been thinking of getting some formal shirts and stuff maybe a few months down the line or so.
I'm sorry, but this makes absolutely no sense to me.
How (that is, in what world) does 'wear casual' help or equal 'so that clients take me a bit seriously'?  The boss obviously doesn't think so.
There's a whole, wide, range between causal and formal.

OrangeSnapDragon

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 05:16:55 PM »
Thank you for all the responses!  I think I will pair down to no more than 2 pants, 5 shirts, and 2 jackets.  From there find out what I really like and look good in and go shopping for to the 'uniform'.  I will keep the 4 summer dresses I have in case I need to dress up or for going out and ditch the rest!!!  Truthfully I don't even like about 50% of what I have right now for work clothes. 

Very excited.  Thanks for the input!  Please let me know if any of you decide to try.

P.S.  About 18 months ago my husband and I pulled EVERYTHING out of the closet and got rid of 70% of our clothing.  It was amazing and I never missed a single article of clothing.

rafiki

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 07:47:38 PM »
I basically wear the same thing every day. During the work week it is dark gray or navy slacks and a white or blue dress shirt. I have 4 pairs of the same black shoes, one belt, etc. It's great.

And on the weekends I basically wear a "uniform" of shorts, a gray quick dry shirt, and boat shoes. Less decision making in the morning, and less money wasted on clothes that I don't end up wearing.

SimplyMarvie

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2016, 07:21:12 AM »
I did something similar when I worked in the tropics. Every day I wore a dress + cardigan + flats to work. I just grabbed one of each, and took off. It was great... but it really only worked because it was 85 and sunny basically every day and because I did the same series of tasks every day and didn't need to dress up/down for different things that might happen in my work day.

Now that I'm in a country with four seasons, variable temperatures and more variable tasks, I really miss the simplicity. :(

Mrs. S

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2016, 09:44:34 AM »
My boss recommended I wear some mature clothing if I can well I wear casual so that clients take me a bit seriously since I am too young. I have been thinking of getting some formal shirts and stuff maybe a few months down the line or so.
I'm sorry, but this makes absolutely no sense to me.
How (that is, in what world) does 'wear casual' help or equal 'so that clients take me a bit seriously'?  The boss obviously doesn't think so.
There's a whole, wide, range between causal and formal.

That is what he said... don't wear casuals and no tees..  essentially what I wear. I get what you are saying... it's missing punctuation.😞 Going back to correct it

pbkmaine

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2016, 10:04:03 AM »
I worked on Wall Street, and this was my office uniform:

1) silk shell or collared shirt with scarf or chunky necklace
2) blazer or structured jacket
3) trousers or pencil skirt




abhe8

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2016, 01:47:18 PM »
I have a work uniform, of sorts. Half a dozen straight pencil skirts in shades of black, gray and navy, 10 of the same tank top and my fav 3/4 sleeve merino sweater in a dozen colors. Two pair of the same flats, in different colors. I wear that outfit 99 % of the time at work. I love it. It was my favorite outfit, so I gradually bought more of the same, to replaced what wore out or I didn't really like. I shop sales and eBay, since I know exactly what I need.

Now, im pregnant, so had to branch out a bit, but for the first 20 weeks or so, I just made do with my usual skirt and sweater in a size and then two bigger. I figured will need them again on the way back down, and can then have them altered to my usual size.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 01:48:53 PM by abhe8 »

ThunderCats

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2016, 02:05:59 PM »
I'm currently a stay at home mom.  But wardrobe issues have been a problem for me for a while. I'm not "fashionable", but like to look put together.  For now, I've created a "life uniform" of the same shirt in 9 different colors, and have some jeans and shorts I rotate through pending on the weather.  I love the approach and if/when I go back to work plan to do the same thing, just with nicer tops and bottoms.  For me choosing what to wear in the morning was always a challenge.  Now, it's so simple.  Though I did have to debate for a few seconds today if it was a purple or a green day...

The one change I may make down the road is that I'd love to make my own clothes.  I don't do much sewing, but if I'm making the same pattern over and over, I figure it would be easier to learn.

MrsPete

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2016, 07:20:55 PM »
My boss recommended I wear some mature clothing if I can well I wear casual so that clients take me a bit seriously since I am too young. I have been thinking of getting some formal shirts and stuff maybe a few months down the line or so.
I'm sorry, but this makes absolutely no sense to me.
How (that is, in what world) does 'wear casual' help or equal 'so that clients take me a bit seriously'?  The boss obviously doesn't think so.
There's a whole, wide, range between causal and formal.
As a teacher, wearing something "more mature" makes sense to me.  When I was younger, I looked younger than my age (I'd like to think that's still true), and it was a problem as a new teacher.  It's hard enough for a new teacher to manage a tough class of thirty or more students, and it's even harder when the kids get the idea into their head that you're only a year or two older than they are.  Though most of my students are 17-18, I've taught a few 20 year olds and one 21 year old; a first year teacher assigned to teach seniors could literally be the same age. 

Kids look for weaknesses in teachers, and they perceive youth and inexperience as weakness. 

Seriously, until they're sporting a couple wrinkles, a smart teacher will come to school dressed very conservatively -- perhaps in a blouse and cardigan with simple trousers instead of a barely-meets-dress-code skirt. 



Beriberi

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2016, 05:22:12 PM »
I discovered The Vivenne Files on another thread, and the 4x4 wardrobe concept makes a lot of sense to me. It also helps me curb my shopping behavior as I think about whether it truly fits into my wardrobe.

http://www.theviviennefiles.com/p/four-by-four-wardrobes.html

capital

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2016, 06:08:25 PM »
Why on earth does she need 10-14 shirts? I guess if you really hate doing laundry.
In New York City, most apartments don't have washing machines. One must often effectively pay a $500+/mo premium to have in-unit laundry.

It's much cheaper to have extra clothing in case you're busy on laundry day.

Mrs. S

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2016, 05:00:12 AM »
As a teacher, wearing something "more mature" makes sense to me.
Oh I remember how seriously we took young teachers! For some reason age still matters for a lot of jobs I guess. I work in a big consultancy with government as client. A lot of times our young team has been pointed out by them.
I discovered The Vivenne Files on another thread, and the 4x4 wardrobe concept makes a lot of sense to me. It also helps me curb my shopping behavior as I think about whether it truly fits into my wardrobe.

http://www.theviviennefiles.com/p/four-by-four-wardrobes.html

Interesting!!!

mskyle

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2016, 08:06:08 AM »
Why on earth does she need 10-14 shirts? I guess if you really hate doing laundry.
In New York City, most apartments don't have washing machines. One must often effectively pay a $500+/mo premium to have in-unit laundry.

It's much cheaper to have extra clothing in case you're busy on laundry day.

I actually live in a city and use a laundromat (not even in-building laundry, much less in-unit) - but if I went 14 work days without doing laundry I would go crazy!

GuitarStv

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2016, 08:12:15 AM »
This simplification saves tremendous amounts of time over your life:

Throw out all your mixed black/dark dress socks.  Buy one type of black sock in bulk . . . and get about 14 - 20 pairs.  Never waste time pairing up socks ever again.  Replace all of your black socks every five or six years depending on wear.  You can follow a similar strategy with white athletic socks.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2016, 08:28:14 AM »
This sounds really awesome! It feels like a great way to reduce expenses as well. Now if you don't go out as much over the weekends like us when would i get to wear some other shit?
My boss recommended I wear some mature clothing if I can( Well I wear casual) so that clients take me a bit seriously since I am too young. I have been thinking of getting some formal shirts and stuff maybe a few months down the line or so. This makes me think maybe similar shirt in different colors can solve both my problems. Right now I wear whatever I can find clean and ironed in my wardrobe.

Why wait a few months? Your boss is essentially letting you know that, while you may not be breaking the dress code, you are dressing inappropriately for your role. Step up to the plate and show him that you are a professional.

lizzzi

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2016, 09:02:42 AM »
I'm currently a stay at home mom.  But wardrobe issues have been a problem for me for a while. I'm not "fashionable", but like to look put together.  For now, I've created a "life uniform" of the same shirt in 9 different colors, and have some jeans and shorts I rotate through pending on the weather.  I love the approach and if/when I go back to work plan to do the same thing, just with nicer tops and bottoms.  For me choosing what to wear in the morning was always a challenge.  Now, it's so simple.  Though I did have to debate for a few seconds today if it was a purple or a green day...

The one change I may make down the road is that I'd love to make my own clothes.  I don't do much sewing, but if I'm making the same pattern over and over, I figure it would be easier to learn.

+1 to all this. I do find it's hard to keep a minimalist wardrobe staying at home though. There are so many activities that destroy your clothes--muddy puppy paws on your tee shirt, baking or cooking splashes, paint splashes from your watercolors, etc. In hot sticky weather you may change shirts later in the day, thus going through two (or three maybe) in one day.. In a four-season climate, there is the need for layering up and/or layering down...so need a stack of tanks, short-sleeve tees, 3/4 length tees (my most versatile favorite)...and then getting into the long-sleeves, LS mocks, and the full LS turtleneck. Wool long underwear, leggings of cotton or wool...etc., etc. I do keep my color scheme the same year-round...black, navy, gray, and some dark jewel tones like purple, burgundy, and green. No patterns whatsoever. So everything pretty much works with everything else, just adjusting for the seasons, and having enough spares in case of mishaps. This would be my work wardrobe, too, just a notch or two higher, nicer quality.

Beriberi

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2016, 09:29:32 AM »
This sounds really awesome! It feels like a great way to reduce expenses as well. Now if you don't go out as much over the weekends like us when would i get to wear some other shit?
My boss recommended I wear some mature clothing if I can( Well I wear casual) so that clients take me a bit seriously since I am too young. I have been thinking of getting some formal shirts and stuff maybe a few months down the line or so. This makes me think maybe similar shirt in different colors can solve both my problems. Right now I wear whatever I can find clean and ironed in my wardrobe.

Why wait a few months? Your boss is essentially letting you know that, while you may not be breaking the dress code, you are dressing inappropriately for your role. Step up to the plate and show him that you are a professional.

I totally agree with this. It is usually very difficult for a superior to bring up clothing choices, so you should take the advice very seriously.

Beriberi

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2016, 09:30:43 AM »
I'm curious where people get their everyday-wear t-shirts.  It seems so many stores have the "tissue tees" with the super thin fabric. Not durable or flattering (on me!).

Captain FIRE

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2016, 09:35:16 AM »
This sounds really awesome! It feels like a great way to reduce expenses as well. Now if you don't go out as much over the weekends like us when would i get to wear some other shit?
My boss recommended I wear some mature clothing if I can( Well I wear casual) so that clients take me a bit seriously since I am too young. I have been thinking of getting some formal shirts and stuff maybe a few months down the line or so. This makes me think maybe similar shirt in different colors can solve both my problems. Right now I wear whatever I can find clean and ironed in my wardrobe.

Why wait a few months? Your boss is essentially letting you know that, while you may not be breaking the dress code, you are dressing inappropriately for your role. Step up to the plate and show him that you are a professional.

+1

LM123

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2016, 10:04:06 AM »
I'm starting 2 years of clerkships in the hospital this summer and have been working on my professional capsule wardrobe for a couple months. At the beginning of this year I simplified my casual wardrobe to 4 pairs of a very similar jean, and 15 of the same cotton shirt in a variety of colors, 3 pairs of the same style ballerina flat, and 2 jackets to top it off. It is so easy breezy to get dressed in the morning when everything matches and I like how I look in all of it! I only have to devote 3 neurons to getting dressed and I can save the rest for more important things.

I wanted the same benefits in a work wardrobe but it has been a little more difficult. I have outlandishly long legs and a nonexistent tush so finding dress pants has always been a challenge. I finally came across Banana Republic's pants and the long version fits perfectly! I stalk their website for deals (they often have things on sale + an additional 40% off) and have purchased 3 pairs of black pants and one pair of black and white polka dot pants.

Finding dress shirts that fit well has also been a pain as the small sizes never seem to be long enough and the larger sizes make me feel boxy. I recently found out that silk drapes beautifully and avoids the boxy shape no matter the size! After searching high and low to find affordable silk blouses I heard of ThredUp from a forum member. It's an online consignment store and they have a pretty impressive selection of items.  I'm sticking with solid-color, long-sleeved silk blouses that will look good with my black pants. I have two black blazers for days when I need to look even more polished. Now I just need to find a comfy professional shoe that will allow me to be on my feet for 12-18 hours a day and looks good with my straight leg pants. Does anyone have any shoe recommendations? (no danskos... I just can't do it :P )

GuitarStv, I love the suggestion about throwing out all the socks. I'm fed up with my sock situation and I plan to take action tonight when I get home.

LM123

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2016, 10:13:39 AM »
I'm curious where people get their everyday-wear t-shirts.  It seems so many stores have the "tissue tees" with the super thin fabric. Not durable or flattering (on me!).

Beriberi, I love the GapFit Breathe V-neck Tee. It's actually an athletic shirt but no can ever tell :P
http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1051335&vid=1&pid=142856342
It's long and the V isn't too deep so it's appropriate for pretty much every location. The fabric holds up really well. I've had to throw out 2 of these shirts after they got stretched out and saggy, but it took 3 years of weekly wear and hundreds of washings to tire them out. Also they are Super Soft and Stretchy and Comfy!

P.s. I like your name. Do you have a thiamine deficiency?

pbkmaine

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2016, 10:45:03 AM »
I get great t-shirts at Goodwill for $2.17.

Beriberi

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2016, 11:35:04 AM »
I've done some hospital clerk ships in my time... What killed me was the standing. On rounds, in the or, just standing. I would rather walk all day than stand - and it really takes a certain kind of shoe. I've always loved Earth shoes (especially with the reverse heel). The problem is that all shoes wide enough for all day standing will give off a bit of a hippie vibe. Born maybe a bit less so. Good boots are worthwhile. Fluvogs are lovely and about as antimustachian as they come. What's most important is to have two very good pairs; you should be alternating.

hunniebun

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2016, 11:44:41 AM »
I don't have a uniform, but I pretty much have 5 office looks that I rotate daily, one much more dressy than the rest and it is worn on any important meeting days. I am not on wall street or anything, but like to look professional, without having this same dilemma. I think most people, regardless of how many clothes are in their closets end up with a kind of uniform wearing the same things all the time anyways!

lizzzi

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Re: Work Wardrobe - simplify and save?
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2016, 01:54:38 PM »
I'm curious where people get their everyday-wear t-shirts.  It seems so many stores have the "tissue tees" with the super thin fabric. Not durable or flattering (on me!).

Try the L.L. Bean pima cotton tees. (Not the regular tees--they get wrinkly.)