New Year, New Wardrobe

Alisa BonsignoreYes, I know that I’ve talked about your wardrobe here before, but listen up folks: now’s the time to get out there and revamp your wardrobe for 2011. And don’t just take my word for it. Even Peter Shankman is out there telling you that style makes your brand. (And anybody who doubts the connection between style and brand has never met the RDQLUS man himself, Steve Gordon.)

Why now? Post-holiday sales are still going strong, but even when those start to fizzle out, the stores still have tons of winter merchandise to clear out to make room for the spring collections. What’s that mean for you? Business favorites – blazers, classic pants, dressy shirts and shoes are all waiting for you to come along and scoop them up.

Women, if you don’t have them already, invest in the following:

  • Little black dress. There’s a reason why it’s a classic. Wear it with a cardigan by day and some fancier jewelry for after hours.
  • White dress shirt. It makes everything look more polished, from jeans to skirts.
  • Brightly colored blazer or cardigan. Whether you prefer a tailored blazer or a more relaxed sweater, this is another piece that goes with everything.
  • A suit. Even if you never wear the pieces together, you’ll get endless versatility from the parts. Have it tailored to fit. It makes all the difference.

Men, the same rules apply:

  • A suit. Men need them more than women, and often on short notice. Proper tailoring takes time, so have one on hand.
  • Solid color dress shirts. White looks most formal, but any color can work with a neutral suit or a pair of khakis.
  • A tie. Maybe you haven’t worn one since your wedding. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have occasion to do so. Have one on hand, preferably in a style and width that indicates that you’ve purchased it sometime since Y2K.
  • Tailored pants. Some guys where khakis every day, and their pants look… well, worn. Have a nicely styled, crisp pair on hand for client meetings.

Any others that I’m forgetting?

3 thoughts on “New Year, New Wardrobe

  1. Steve G

    Thanks for the shout out! 😉

    It’s very important to also note that simply purchasing these items is not enough. Being “pulled together” and “buttoned-up” are terms that have become ubiquitous in the realms of style, fashions, and even brand. I know many like myself who have a way of dressing up sneakers and jeans, leaving nothing to random placement or the lazy “meh, I’ll just put this on.” No detail is too small when trying to feel your best or impress. The viewer’s eye is picking up things that not even they are aware of. So stay sharp and dress to affect the sub-conscious too. 😉

    Alisa is so very correct… get your “fit” right! I see so many in ill-fitting blazers and busted-up loafers with horrible socks—which I only see because the slacks are more like long ‘shorts’. Yikes! Wanna know how detailed and staunch I am about fit; I’m a streetwear, sneakers & denim guy, and even I have a tailor (Sy) specifically for my jeans. Stayin’ freshy-fresh is a meticulous and deliberate act.

    Good article, Alisa!

  2. Alisa Bonsignore

    Exactly, Steve. Just last week I went to a client meeting in jeans, but they were my skinny jeans tucked into my rockin’ boots with an awesome jacket. I don’t think I could have looked more put-together in a pair of black dress pants.

    That said, though, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of my suit, white shirt and little black dress, particularly for travel. Those three items, thrown together with some accent pieces, carried me through a fairly dressy four-day conference last year, from day into semi-formal evening.

    And while I’m not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination, I recently ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a few years. She looked me up and down, from glasses to shoes and said, “Wow, look at you! You used to dress a lot… nerdier.” I guess I’ve come a long way! 🙂

  3. Dyana Valentine

    Alisa and Stevie G: thank you! This is a great post. I found that once my branding (by Mr. RDQLUS himself) really set the bar for my personal fashion. I wear more colors now and step OUT into my sizzle more often. When I’m building my wardrobe (after losing 30 lbs and purging years of “uniforms”), I keep a few things in mind. For budget, I always include about $30 per outfit for tailoring. I get pants, tops and jackets shaped for my body. I also budget for shoe care–I take all new shoes to the shoe guy and get them soled and conditioned (and waterproofed where relevant). My wardrobe will last longer and look better–and most importantly, I’ll be comfortable and ready to go at the drop of a hat.