Building Up My Wardrobe

Now that I’m trying to refocus my professional attire (aka “Corporate Kim”) — I’m need a plan.  While I’d love to go on an all out shopping spree – I’m pretty sure Jeremy would have a heart attack.

Obviously I thought of Tim Gunn (my imaginary best friend).

A photo of Tim Gunn

I own his book, Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style) and while I recall it being a light, interesting read – I didn’t really want to thumb through the book again.

Then I remembered his short lived Bravo show Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.  In his show – he talked about the 10 essential wardrobe items every woman should own.  A 10-item checklist?  I can start with that:

  • Basic Black Dress
  • Trench Coat
  • Classic Dress Pants
  • Skirt
  • Blazer
  • Classic White Shirt
  • Day Dress
  • Cashmere Sweater
  • Jeans
  • Sweatsuit Alternative
  • Bonus: One Indulgent Trendy Item Under $20

I own the majority of these items except for a Cashmere sweater (that I’ll never buy because I’m a vegetarian) and a trench coat.

I think, however, that I need to step up the classic dress pants, classic white shirt and a blazer.  I have blazers but I think I need a good go to blazer that works with the majority of my items.

As for classic white shirt – I need a good, crisp white button up shirt.  Preferably one that is stain resistant and doesn’t require ironing.  🙂

Oprah featured a white, non-iron shirt, last year that I’ve been meaning to get.  Its a bit pricey but it seems well worth it if I don’t have to iron.  I have difficulty with getting button up dress shirts to appear crisp.  (I am the world’s worst ironer)

Brooks Brother Non-Iron Tailored Fit Dress Shirt

I’m going to invest in a nice shoe polish/cleaner to “save” some of my current shoes but am also hunting for nude pumps. 

Based on some of your suggestions – I’ll look into Target and Kohl’s for a trenchcoat.

I am well on my way!



Filed under Charm City Kim Shops

9 responses to “Building Up My Wardrobe

  1. Kt

    I want one of those shirts – I’m sure in a few months I’ll ask you for the name/brand of it again so I can invest in some!

    Hopefully I’ll have taken the plunge and invested in the shirts by then. 🙂

  2. Sarah

    I’ve had good luck with the button-up dress shirts at Banana Republic and the Limited as well – I can look boxy in the wrong cuts and the buttons can sometimes pull a bit, but these work well for me. Banana has been running a lot of sales lately, I think they are still doing a promo for 40% off full-price items on Wednesday.

    I also went online at Nine West last night in my own nude pump quest and they had a few sale options that I am going to try to find in the store (since you can never really tell online).

    I love shopping and looking for bargains so I am excited for you. I also really believe in dressing for the job you want and sometimes looking professional and polished really can impact your mood and motivation at work. Good luck!

    I have noticed a lot of sale e-mails from Banana Republic lately.

    I agree – when I dress nicer, I feel more confident.

  3. Ok, so I was on a mission to find your shoes. Are you committed to the pointed toe? If not, the Madden Girl Sursey shoe should work. Otherwsie, try You can filter down to just vegan shoes and then colors.

    Honestly, how can you shop at all? It was difficult!!!

    I LOVE Madden Girl shoes because they’re not leather! I’ll look up that shoe though.

    AND – I love when shoe sites allow you to filter to vegetarian/vegan shoes. I’m not sure why all the sites don’t do it.

  4. I speak from periphreal experience — those Brook Brothers no-iron shirts are FABULOUS. Those are Brent’s favorite shirts, and he won’t buy anything but no-iron shirts anymore.

    Ooh – a good review. This might have sealed the deal for me!

  5. I have a closet full of those BB shirts! I love them b/c neither my gf or I are particularly handy with an iron. As for the shoes, if you want a shot at a free pair, we’re doing a promotion w/ Shoebuy as we speak! We’d love for you to check it out at Okay, sorry for the shameless plug. Keep up the good work! Oh, and let me know if you ever want to do a link exchange.

    A plug for free shoes? Shamelessly plug away!

  6. Oh god I don’t own most of those things!

    Basic Black Dress – no
    Trench Coat -no
    Classic Dress Pants – I hate all my dress pants
    Skirt – yes but rarely wear
    Blazer – yes but all ill-fitting
    Classic White Shirt – no
    Day Dress – not really
    Cashmere Sweater – no
    Jeans – yes
    Sweatsuit Alternative – no
    Bonus: One Indulgent Trendy Item Under $20

    I’m with you on hating my dress pants. And I have yet to find a blazer that I truly love.

  7. I think I need that shirt. I don’t iron. It’s like the cardinal rule of me.

    That is a fabulous check list.

    I try to iron… but I definitely don’t do it well.

  8. Might I also suggest shopping at White House Black Market? They’re mid-way up the price scale, and their stuff is great quality. Plus, it’s a great place for staples. And their jewelry? Gorgeous.

    Good call – I do really like their dresses.

  9. Vicki

    Hi! I think that Tim Gunn’s list is a great start for any woman that wants to build a well rounded wardrobe…(I personally own everything on that list except for a cashmere sweater…but I probably won’t be getting one soon since I’m from LA and it’s not exactly ice cold weather 🙂 )

    However, I have a quick question for you: Why can’t vegetarians wear clothing made out of cashmere? It doesn’t make any sense to me since cashmere is made from the fur naturally shed by cashmere goats…I certainly understand the need to buy these kinds of products from sources that treat these goats humanely…but in general, I really don’t understand why vegetarians can’t use animal products that don’t hurt the animal to procure…

    I tried Googling this but maybe you can shed more light on this topic. Thanks!

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