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Front Office: Closet Staples That Get to Work

By Roxy Rowton

In a city where every appearance is a stage, you don’t want to be seen in just any old thing. This fall the wardrobe lineup is anything but basic or back to work as usual. The closet cast features an array of base-layers and core garments of luxurious fabrics, innovative details and thoughtful designs. All these are tailor-made to update the fall foundation with staples that set you apart and max out individuality.

The everyday basic may owe much of its appeal to being the constant standby—worn day after day, season after season, and year in, year out. While some find their appearance common and uninteresting, others highly respect their message of substance and instant respectability.

Many wardrobe staples are the quintessential icons of style, taking on many faces and appearances of tasteful, tailored dressing and office-appropriate style. Staples can become a trademark of personal style as much as a core piece of a uniform. For some it is the silhouette or cut that matters; for others it is the textile or texture, and for others it is the pattern or print. Mixed, matched or layered modern closet staples are designed to elevate workwear from practical to polished.

If your wardrobe has been limping along with repetitive basics that have been worn for umpteen seasons, it is time for an update of the autumnal foundation. Tracking down the ideal closet staples often gets pushed aside in the chase for the ofthe-moment or must-have looks and pieces. Often overlooked
or even dismissed as too ordinary or too generic, these indispensable basics are mandatory for a complete working wardrobe of office appropriate style.

The formula is to recognize the references that give closet staples the embodiment of the here and now. Aesthetic details that are distinctive enough to look fashionable, but not so faddish that these core garments can’t move in and out of rotation in the work wardrobe. The best blur the lines between form and function. A complete, functional closet is always filled with a handful of staples that are adaptable for most settings.

Cast aside popular guidelines that suggest outfitting the workwear wardrobe with common basics that neither enhance nor appeal. Make it a fall commitment to ground the closet with a strong foundation of workwear staples, beautiful as well as useful. Let these indispensable standbys encourage styling ideas to combine office appropriate looks that work.

Wardrobe and style consultant Roxy L. Rowton ([email protected] spends much of her workweek in the closet or the fitting room helping women look and feel their very best. She has two-plus decades in the fashion, apparel and beauty industries.

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