You don't need to have a closet the size of Victoria Beckham's to make people believe you have an endless supply of work outfits it's all about clever styling. Here are five tips to keep your co-workers guessing.
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1. Buy classic staples
When it comes to office wear, don't be a slave to the trends. Buying good quality classic clothing (think crisp white shirts, pencil skirts, straight-legged pants, cashmere jumper and blazers) will pay dividends in the long run. Trends come and go but classic items can stay in your wardrobe year after year. And here's good news: there will come a time when no faking is required; you will have a big wardrobe.
2. Choose versatile clothes
Having items that work in a few different ways is the key to faking a cavernous closet. Purchase staple, multi-use clothes such as fine lamb's-wool knits, which can go over shirts, under tunic dresses or worn alone with skirts and pants. Also find shirts that can be worn under dresses, and invest in a quality blazer or jacket that can be paired with skirts, dresses and pants look for black styles jackets that end at the hipbone.
Accessories can instantly change the look of an outfit so invest in different belts, shoes and jewellery to mix up your wardrobe and fool your co-workers. Belted waists are a big trend this season (for inspiration watch Sex and the City: The Movie) so think about strapping a belt around last year's jacket or dress for an effective style update. Or try swapping your regular pumps for ankle boots and opaque tights to update your usual skirt-and-top combo.
4. Decide on a colour palette
Sticking to a colour theme may seem boring but if everything in your wardrobe works together, you'll have a lot more choice when it comes to dressing each morning. First, figure out what colours suit you and stick to them. Thinking in terms of palette helps. For example, black, grey and white work well together. If you like more a more tonal look, try beige, peach shades and creams. If you're craving colour, invest in one or two focal pieces (such as a red scarf or a bronze toned belt) and work them into your wardrobe.
5. Be strategic
At the beginning of every season when all the new fashions hit stores, it can be a bit confusing or just plain tantalising. Be strong and work out what you really need to make your wardrobe work harder. Spend a day going through your work clothes to assess what you can really use, what items are old, and what are out of date then write down what you really need to buy. Putting the work in up front will prevent the purchase of yet another pair of black pants (when you already have 10 pairs), and make it clear that what you really need this season is that gorgeous cashmere cardigan. See, it's not all hard work…
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