When it comes to dressing for your work as an Event or Wedding Planner, it can be hard to find the balance between polished professional and stylish creative. Now I don’t profess to be a Stylist, or a pro when it comes to ‘what to wear’, but years of dressing in both the Corporate and Creative world have taught me that it all begins with the basics. If you have the basics right, you can then start to layer with signature pieces that reflect your personality.
I live by six golden rules when it comes to basics;
1. They must fit well and be comfortable. This is essential for the items you want to invest in and rely on, day after day.
2. I buy the best quality I can afford. I am all for fun fashion, but my basics have to be well made and hard-wearing. Generally, that means paying a little more, but remember these pieces should see you through more than 1 or 2 seasons. The key word is investment and that may mean that your basics wardrobe takes some time to build.
3. They don’t come home with me unless I know there is something in the wardrobe that can be mixed back with them (exception to this rule – when you are building your basics wardrobe from scratch).
4. They must reflect my style and personality, but are not trend driven. Basics can be fashionable and stylish and even on trend, but they need to be harder working than all those things. You need to be able to pull them out of the wardrobe this time next year and even the years after that and make them work; a pair of black trousers that fit you perfectly, or a statement black leather jacket, are great examples of this.
5. If they don’t fit properly I have them altered by a professional (many stores offer this service in-house).
6. I look after them. If the label says dry clean only, I dry clean only. If the label says gentle machine wash, I hand wash.
Because I am not a Stylist, I haven’t just compiled this list based on my own experience. I have had an absolute ball diving into Pinterest and the blogs of ‘those in the know’ and from my fashionista research, I have come up with this list of classic basics to help you when it comes to the must have pieces for your ‘basics working wardrobe’.
1. The Suit – a well-made Pants Suit, that fits you perfectly will probably be the hardest working item in your wardrobe. When buying one, look for a style that you will feel comfortable wearing as separates. Whilst a suit is great for meetings, you can dress it down by teaming a t-shirt and statement necklace, with the pants, or topping jeans with the jacket for those relaxed days when you still want a polished look. Choose black, or navy the first time and then have some fun when you buy your next one (I am currently lasting after an electric blue version).
2. White Shirt – everyone should own at least one classic white shirt. If I was only going to buy one thing on this list, this would be it. A white shirt looks right at home under a suit, with a pair of jeans and I think they look amazing with a black formal skirt for evening (I would add a cropped leather jacket). I extend the white shirt to shirt dresses, which I love for summer and especially if I am doing a lot of running around, meeting suppliers.
3. T-shirts – these are another hard working wardrobe item that can be teamed with just about anything on this list. I know I am repeating myself, but buy the very best quality you can and have a range of fits, from fitted to relaxed. White, Black, soft Blue and pale Pink are great colours to start off with.
4. Classic Skirt – choose a tailored style and a length that works with your body type. I love a pencil skirt, particularly a leather one, which works for most body shapes. To make this piece work even harder, stick to black.
5. Shoes – go for a classic pump, a great pair of flats and a boot in your favourite length. I would go for black or camel in the pump and the boot and something fun, like a leopard print in the flat.
6. Statement Jewellery – this is where you can bring in some personality, but when choosing your statement jewellery think about versatility. A cool necklace is a good choice, but consider if it can be worn to dress up a t-shirt as easily as a simple black dress. I don’t wear a watch, but a great looking watch can really take an outfit from ok, to wow.
7. A Great Bag – most of us won’t need too much convincing when it comes to having a great bag. A great work bag is one that will hold your papers, your electronic devices (if your laptop is large I suggest a separate bag) and the essentials you need to get you through the day. How much you spend really comes down to your budget. Whilst I always suggest going for quality when it comes to basics, don’t go over-board, there are so many great options around that don’t cost an arm and leg, but still look good and enable you to change up your look, with the simple change of your bag. I always have a black, or brown option and often inject some fun into my wardrobe with a colour, like red or electric blue. I also always have a good smaller sized bag that really just fits my phone, wallet and lipstick. I like to have this option especially when travelling, so I can ditch my big bag when I don’t need to be carrying everything around with me all day. A clutch, that fits inside your bigger bag and has the option of attaching a strap, is a great option.
8. Personality Piece – I think your basics wardrobe should include a classic piece that screams you. It fits in with our basics list because you are going to be looking for quality and tailoring in your personality piece, but they are the only rules. If you want to inject some colour or crazy prints, do it here.
Do you have a list of basics of your own or questions about what to wear as a Wedding Planner? Please share them with us here in the comments.