There are tons of outfit combinations that can be created with a limited wardrobe, but the effectiveness of each combination depends on the details. Adding layering pieces can help unify your look and bring it up a notch. To make the point more relatable, here are some visual examples of what accessories can do.
Prior to adding accessories, this outfit was function but rather bland. Although simple looks like this are technically work appropriate, adding layers can elevate your outfit to new professional heights. By simply tucking the shirt in and adding a belt and a necklace, this outfit underwent a massive change. You do not need to put a lot of effort into your outfit to make it look professional and put together.
By tucking the blouse in and adding a simple cardigan, this outfit transformed into a workwear staple. Even fewer changes were made than in the previous example, illustrating the ease of elevating your outfit a few degrees.
There are other ways to change the vibe of your outfit with limited effort or wardrobe options. In this example I changed out my layering piece to create three distinct looks. In the first image, the blazer looks professional but the white piping gives it a fun twist. In image two my cardigan adds color and softens the look. The solid black blazer in the third image conveys sophistication and professionalism. Switching out the layering piece is also an excellent way to go from desk to dinner! (for more on that topic, view my post here)
It’s Friday night and you have a date after work. There is no way that you have enough time to go home and change, and you’d rather not wrinkle your top by stuffing it in a bag. Solution: wear something versatile! Pairing work-wear with more casual elements is a great way to extend your wardrobe and get more use out of each item.
Blazers, dresses, tailored pants, a nice blouse: none of these items are work specific. Pairing work-wear with casual-wear is a great way to achieve the balance you are looking for when going out after work, whether for dinner, the movies, or drinks with friends. You don’t want to look like you are trying too hard, but you want to avoid looking like a slob. Instead of going to the movies in that oversized sweatshirt yet again, dress up your jeans with something more formal and sleek.
Wearing a blazer, black slacks, and a blouse to work today? Trade out the slacks for dark skinny jeans, add a bit of jewelry and lipstick, and you’re set!
Wearing a dress? Add some fun, colorful accessories and a cute heel.
Lauren Conrad gives advice to her readers in her article about dressing for work and night. She suggests starting with a basic canvas and changing out accessories and layering pieces at the end of your shift. Accessories are small and easy to bring along, plus you don’t have to worry about them wrinkling.
I made very simple changes in the above example. For work, wear a blazer and heels with a pearl necklace. To make the look more casual for after work, switch the blazer out for a cardigan, change into flats, and add a scarf. All of these accessories are easy to transport, plus you do not need to worry about finding a place to change.