So much attention has been given to having an “intentional” wardrobe. This is mainly due to the fact that everybody has such a busy life, and getting dressed appropriately is an absolute must but can also be a huge hassle.

An intentional wardrobe is able to address the stress of getting dressed by being quite workable yet dependably stylish.

If you are in dire need of an intentional work wardrobe, and you have no idea how and where to begin, here is a guide that you can refer to for help. Just follow the eight steps here and you will have a wardrobe that not only meets your style requirements but also your budget.

Step 1: Establish your style and budget.

Think about your personality and how you want to display it through your clothes. Are you a modern-day hippie or do you think you are more of a “classicist”? Take the time to understand your personal style so you can invest in pieces that you will not only get to use for work often but also make you feel “you.”

Determine your budget as well. It always helps to know your limit when it comes to spending on clothing. It will make you think multiple times before making a purchase to ensure that you truly are getting the best value for your money.

Step 2: Find pieces that match your style.

Creating a Pinterest-style board will help with this one. Look for images that meet your personal aesthetics so you will have a solid idea of the pieces that you should buy.

Step 3: Identify your basics.

When looking at style pieces, you have to pick out the items that you will be using often, and can go from season to season. These are neutral-colored trousers and skirts, jackets, and tops.

Make sure that not only are they in colors that you can easily mix and match, it’s better if they are in styles or cuts that are work-appropriate but can also be used for both casual and formal ensembles such as a classic white silk long-sleeved, button-down blouse.

Step 4: Identify your patterns and prints.

A few patterned clothes will keep your work wardrobe interesting, top professional stylists say, as they can bring life to your neutrals or basics.

But do not just go with any type of pattern. Think carefully about the functional versatility they offer. For example, stripes and florals are great choices. They are pretty and can be paired easily with neutrals and with each other.

Also, when choosing patterned pieces, it’s imperative to consider their quality. As much as possible, avoid too-trendy or fast fashion patterns and prints because they will look dated quite easily. Plus, such patterns are so popular you may find yourself “twinning” with a lot of people.

Step 5: Choose your favorite brands.

It always helps to have a collection of top brands from where you can possibly get the pieces that you like. In addition to this, it will help you keep your search of wardrobe pieces organized.

Step 6: Compare prices.

When you are working within a budget, you need to stick to it, so price comparisons will help you get the best deals for your money.

Step 7: Find alternative sources for your wardrobe.

This is a must if you want more pieces for the budget you have set. Visit thrift stores because you may find the brand of clothing that you like for much cheaper (albeit slightly used or with a missing button or some other easily resolvable “issue”). Also, if you are looking for funky pieces that will not cost you much to incorporate into your work wardrobe, thrift stores, and garage sales are a gold mine for them.

Step 8: Try everything on.

Sometimes, the styles you like are not always the best for you. So,before buying anything, try on all the styles that you like. This is a game-changer because you will discover what styles truly work for you and these are what you want to invest in.

When you are building a wardrobe that is intentional, everything must be a piece that you like and will wear because you already know it looks good on you.

A great work wardrobe should be a perfect balance of what you want and need. The guide provided here will help you achieve such a wardrobe, so that dressing up stylishly for your job will cease to be a source of daily stress. Instead, it will be a task you can accomplish quickly and actually enjoy.


Jessicka Bell co-founded the AgenC, one of the leading model/talent agencies in the Middle East, in 2014. After just three years in the market, the AgenC now works with most (if not all) of the heavy hitters in media and fashion, as well as represents over 1,000 talents ranging from international models through to cast, kids, creatives, and photographers.