12 Tip Tuesday: Simplify Your Administrative Assistant Wardrobe With These Staples 

  1. A classic trench coat is always in style and is the perfect cover-up piece for spring and fall weather.
  2. A structured blazer instantly professionalizes any outfit.  Even if your whole work wardrobe is at the dry cleaners, a blazer can make a plain white tee shirt look professional.  
  3. Every woman should own pearls in some capacity (they can be fake pearls, we don’t mind!).  Whether it’s a single strand necklace or pearl studs, those shiny white baubles instantly sophisticate any outfit.
  4. A chiffon scarf says, “oh, this? I just threw this together” in the classiest way possible.  Use it as a hair accessory, a traditional neckline cover up, or dress up your handbag with it by tying it to the handle.
  5. Invest in a sturdy, classic, neutral-colored handbag or briefcase.  You can’t have a put-together look if you’re still carrying that cross-body bag from Caldor you bought 20 years ago.
  6. A clean, crisp, white button-up is a must in your closet. It’s the upper body equivalent of…
  7. Black, straight-leg trousers.  If you work in an environment that is more fashion-friendly, opt for wide-leg trousers.  The waistband of your pants should rest closer to your belly button than your knees.
  8. It’s very traditional, we know, but a simple knee length pencil skirt—that isn’t so tight it looks painted on—is a great way to add variety to your wardrobe. 
  9. We love wrap dresses because they make getting ready in the morning that much easier.  You won’t spend any time ironing it, you don’t have to coordinate more than one piece of clothing with it, and they flatter (almost) everyone.  One and done. 
  10. A soft, feminine watch adds a subtle flair to your wardrobe.  If you prefer more masculine jewelry, opt for styles in white metals with bold faces.
  11. Black pumps (low to mid heel, less than 3 inches high) are the epitome of a simple staple; very 1950’s secretary—but in a more powerful, Mad-Men-kind-of-way.
  12. For the days you don’t want to head to the office in heels, a pair of flats works best.  Avoid simple styles as they can come off juvenile.  Instead, opt for pairs with a subtle pattern, or hardware, which are much more adult.  Talk about Power Pieces.

Thumbnail image attribution: By Bundesarchiv_B_145_Bild-P091852,_Verleihung_des_Berliner_Kunstpreises.jpg: Unknown Derivative work: Angr [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons 

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