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How To Create a Work Wardrobe | Percival Menswear

Curating a Work Wardrobe

Dressing for success can help you to feel more confident and put together. Not to mention, first impressions are important, and you never know when you might stumble across a potential networking opportunity with a client or business partner.

When creating a work wardrobe, consider how you want to be perceived, what the dress code is at your company (if there is one), and what makes you feel most comfortable while still looking polished. If you need a little inspiration, check out these tips.

Include Timeless Pieces 

When curating your work wardrobe, focus on timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched. Generally speaking, these types of pieces include clothing items that never go out of style. Think of a well-tailored blazer or a white button-down shirt; they make it effortless to create a variety of styles that are appropriate for any work setting.

A few key items to invest in include:

Curating timeless pieces is similar to creating a capsule wardrobe but with a professional twist. Whereas a capsule wardrobe might focus on basics that you can wear in a variety of outfits, a work wardrobe should also include timeless pieces that send the right message in a more professional setting. For both of these methods, you’ll be able to create a wardrobe that you can wear for years to come without worrying about certain pieces going out of style.

Consider Your Work Lifestyle

As you curate your work style, think about your work lifestyle. For example, if you have a more relaxed job, you might get away with wearing jeans and a nice top more often than someone who works in a corporate setting. Conversely, if you travel for work or attend luncheons and other events, you'll want to ensure your wardrobe can accommodate those activities.

Knowing your work lifestyle will help determine what pieces you need in your wardrobe. If you travel often, wrinkle-free fabrics and items that fit in a compact suitcase are key. If you attend a lot of events, you might want to have a few suits or nice slacks on hand that can be dressed up or down as needed.

Other events you might want to consider include:

  • Seminars;
  • Presentations;
  • Client meetings;
  • Conferences;
  • Training sessions;
  • Networking events.

As you can see, your work lifestyle can vary greatly, so it's essential to take that into account when creating your wardrobe.

Embrace Your Personality 

While it's important to dress professionally, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your personal style. On the contrary, your wardrobe is an excellent opportunity to express your personality and sense of style. Of course, you'll want to make sure you're still following the dress code for your workplace, but there are ways to infuse your sense of style into your work wardrobe, such as:

  • Incorporating colours and patterns. If you typically dress in neutrals, try adding a pop of colour with your accessories or clothing. Or, if you're used to wearing prints, opt for more subtle patterns that are still interesting but won't be too over the top for the workplace.
  • Adding personal details. Personal details are a great way to add interest to your look without being too flashy. Consider adding a brooch to your suit jacket or a pair of statement cufflinks to your work shirts.
  • Wearing clothes that fit well. One of the best ways to look polished and put-together is to ensure your clothing fits well. Clothes that are too big or too small will look sloppy, so it's worth taking the time to find pieces that fit you well.
  • Pick shoes that are both comfortable and stylish. Since you'll be wearing them all day, comfort is key when it comes to your work shoes. But that doesn't mean they can't be stylish, too. Look for both comfortable and stylish shoes, and you'll be able to power through your workday easily.

Think About Your Role

The role you play in your workplace also plays a part in determining the right wardrobe for you. For instance, if you're a manager, you might need to dress more formally than someone in an entry-level position. Focus on finding clothing items that fit your style, are functional, make you feel good, and suit the occasion.

For example:

  • Reserve suits for more formal events, such as job interviews or weddings.
  • On the other hand, jeans and a t-shirt are more appropriate for casual activities, like going to the movies or running errands.
  • A nice button-down shirt and slacks are a good middle ground for most occasions, especially in the workplace.

A few general guidelines can help you put together a great outfit regardless of the occasion:

  • First, make sure your clothing is comfortable and fits well. Nothing ruins an outfit like being uncomfortable or self-conscious about how you look.
  • Second, try to choose colours and styles that complement your natural features.
  • Finally, don't be afraid to experiment with different looks until you find something that feels like it's truly your own.

Identify Versatile Pieces 

Certain pieces, like undershirts and suit jackets, can be reused for multiple outfits. By incorporating these versatile pieces into your wardrobe, you'll be able to create a variety of looks without having to buy new clothes all the time.

Here are a few examples of versatile items that you can use to create multiple outfits:

  • T-shirts: T-shirts can be worn alone or layered under other pieces, like a blazer or cardigan.
  • Button-down shirts: Button-down shirts can be dressed up or down depending on how they're styled.
  • Jeans: Depending on the colour, jeans can be elevated or made more casual based on the top and shoes you pair with them. 
  • Suit jackets: Suit jackets can be worn with a variety of pants to create different looks.

No matter your style, certain menswear versatile pieces can be incorporated into any wardrobe.


Adding the right accessories can take your outfit from good to great. They're a great way to show off your personal style while still maintaining a professional appearance. Choose items that complement your clothing but don't compete with it.

Here are a few examples of accessories that can elevate your look:

  • Watches: Watches are a great way to add a touch of class to your outfit.
  • Ties: Ties can add a pop of colour or pattern to your outfit.
  • Pocket squares: Pocket squares are a great way to add a touch of personality to your suit jacket and match corresponding accessories.
  • Sunglasses: Sunglasses can help you make a statement without saying a word.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to accessorising your outfit. Choose items that reflect you and the things that make you smile.

A well-curated wardrobe is essential for anyone who wants to look their best in the workplace. By focusing on versatile pieces and accessorising accordingly, you can put together a variety of looks that are sure to impress.

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