DTI Lesson 2 – Mixing up the old and the new

In this Dress to Impress lesson we are focusing on putting together the puzzle of old and new pieces for your wardrobe.

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The transition of one day in jeans and flip flops and the next is suit and pumps can be a rough one.  Even the move from business causal to business professional can be a shock to the system and the budget if not done properly.  For most people the option to do a complete wardrobe upgrade is out of the question.  So the question is how to best blend the old and new and find a new way to express who you are in a professional setting.  For me the secret comes in building pieces in a similar way one would a puzzle.  Taking pieces from your old look and style and mixing them into your new look to get a whole new result of you.

The challenge in putting together this puzzle is that you may not have a clear idea of what the end picture should look like.  Following some simple steps should help identify the neutral pieces which can carry through to your new career and what pieces you should add that make sense to your budget.

  1. Jacket Skirt and BlouseSee what you have that are appropriate core pieces:  Most of your office outfits will start with your basics of a shirt and skirt or pants.  Take an inventory on what you have keeping in mind that you should flag those items that look overly worn or that are a little too short or tight.  My basis is often a white shirt, but you can quickly change an entire look with a nice jacket or other colorful shell.
  2. IMG_0012 See what you can transform into a professional twist.  Dresses are a mainstay that allow you to dress up or dress down an outfit pretty quickly.  Just take a quick look at what a different a dress can come off when you add a nice jacket.   Don’t just assume pieces that you like are business professional but take a good hard look at it as if you were watching a person walk in your office with the outfit on.  Hemlines may not be able to be quickly IMG_0022corrected by adding on but sleeveless dresses or clothes that are a little more form fitting can be quickly corrected with a sweater or a jacket or the right accessories.  When you shop, knowing what works and what you currently have gives you the best basis for what you should focus spending your money on.
  3. Accessories can be your outlet.  Honestly professional attire can be a little boring.  You don’t have to just conform just because everyone has on a similar grey or IMG_0025black power suit however.  Accessories really highlight an outfit and can take your ensemble up to the next level to show more of your personality.  The bold gold necklace in this piece sets off a really monotone back and white outfit, not only giving the outfit some pizazz but also accentuating the face (which is where you want people looking anyway).

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