Simplify and Focus your Wardrobe

It’s been the first week back at work- how are you feeling about your clothes? It’s a good time, while work is still relatively quiet to set up your work wardrobe so that it helps you have your most business chic year yet.

Focus and Simplicity - Steve Jobs on his life mantra. Source: LifeHack Quotes

Focus and Simplicity – Steve Jobs on his life mantra. Source: LifeHack Quotes

The late Steve Jobs believed that “simplifying” things took effort but was worthwhile because then you could focus on taking over the world. How easy it for you to get dressed for work in a way that you feel ready to take on the world?

Now not everyone needs to take over the world. But if you visit this blog, I’ll guess that you are interested in what you wear to work. Dressing for work is one of those things that help set you up for the day. Do you dress with purpose to try and create a certain image? Or are you happy to throw whatever on? I know that I’m interested in looking and feeling like myself within the professional context. Once you have worked out what sort of looks you like to create for work (I help my clients with this process by snapping photos of the outfits we put together), you need to set you wardrobe up so that you can easily see what you have and create BusiChic outfits quickly and effortlessly.

Simplify and Focus your Work Wardrobe

To do this, you could take to your wardrobe and organise it into three categories: working out what to keepstore and discard. Culling is the key to removing the things that are no longer serving you and actually making it difficult for you to find what you need. Over the holidays I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing on the recommendation of my friend Emma which has added a new element of how to work out what to keep. Author Marie Kondo is a self-confessed tidying-addict who teaches clients the art of tidying using a zany little practice that treats each individual physical item in your home as having its own persona and purpose – that your clothes want to serve you to help you in your day. So keep and store things that make you happy; the items that you would buy over and over again! But discard those discounted designer threads that still have their tags on because they have already served you their purpose of providing you with a cheap thrill but are now losing their own energy as they remain hidden in your wardrobe. Kondo says that by keeping the things that make you happy, you will use the items more often which will make them more positively charged and thereby help you find things more easily! How do you identify these things? The “KonMari Method” instructs to pick up an item and ask yourself “does this make me happy?” If you can’t even be bothered to pick up an item then that’s an easy sign that you can throw it away!

So in simplifying my work wardrobe, I’ve identified the tops that I love. The ones that make me feel instantly put together but also that no one really notices if I wear it more than once in the same week and that I like so much, I would want to wear it more than once in a week if I could. It’s also a great practice to work out where the gaps in my wardrobe are, for example that I know that I have a lot of good basic tops for winter but am somewhat lacking for summer – so I know that I can head into store to find some new loves.

In culling your wardrobe, make sure that you have your workwear essentials covered. This will vary from person-to-person as we each face different days. Have outfits for “looking the part” when you need to impress in an interview, client or important meeting; relaxed versions of “looking the part” for when you’re bunkered at your desk getting things done and not to mention sports gear for those who incorporate exercise into our work day.

Example for a Contemporary Business Wear dresscode could be:

Meetings: Structured Jacket + Basic top + Tailored Pants + Classic Pumps + structured bag and classic accessories

Getting Work Done: Great work dress with heels or more casually: Cardigan + Basic top + Tailored Pants + Heeled Loafer + belt

For ideas on work outfits that you’d like to rock in your office, make sure that you visit BusinessChic! Here’s a look at some past BusiChics who have provided inspiration with their various styles:


The very first BusiChic ever featured! Jane wears the timeless combination of chic breezey blouse (great tran-seasonal piece), black work pants that suit her body shape and classic bag and work pumps in a pointed toe.


Melissa punctuates her Contemporary Business Wear ensemble with an edgey blazer, teamed with a snug-but-still-classy pencil skirt and open-toe heels.


We all love a good work frock and Julia demonstrates why – they’re so easy to throw on with office staples when you need to bunker down and get things done but still look great at the same time.

marie claire womens success summit 1

One from late last year, Sarah wears a sleeveless blazer – I’m looking for one with a little more sleeve to update my work wardrobe.


Melanie Katsalidis at RWB exhibition at NGV Melbourne

Smart Casual? You could do basic denim but I love how Melanie rocks print-on-print – how do you show your personality at work?

What’s your work style? Do any favourite items in your wardrobe come to mind? If you need help finding them, maybe I can help you in my capacity as a personal stylist! Just contact me cheryl[at]businesschic[dot]com[dot]au



  1. I love that colorful outfit Melanie’s wearing! I’d love to know where she got that wonderful shirt! Any chance you might know? 🙂

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