4 WAYS TO MAINTAIN YOUR WARDROBE (WHEN YOU WORK FOR YOURSELF)
I know, I know. You must be thinking why on earth am I writing a blog post about maintaining a work wardrobe when I don’t need to worry about what I wear every day because I work from home.
Working from home means I get to wear pyjama’s all day, right? Um, wrong.
Even though I work from home, it doesn’t mean I don’t rise and shine like every other nine to fiver and want to throw something on that makes me feel good.
And of course, there are days where I don’t need to leave the house because I have no meetings, or simply because I have lots of work that needs to get finished. But I won’t let that be the excuse for dressing in track pants and a baggy tee; being stuck in bed with a retched flu is the only time you’ll find me wearing those clothes.
The thing is, in the early days of working from home I learned very quickly that dressing for success is an essential tool for doing my best work. When I am dressed for success, I feel powerful, creative and unstoppable.
To help you maintain your work wardrobe when you work for yourself, below I share four tips that have helped me in the last couple of years.
1. BE PREPARED
Oily hair and dirty clothes are the best combination for last-minute client meetings, am I right? Definitely not. I’ve been caught out more times than I’d like to admit and it’s safe to say that a spray of dry shampoo and grabbing one of Jason’s t-shirts don’t cut it. I’ve learned it’s always best to be prepared, so if you’re super busy with work mid-week, make time every weekend to get your washing done.
I like to do personal admin on a Sunday afternoon when things are relaxed after the weekend and I’m feeling motivated for the week ahead. This is where you’ll find me editing the week’s podcast episode, washing my clothes and getting my meal prep done for the week. It’s such a good habit to get into!
2. DRESS FOR SUCCESS
Sure, if you want to wear pyjama’s all day go for it. But I can guarantee you won’t feel like a boss whilst you’re wearing pyjama’s. You won’t feel professional. You won’t feel motivated. In fact, you’ll probably begin to get distracted, spend time between the fridge and the television and before you know it, the day is over and you’ve accomplished nothing.
I’ve learned that if you want to be a boss, you have to dress like a boss. I’ve also learned that being successful is all about feeling successful, and the quickest way to feel successful, is to dress like your successful. It makes me feel confident, motivated and ready to take on the world! And it also means I care about my business and that I want to be taken seriously as a professional. Even if no one gets to see me in my outfit, I still feel awesome. Now the important thing here to remember is that whilst you should feel your best in whatever you choose to wear, you don’t need to wear a power suit every day, and this brings me to my next tip.
Extra tip: If you struggle to find the time to get ready in the morning, my best suggestion is to get up 30 minutes earlier (ok, try 15 minutes if 30 minutes is way too early for you). This will give you plenty of time to have a shower, wash your hair, throw on a banging outfit and some light make-up. You’ll feel (and look) a million dollars! Remember, how you dress is how you define your personal style, and ultimately your personal brand…
3. CREATE A CAPSULE WARDROBE
The secret to dressing for success when you work from home is having a cute, professional and comfortable capsule wardrobe, which consists of 10 to 30 staple pieces, including shoes and accessories, which you can easily put together.
Whether you’re home all day, or have to run out for a few meetings, or want to take a (sanity) break and grab a coffee, your capsule work wardrobe should have easy, quick to choose options that are effortlessly stylish and practical.
There are so many benefits to creating a capsule work wardrobe; especially if you’re a working mum! The beautiful thing about having a capsule work wardrobe is that you will have a clear idea about what you can wear every day, and that means one less thing to think about in your busy day. Hurrah. It also means you shouldn’t find yourself standing in front of your wardrobe thinking you’ve got nothing to wear.
Extra tip: Take your time and invest in quality over quantity. And don’t feel bad for buying work clothes when you work from home; you deserve to look and feel amazing!
- WORK WARDROBE ESSENTIALS TO GET YOU STARTED
Boyfriend blazer (I love blazers from Zara)
Great fitting denim jacket
Well-fitting jeans (I tend to think high rise is the best)
High wasted linen pants
A white men’s style shirt or a white silk blouse
Great fitting tee’s
Well-fitting skirts (I think a maxi or a midi is best for work situations, and I love linen maxi skirts and leather midi skirts)
Great fitting midi and maxi dresses
Casual jumpsuits (I love linen jumpsuits from Nice Martin the best)
Silk tanks (I love cow neck tanks at the moment, they bring out my inner 90s child)
A handbag (I love rattan for summer and leather for winter) or a bumbag. They seem to be making a bit of a stylish comeback and I have to admit, I wear my mustard one from Seed everywhere.
A stylish wide brim hat for walking outside and in between meetings (I usually wear straw and panama hats in summer and felt hats in winter)
Pair of high heels (black, tan or leopard print go with everything) or wedge espadrilles (Ritmo make the most beautiful espadrilles)
Flat sandals and a pair of flat espadrilles
White sneakers, (I love Vans – they’re a must!)
An oversized men’s watch or an elegant ladies watch
Scarf or bandana (for your hair or to tie onto your bag)
4. ORGANISE YOUR WARDROBE
So, you’ve got your wardrobe ready for the week, you’ve carefully chosen pieces that make you feel good and you’ve created your capsule work wardrobe; now it’s time to organise your wardrobe so it’s easy to pull together an outfit with ease every single day. I personally like to start with keeping my coat hangers the same. Having different ones looks messy and cluttered. I know a lot of people like wooden coat hangers, but I think they take up too much space on the rack so I like minimalist, slim line hangers. I also don’t use hangers with clips as I find they get stuck onto the normal hangers – but this is totally up to your personal preference.
I also know how busy life can get during the week – clothes piling up in the corner of your room and shoved, not folded, in your wardrobe drawers. For me the simplest solution is to ‘organise in the moment’. It takes a bit of discipline to do this every day (and trust me, it still doesn't happen evrrrrry day) but I have found a little bit every day is a lot less overwhelming than having to deal with a lot of hanging, sorting and folding on my Sunday afternoons. I also like to keep my shoes together and on the floor of my wardrobe – if I run out of space, it’s highlighting to me that I have too many pairs of shoes. And honestly, I only have a few on rotation; flat and mid rise wedge espadrilles, two pairs of sandals and a pair of white sneakers from Vans. And that’s it! I don’t wear high heels anymore - hello espadrilles! I live on the Sunshine Coast and it’s very relaxed here, so wedged espadrilles are my go to.
Words by YCS Director, Jaharn Giles