A corporate wardrobe can be a really expensive thing to build up, even with a really tight budget. We might spend years, decades even, buying the perfect corporate clothing that fits us well and fits the work we do just as well too. Because of all the work we’ve put into it, a lot of people might be extremely hesitant to refresh a wardrobe with new styles or new colours. Besides the work, it’s just that much more money and shopping time that busy corporate workers simply don’t have.
If you’re somewhere on the edge of deciding on a massive overhaul of your corporate wardrobe, and trying to get by for another few years, check out this handy guide for when you should, and when you shouldn’t refresh your corporate uniforms, standard business suits and other corporate attire.
When you should:
- When things don’t fit right
Whether you’ve lost weight or gained, it really doesn’t matter if you aren’t feeling comfortable in your own clothes. Your work wardrobe should be one that you feel comfortable in, and confident going into meetings, leading discussions, and having a strong presence in the office with. Even if you’re wearing assigned work uniforms, don’t be afraid to purchase better fitting ones as needed to help you feel better in them.
- When you feel underdressed
If you’re walking into every meeting feeling a bit shabby, or perhaps a bit embarrassed of your outfit, it might be time to revamp your corporate clothing. How you dress, whether it’s fair or not, can make a big impression one way or another. If you’re meeting with clients, or even other people or teams within your company, you want to convey a presence of professionalism, which you can do with a smart outfit. Plus, as mentioned above, you’ll feel more confident in those situations.
- When you can see through it
If that suit that you absolutely love is getting a bit threadbare, or the shirt you’ve patched up a few times now is on its last leg, you need to learn to let go. If you’ve loved something that much, you’ll find something again that you can love just as much. Holes, tears, and see through, worn fabric just doesn’t have a place in the office no matter how much you wish it did.
- When things are out of style
One of the problems with buying seasonal fashions is that they’ll be out of fashion within a year or two. We aren’t here to criticise your love of the newest corporate fashion trend, but to help you gently get rid of the fashion that just won’t be back in style for a very long time. If you can look through about half of your wardrobe and feel like you can’t wear it anymore because of the outdated style, it’s time to refresh your pieces.
When you shouldn’t:
- When you have a selection of classic pieces
One of the better arguments for buying more expensive, designer pieces, is their propensity to last much longer and be stylish forever. You basically can never go wrong with a well fitted or tailored suit, for men or women, and you’ll be able to wear it for years to come. If your closet is already full of items like this that not only fit well, but are classic pieces and meant to last, focus more on buying pieces that fit with those essential components, rather than random outfits. Mixing and matching these pieces is your key secret for keeping it fresh.
- At the beginning of a season
That new fashion spring line has just been announced, and you’ve googled every piece and know exactly what you’d love to add to your wardrobe. Unfortunately, this is the worst time to think about freshening up your corporate attire. Shopping in the current season is an incredibly expensive hobby, and can be avoided by simply shopping a season behind.
If you’re a Carrie Bradshaw of the world and have plenty of disposable cash to boot, by all means, live your dreams, but for most of us we’ll need to cool it until next season. To get the best of both worlds, promise yourself you can purchase one piece from the current season, and then save the rest for when they’re in sale.
- When you can tailor items
If you’ve got a lot of great pieces that just don’t look right on you anymore, but you still love the fabric and general style, consider bringing them to a tailor before throwing them out and replacing them. You might be thinking that this is more work than going out and purchasing new clothes, but for items that were originally quite expensive and that you love, it can definitely be worth it.
A good tailor will be able to take anything and fit it perfectly to you, plus, if there’s enough room in the fabric, perhaps turn it into a more modern style. If you’re struggling with finding a good tailor near you, try this guide.
We recommend reading through this article once, then reviewing your closet, then coming back and reviewing the article one more time before making any drastic decisions or running out of the house with a credit card to your nearest shopping centre. Making decisions over your wardrobe doesn’t need to be an instantaneous one, and you can slowly replace items over the years if that’s more your speed.
The bottom line is to always keep your corporate wardrobe full of things you’re not only comfortable in, but that give you a boost of confidence rather than hiding behind layers of fabric. For other great help with refreshing your wardrobe, check out this list of refreshing without spending, this one for when you’re looking to start interviewing, and this list of great pieces to add to your corporate wardrobe.