A one stop guide to dressing like a sophisticated individual.
So here’s the sitch: You’ve just started your first real job, meaning that you are ~officially~ an adult. Congratulations. It’s a Friday night and your fellow colleagues have invited you to go with them to the bar to grab a couple cocktails. Woohoo! You love a good gin and tonic! BUT…before you leave, you realize that you have an absolute CONUNDRUM. What are you going to wear?!
You look in your closet and see a few options:
A) Black Crop Top?
B) White Crop Top?
C) Yankees Jersey?
D) Lakers Jersey?
Hmm. Difficult choice…
Well listen up now people, because actually, the answer is E) NONE OF THE ABOVE!
Unfortunately, you are no longer in #college (sad!) and cannot wear these things out in public. Your reputation is at stake for goodness sake! I mean, you are trying to show people that you are a sophisticated, REAL adult now, right?!
Now for those of you who thought “E is my answer!” then, congrats! You are on the right track and are probably already a classy-looking individual, or at least steps ahead of the rest of us (well, that is assuming you were not thinking that you would prefer a shiny, silver crop top). But for the rest of y’all, oh boy, we have some work to do. Good news though! We are here to help you revisit your poor wardrobe decisions and help you physically look like you have your sh*t together!
So here we go…
1. STOP FALLING FOR FADS
This is a BIG one. Every year there are those items which suddenly become super trendy for no apparent reason. Would you ever even consider wearing Uggs now? Puffy Pants? Chokers? …No? Well there’s my point. Okay, so technically I wore a choker last week but you get what I am saying. If it seems like a weird trend, it probably is. These “trends” change ALL the time, don’t waste your money or wardrobe space on items which you do not see yourself wearing in the long term. After the fad goes away, those items do nothing for your fashion aesthetic besides collect dust at the back of your closet. So save your money for Sunday brunch. Or an apartment.
2. BASICS ARE NOT BORING
Basics are your best friend! They are incredibly versatile and wearing them will help you to appear more put-together. And the best part is that you will get SO many compliments on your “new style”. (No seriously, you will!) Basics go far beyond a white t-shirt and a pair of jeans. We’re really just talking about having clean lines and minimal designs in your oh-so-beautiful wardrobe essentials here. Investing in high quality basics will help your wardrobe last through the years, and the most bizarre trends that are yet to come.
3. SHOP FOR OUTFITS
Admit it, you’ve bought a few items which have maybe made it out of your closet once. So, take this from a used-to-be impulse shopper: NEVER make a purchase unless you see yourself making several outfits out of it. That one “must-have piece” will never be worth the hundreds of dollars just to wear it one time. When shopping, mentally go through your wardrobe and think, what can I pair this item with? What else can I pair it with? Will I REALLY wear this on a regular basis? Once you have answered all these questions, and are truly being realistic with yourself, get the piece. Or, if you absolutely must have it because it is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen, make an investment and buy the rest of the outfit to go with it! It will be worth it.
4. SHOES AND ACCESSORIES MATTER TOO
People don’t want to see your what-may-have-once-been-white Stan Smiths. Make sure your shoes and accessories are up to par with the rest of your outfit. Believe it or not, important people (aka interviewers, bosses) are looking at little details… such as what’s on your feet. As Forrest Gump once said, “my mama always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes”. So, invest in a few nice pairs of shoes, and keep them looking nice…do NOT trek through mud, rain, or snow in your shoes. Ever. That’s what a nice pair of Hunter boots are for sweetie. And it doesn’t just stop at shoes. Now that you’re an adult, you can add some nice accessories to your outfit too! Invest in a nice scarf, bag, and pair of sunglasses. Accessories can instantly upgrade your outfit from drab to fab. So be fab. Always.
5. INVEST IN A SPECIALTY ITEM EACH SEASON
Now, let’s face it, you’re not going to build up your wardrobe in 2 days. None of us have the ability to do that…or the money probably. It takes time. But also, remember that it’s okay to treat yourself! Try to invest in one nice piece for your wardrobe each season- whether it be a nice bag, pair of shoes, or jacket. This will help you to build up your wardrobe over the years, while also being budget friendly.
*BONUS* you don’t have to buy everything at Aritzia or H&M!
Can you believe that there are some retailers which aren’t Aritzia, Zara, or H&M? Shocking, right? There are a lot of great, smaller retailers which have high quality items at pretty good prices! Take some time to get familiar with different retailers in your area, or those who offer free shipping!
Here are a couple of my personal favourites to help get you started (PS-both of these retailers sell women’s and men’s clothing!):
This is an amazing retailer that carries lovely, high quality items. They have a revolutionary mission of transparency AND they have free international shipping when you spend $100 or more!!
This retailer has such great casual basics, that come at a great price! They have an amazing ethical story, AND they are a Canadian company!
So there you have it. I hope you have taken some time to reconsider your wardrobe. You are now one step closer to dressing like a sophisticated adult, who didn’t just roll out of a college frat party! Congratulations. Now go treat yourself to a nice scarf.
Olivia & the Zillennials