Never fear ladies, I am here to help you maximise your plus size work wardrobe! A plus-size girl myself, I was 18 when I received my real estate certificate and entered the workforce part-time in my parent’s real estate business. I’d been unofficially helping out for years, but this was the first time that twice a week I was expected to meet clients and be presentable. And so, my what to wear to work problems started soon after. Enter plus size workwear…
I wanted to look professional but be comfortable enough to tackle whatever the working day had in store for me. I wanted easy to coordinate pieces that could be mixed and matched over the working week. This need only increased as I took on full-time work. Finding and loving my work wardrobe was something that took me the best part of a decade to master. So let me impart what I’ve learned about such things. And sure that sounds pompous but occasions such as these call for pomp and ceremony – nailing your plus size workwear wardrobe is important stuff. So allow me to help you on the way to maximising your plus size work wardrobe.
Audit what you’ve got
When it comes to having a maximised work wardrobe, it’s important to keep it streamlined. Too many items, too much clutter and you aren’t maximising anything, you’re filling your house with clothes, most of which you won’t wear. So when you go looking for new items there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you are keeping to the plan.
First take the time to figure out what you have and what is missing in your wardrobe. If you own 5 white collared shirts, you don’t not need more. So stop buying them. Pull everything out and only put back items that you like, are happy to wear and that FIT YOU. The last one is in capitals because it’s important. Stop keeping items that don’t fit or work on the body you have now. Get rid of them.
Then start to work out what you need to buy to complete your work wardrobe. If you don’t have a classic blazer or jacket, that’s a massive miss. Make a list of these items and next time there’s an opportunity to shop for work clothes, buy only the things on the ‘what is missing’ in your work wardrobe list. No excuses.
And the final part of audit process is to continue to do it. Every season review those pieces you kept, did you wear them? If not, their time is up. Adjust your list of must have items and cross off the things you now have. Keep auditing and you will always know what you have and be able to reach for it at a moment’s notice.
My work wardrobe is strongly based on black, as my recent addition of a “Suger’s Work Outfit” hashtag demonstrates. For years, I collected navy, charcoal, even lighter coloured separates and pieces. But you know what, I took more time deciding what to wear than anything else. It didn’t work and half the pieces didn’t work well together.
So in the interest of maximising my wardrobe, and free time in the mornings, I decided black would be my core and the rest would have to work with that or stay on the hanger. Over time, I added critical pieces in black. High-quality items that would wear well all year long and gave me plenty of options. Keep it interesting with patterns and prints that tie in with the primary colour and you’ve got an entirely mix-n-match wardrobe at your fingertips.
But what if you can’t handle that many black clothes in your life? Well, your colour doesn’t have to be black. You could decide to coordinate a grey or navy wardrobe. Heck, wear all white suits if you like. Whatever colour works for you. Just make sure the pieces you collect work together, black is good because black is black is black. But navy, well, the colour variations you can get on that are huge. Keep that in mind.
As I mentioned above, once I had selected my primary colour, I started collecting the core basics of my wardrobe. These basics are the key to maximising your plus size workwear wardrobe. And trust me, spend the money and buy them once instead of over and over again in cheaper stores. Invest in these pieces. You’ll have them for a while.
Having a good foundation of basics will mean you can introduce trend or personality based items without too much hassle or expense. Start with a combination of dresses, skirts, pants, jackets and even items like the vest I’ve included in the images for this post. Add some collared shirts or blouses and you are starting to pull together everything you need to mix-n-match your entire work week.
When it comes to your foundation work wardrobe pieces, don’t be afraid to tailor items you buy for the perfect fit. Often plus size clothing is difficult to get a great fit because even more in plus than in standard sizing, no two bodies are the same. Invest in the pieces and then invest in having them fit you like a glove and you won’t know yourself.
Add your Personality
When I said my wardrobe was predominately black, I’m sure some of you were a little disappointed to hear that. Plus size women have rallied against the all black wardrobe as part of the fight for fashionable attire. And I get that, but when I wear all black, I find a way to inject my personality through prints, print mixing and the occasional pop of colour.
Injecting your personality into your work wardrobe can be as simple as adding a scarf or as complicated as a structure blouse pinned and tucked into position under your classic blazer. I have some great examples of my Work Outfit Ideas Pinterest board if you want to check it out. Personality will be the easy and fun part of maximising your work wardrobe; it’s all about you expressing who you are. This is your moment, use it, have some fun and shine.
There you go team, my best tips for maximising your plus size workwear wardrobe. Let’s wrap it up. It’s as simple as choosing a key colour, covering the basics, adding your personality with small easy to add items and auditing (and continuing to audit) your work wardrobe.
Got a question? Or have a tricky item you want advice on incorporating or want to know how to add new ones from the Ezibuy range, ask in the comments. I’ll be sure to pop in and answer every one.
ABOUT MELISSA – SUGER COAT IT
Melissa Walker Horn is the chief blogger at Suger Coat It, a blog to guide you (not too gently) from the life you have to the one you want. Known as Suger, Melissa loves her family, too much butter on fresh bread and anything with stripes on it. And most importantly green drinks in glass jars.