That is, if you are anything like me — living in a 4-season climate (spring, summer, autumn, winter), and work full-time in mostly business-casual environments.
(The environment I am working in now is SUPER casual, I am talking t-shirt and jeans casual, but I can’t bring myself to dress like that.)
Anyway, here are my top 5 pieces.
1. A THREE PIECE SUIT
By 3 piece, I mean a jacket, matching pants and skirt (in the same material), and mine happens to be from Jacob (a Canadian brand), and it was made in Canada years and years ago.
I used to own a lot more suits because I was on projects that were a lot more conservative (think: banks) and they don’t tolerate business casual there, so I wore suits. Lots of them.
I switched to other clients and got out of the banking industry and am now in business casual to SUPER casual environments where it is not uncommon to see jeans and a shirt for the most part.
I can’t dress like that (yet anyway), because it looks very unprofessional to me and I am a freelancer, but the one thing that has never left is my suit, purchased when I was in college and worn for every single interview since then with whatever blouse (silk these days) that happens to be in my closet.
2. A NEUTRAL WRAP DRESS
By neutral, I don’t necessarily mean black unless that is your thing. I mean something that is easy to wear. Mine is a printed black & cream number with a collar (love!), but I would have also equally kept a navy blue, or grey one, printed or not.
Whatever it is, a wrap dress (if you wear dresses) is a very versatile workhorse.
I like prints because it is a neutral without being a boring solid colour.
3. WHITE SHAWL BLAZER
I love these things. Not just in white, I have them in cobalt blue, black, and khaki green right now but am open to more colours as I see them pop up.
My favourite, is the white / cream shawl blazer. It is both casual and yet polished enough to wear over business casual items, as a topper, over jeans, you name it.
White is also fresh, and it livens up every look that is otherwise too dull & neutral to look at in the office.
4. SILK BLOUSE
I love me a good silk blouse, and the one colour that suits me the best is this deep purple colour. I love it, it is a dark neutral and yet not black or boring.
I also love having silk blouses with great prints, or in a cobalt blue as well.
5. LEATHER MOTO JACKET
Leather moto jackets are INCREDIBLE to wear over otherwise too fussy or feminine because it tones it down. It isn’t a symbol of “rock and roll” or “punk” any more, and looks great on everyone of all ages.
I wear it over everything and anything, including wrap dresses, and silk blouses.