November 12, 2018
This is the very controversial tough businesswoman who has a very… strong… business personality. We really don’t have a clue what she’s like in her personal time, and I suspect that this suits her just fine!
Her style inspiration is this great painting:
She’s been planning her work and business travel wardrobe using these guidelines:
This is what she packed when she was going to negotiate a tough deal back in January:
She had to attend a client “retreat” in April, for which she wasn’t quite sure how to pack. This is what she finally chose:
During the summer she had another one of those trips that was without a clear agenda. Happily, she has such a clear personal style that her clothing is very versatile and interchanges easily!
In October she had to go to their home office, to talk to the powers that be about her promotion and possible move to there! This was a BIG deal, and so she finally broke out a blazer to wear for this trip…
When we assemble all of the garments that she’s worn this year for business travel, one things stands out immediately:
Although her clothes might feel out of balance (at first glance), her accessories are wonderfully diverse, but with a clear mood and point of view:
Maybe she really does NOT wear pants to work. Ever. At all. I know for an iron-clad fact that there are still offices here in Chicago at which the women ONLY wear skirts…
So if we’re going to assume that this is ONLY this heroine’s work wardrobe, there’s maybe no problem here…
But I’m thinking that if she does indeed get moved to the main office, she will have more business travel ahead of her. To me, that suggests that at least 1 pair of pants that can be seen by other employees might be a reasonable wardrobe addition.
If she’s nervous that these pants will feel too casual, adding a matching blazer makes the pants about as business-like as possible…
I’m also suggesting that she get a simple long-sleeved white shirt. She has a sleeveless shirt, but a traditional white shirt will go with everything that she owns and is a perfect base for all of her great scarves…
The other thing that I see that might give her more flexibility in getting dressed is a 2nd layer in an accent color – how about a gorgeous red cardigan? And if you’re going to get the cardigan, you might as well go the extra distance and get the matching sweater. Even if you never wear the 2 pieces together, having them both gives you that option.
Oooh, 1 more thing – if she gets a pair of suit pants, she should make certain to have the right shoes!
These additions give her lots of new outfits, which could come in handy if she’s going to be receiving a promotion! Being away from home all week for work is easier if you don’t have to worry about having laundry done at a hotel, or having to race home on Friday night and do laundry over the weekend. (this is particularly tricky if you have to have things dry-cleaned – getting them in Friday night and back by Sunday can be nearly impossible!)
If I ever have to go back to work in “real” office, this is pretty close to what I would have to wear to work!
I prefer wearing trousers over skirts and dresses and in 35 years of working in offices I’ve never had a problem – but I guess that depends which type of business and office you work in. That said, if I had to do it all over again (dread the thought!), I would be much better equipped with colour palettes and seasonal outfit planning learnt by following your blog Janice – many thanks.
When I was in banking (nearly 20 years ago, now), they were just starting to make the transition to pants. The dress code still called out pantyhose every day. I remember being pregnant in the summer and being extra miserable… I think this is still the 2018 wardrobe I like best out of all of them, Janice.
Vicki Cook says
When I worked in public accounting (many, many years ago) we only wore skirt suits except when doing inventories. Even dresses were frowned upon. But things have changed a lot in the past 20-30 years, and I have seen lots of younger accountants wearing pants. I would die if I could not wear pants – especially in the winter!
Janice Collins Coyle says
I also prefer pants to skirts or dresses. Thus wardrobe inspired me to shop my closet to create something like this and see what is missing. I just take what you present and substitute my own colors (navy, grey and aqua). So here I see all I need is perhaps an aqua purse and an appropriate silk scarf which has all three colors. I just purchased a beautiful light aqua twin set and a winter scarf with all colors and a grey pea coat! Thank you Hanice for all your incredible inspiration. Janice Collins Coyle, Washington DC
I often just think about the accessories for this wardrobe and how they fit her theme of tough and angular! Very inspiring. To me, the new red cardigan and sweater don’t quite fit as they seem too soft for this heroine, but maybe she’s ok with showing that side of her via clothes on occasion.
Love this wardrobe! Thank you!
I wear skirts and dresses to work 98% of the time but it’s my choice. No one is dictating to me, I’m head of office. But I’m tall and can never find pants long enough, and i just prefer how I look in skirts.
I like this wardrobe a lot.
Janice, have you seen this? http://www.cssdrive.com/imagepalette/index.php
It literally extracts a color palette from an uploaded image.
Love this wardrobe … and glad to see the addition of trousers. Used to live in black and white, but over the years have added red and maroon. And navy. There’s something about the bold, no nonsense statement in this wardrobe that really appeals. Carol Tuttle’s Type 4, I think.
Thanks for this.
Love this wardrobe (and bought that triangles scarf when you featured it last month). Many, many, (many) moons ago, I worked for a law firm. I never wore anything besides skirt suits and skirts/jackets, not even dresses. Maybe that’s why I am a die hard devotee of separates! Who knows? – nancyo
nina t says
Love this. I need a refresh for winter. I’ll pick this one and replace the black base with medium brown or camel.
I think that she needs to add her accent colors to her business dresses and skirts. All black/dark gray dresses and skirts are depressing! Why can’t a pencil skirt in that love lay royal blue or fiery red, or a powerful red dress be added? The red dress acts the same for a woman as a red power tie does for men.
Love this capsule! Wishing for more all skirt/dress capsules. As a woman who chooses to not wear pants, I have a hard time finding a good capsule plan.
Was so happy to find this capsule wardrobe. As a woman who chooses to no wear pants. It has been impossible to find a capsule wardrobe plan. Wish I could find more.