Dear SYTs,

Congratulations! You have just started your professional career. It’s a lot to grapple with – you are now building new stage of life, getting immersed in a new environment with new people.

And this is also the beginning of a new wardrobe.

The professional wardrobe, you see, is almost a whole new module/subject/language/science all together. Dressing like an adult ain’t easy, and it could be quite an expensive project. One thing for sure, it’s time to retire your usual blogshop favorites of skirts with short hemline cutting to mid thigh or crop top that barely keep your belly button covered.

Do you think the above is office appropriate? (Image credit: Pinterest)

Here are 5 tips on how to build a professional wardrobe, especially when you have a tiny shopping budget.

1. Invest in a few basic pieces that will last the test of time.

Be prepared to spend a bit more on quality and well-fitted pieces such as – a sheath dress, a blazer, a pencil skirt and dress pants.

Go for the safer colour options, such as black, navy or grey because trust me, these are the timeless shades that allow you to look elegant and sophisticated all the time. So as tempting as a bright, vibrant printed dress may be, set your priorities right and focus on these few ‘boring’ options first. The quality of the fabric and cut is important, so you should set a bigger budget for these apparel. Some of the brands that you could check out include Zara (which sometimes have well-made blazers), Banana Republic, GAP, Sacoor Brothers.

Keep a look out for year-end sale and discounts to get good deals!

2.  Have a few appropriate blouses.

Mixing and matching would help to create more variety to your wardrobe. Therefore, you have the killer pair of pencil skirt and dress pants. Now it’s time to build your outfits around these two basic pieces.

From left: Zara, ASOS and Banana Republic.

If you are running out of ideas on the type of blouses to go for, try this: get a lace blouse, silk blouse, pussy bow top and peplum top.

3. Invest in good underwear.

For the top, you could get padded camisoles to wear beneath lace tops or low neck-line. I would recommend Uniqlo’s Bra Tops, which are my must-haves in the wardrobe.

Also, do explore underwear that will not show visible panty line because that is not a pretty sight. I would suggest Spanx (which is available at Tangs) if you were to wear tighter skirts because it not only eradicate VPLs, but also help to tuck in the tummy.

4. Comfortable heels.

Heels are somewhat essential for the serious professional look, but you could skip the stilettos and go for block heels so that you could walk elegantly and comfortably at work. Invest in a pair of good leather shoes, and stock up if you find a good and reliable brand/design. After all, your shoes may wear off very fast if you were to wear them many days a week, so such bulk purchase is justifiable.

I find myself wearing black shoes a lot, so a pair of comfortable, well-made black leather shoes are is important for me. Go for Cole Haan if you can afford it, otherwise Rockport is also a decent option.

5. The Bag!

The Chanels and Pradas may be out of your reach now. But you could consider other good quality, well-made options from Coach and Longchamp.

Another shop that I stumbled upon recently is Rabeanco, which seems to have good quality leather bags perfect for the corporate environment.

I hope Aunty Glitzy’s tips are helpful for you. All the best in your new phase of life and happy shopping!


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