I fell in love with minimalism because this lifestyle helped me learn a valuable lesson: quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality. I realized that I don’t have to own a bunch of stuff to lead an abundant life or feel content and worthy. This doesn’t mean that minimalism despises material goods. It doesn’t. Minimalists simply believe that one should be mindful when spending their money on objects and choose only those that’ll serve them and add value to their existence.
Once I experienced the freeing and empowering beauty of this approach to life, slowly but surely I welcomed it into my home décor and closet. I was particularly excited about the latter because I’ve always tried to wear outfits that aren’t visually overwhelming. Plus, I wanted to save some money. Today, I’m happy to say that my closet is full of clothing pieces that are quality, aesthetically appealing, and versatile. Plus, you know, I actually wear each and every one of them.
Since I often have business meetings and attend formal events, I’ve built myself a sustainably minimalist work wardrobe. Narrowing my formal wardrobe down to carefully selected essentials is one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made clothes-wise. By doing this, I kissed decision fatigue and stress goodbye.
Here are some of my work staples and the reasons why I love them.
My absolutely favourite tops for formal occasions are my two white work shirts. A simple and quality button-down shirt made of breezy cotton, a cotton blend, or a combination of poly and cotton is a classic and, more importantly, versatile clothing item. I love pairing my white work shirts with pants or skirts. My go-to outfit for meeting with a potential collaborator or client for the very first time is a pair of black trousers, a white shirt, a grey blazer, heels, and a bold red lip. I believe it says that I’m both professional and passionate.
I’ve visited plenty of physical and online clothing stores to know that there are oh so many unique white shirt designs, meaning practically everyone can find one to their liking. If casual and chic is how you define your personal style, you might want to consider buying a slightly oversized white shirt for work. Such a top can help you strike a balance between elegant and fun. Plus, with the help of the right accessories, you’ll be able to wear it on coffee dates as well. The key thing to do is undo a few top buttons. I’ve done it many times!
White button-down shirts are comfortable and are so easy to take care of. These are two more reasons why I firmly believe these tops are must-have (yes, even for those of you who aren’t completely sold on minimalism). Plus, white uniform shirts are perfect for embroidery. I’ve embellished one of the two I own with tiny, delicate red roses.
Another work-friendly top I truly enjoy wearing is my shell top in pale pink. This piece has been a part of my formal wardrobe for several years now, reigning in the summertime. Its practicality and effortless elegance make it ideal for formal evening outfits. I usually tuck my shell top into a pair of trousers or my pencil skirt and I’m pretty much good to go. The pencil skirt and shell top combo is one of my favourites because it’s sleek without being overly formal. Since my work wardrobe is fairly neutral, I tend to liven things up with the help of one of my multicoloured scarves. I often do this when I opt for my shell top.
My black and white polka dot blouse is a piece that infuses my formal outfits with a tasteful dose of whimsical fun. It’s made of lightweight, fluid polyester fabric that’s extremely easy to machine wash and doesn’t stain easily. I usually combine this piece with a comfortable pair of black trousers and my beige pointed-toe flats. If the weather allows it, I finish this look with my beige trench coat. I wear both my polka dot blouse and my trench at semi-formal events as well.
Sweaters, Cardigans, and Blazers
Chilly days call for warm clothes. That’s why I own two slim-fitting sweaters (one in light grey and one in navy blue). I generally use them as layering pieces over shirts and combine them with trousers or plain black jeans and dressed up flats because my goal is to create a polished look. I own a couple of cardigans as well because I love the way they “collaborate” with skirts and shirts. Plus, they can be worn open or buttoned up. I rely on them whenever I want to soften my work outfits by adding a touch of femininity to them.
My grey blazer is yet another clothing item for work I absolutely adore. It’s a classic single-breasted blazer that I’ve never regretted investing in. I spent quite a lot of money on it, but I knew it was worth it because it’s high-quality and it totally screams my name. Plus, it ramps my business outfits up a notch.
A Knee-Length Skirt and a Knee-Length Dress
As I mentioned above, I own a simple pencil skirt. Just like button-down shirts, plain skirts are quintessential pieces for office work and business-related events. Mine is black and is one of my timeless wardrobe investments. In addition to this item, I also own an off-white knee-length dress I’m quite smitten with. I love it because, with the help of minimal accessories, it becomes an entire outfit in just a few minutes. When it comes to work-friendly dresses, I’ve learned that knee-length is a safe bet and tailoring is key.
Slim Fitting Trousers and Plain Jeans
To be completely honest, finding the right suit trousers for me was a difficult task. Yes, there are countless options, but I didn’t want to make a hasty decision simply because I want to wear the clothes I have for a long period of time. That’s not going to happen if I don’t like them and/or they don’t fit well. Luckily, the two pairs I own are everything I wanted and more. Their length is slightly cropped and they offer a little bit of room (remember, comfort and style aren’t mutually exclusive). When meeting with clients I’ve become close friends with, I often wear minimal black jeans as a way to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Everyday Heels and Chic Flats
My classic black pumps are yet another staple in my work closet. I pair them with both pants and my skirt. Since I find wearing high heels extremely uncomfortable, the mid-heel is ideal for me. I decided to buy a pair of stylish ballet flats as well because I wanted to have the opportunity to inject a bit of personality into my work looks every now and then and, of course, give my feet a break. After all, I’m not a ‘heels every day’ kind of girl.
As you’ve probably already noticed, I’m a huge fan of the colour black. However, I didn’t allow it to reign in the accessories department. I own only one black tote bag made of fake leather (I do try my best to make ethical shopping choices). The other two tote bags I’ve invested in and my scarves are much more colourful, whereas my jewellery pieces are tiny and minimally modern.