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10 TRAITS OF AN ORGANIZED WARDROBE

by Kathleen Spike, Coaching Works 

(The following is excerpted with permission from Image Organization Makes Cents, a newsletter published by Kathleen Spike and Coaching Works.)

Gone are the days when women have to follow a rigid dress code. But freedom doesn't mean you can simply throw out ALL the rules. Follow these 10 traits and you can relax, be organized every day and a productive member of any team.

1. THE STYLE IS APPROPRIATE TO THE JOB OR POSITION.

How do top level women in your workplace dress? Pay attention to their cues. Retain your individuality but don't buck the dress code until you have reached a position of authority. Then you can set the pace for style.

2. THE CLOTHES DON'T LOOK LIKE THEY BELONG AT A PARTY.

The boundaries between day and evening wear have blurred at work an at home. You should still avoid sheer fabric, bare, glittery, cleavage, VERY short skirts (unless you are in the fashion field) at work.

3. ENTIRE OUTFITS ARE PURCHASED.

Most women wear only 25% of their wardrobes because they buy unmatched separates and never manage to put them together into outfits. When you buy a skirt, buy a top THAT DAY that matches. Learning to combine separates is fun, organized and not difficult. The key to mixing and matching and having a pulled-together look is to "BRING THE BOTTOM COLOR UP"! The color of the skirt or pant must be "BROUGHT UP" in a blouse, necklace, scarf, earrings or jacket to "pull together" an organized look.

4. QUALITY COMES BEFORE QUANTITY

It takes CENTS to buy the garment if it is equal to or better than the best look you already have in your closet, otherwise you are fattening your closet and blowing your budget. Look for the best quality you can afford and preferably on sale. $150 shoes for $50 make CENTS and give you quality to last 4-5 years.

5. THE PROPER SLEEVE LENGTH IS WORN

Too long or too short gives the first impression you don't know your size, bought the wrong size, have them altered, or don't know what the best length is.

6. THE BEST WHITE IS WORN FOR YOUR COLORING

As strange as it may seem, only about half of all women are flattered by PURE white. If white tends to JUMP OFF your skin and look too bright or inexpensive on you, wear a softer shade, such as off-white or cream.

7. AN EFFECTIVE WARDROBE HAS ORGANIZED SHOES.

The wrong shoes can ruin an outfit and make you feel uncomfortable all day. Make sure you own a pair of shoes that matches your hair color, and perhaps a pair that matches you skin tone; your hair and skin color are part of every look you create. You'll also want to own shoes in one or two favorite "core" colors. By sticking to just a few colors - and one or two neutrals - you can finally get organized with the shoes you need and buy better quality as well . Bear in mind that good shoes upgrade any outfit, while inexpensive shoes can downgrade it. Know what you want and buy good quality on sale. It can take some time and work but it is worth it in the long run.

8. IT HAS THE RIGHT HANDBAG.

If everything looks great but your handbag, do you look great? No! Your handbag should be in good shape and, like your shoes, match either your outfit, hair, or skin tone, or be a flattering neutral. Stay away from metallic during the day, unless the style of your workplace is trendy.

WHAT'S IN THE BAG, LADY?

How many of you change your shoes every day? Then why not have more than one handbag to use? Use a beautiful tray or basket, put everything in it you might want in your handbag at some given time. Pick your handbag for the day, reach into the basket and pick ONLY what you need to day. STOP carrying a 10 pound "LET'S MAKE A DEAL" BAG. It is too heavy and eventually causes your skeleton to develop a low shoulder from the weight. It's an organized thing to do.

9. THE BELTS DON'T CLASH WITH OTHER ACCESSORIES.

A belt with a bold geometric buckle is incompatible with dainty filigree earrings. Before you leave home in the morning, do a mirror check to make sure your belt, earrings and bracelet are making a harmonious statement. Sometimes a stunning belt need be the only focal point. You can compliment that look with simple earrings.

10. COMFORT IS NOT SACRIFICED FOR LOOKS

It's done every day -- particularly in shoes: lovely to look at but uncomfortable and awkward to wear. Skirts and trousers just a "touch" too tight in the waist create stress all day. NEVER WEAR ANYTHING THAT HURTS.

Other articles online by Kathleen Spike:

Wardrobe Tips: "10 THINGS TO GET RID OF RIGHT NOW and WRITE IT DOWN!

More information on Coaching Works and Kathleen Spike


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