Look effortlessly stunning and watch your career confidence soar with a few simple wardrobe tweaks.

“I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.”

— Yves Saint Laurent

Has dressing for the office become a little monotonous? Have you suddenly found your wardrobe on a bi-weekly rotation and getting dressed in the morning has become so routine you could do it in the dark? While this may help you get out the door on time, it is not doing much for your career confidence.

As it happens, there are some super easy ways you can revamp your wardrobe, all without breaking the bank. Fashion stylist Rachel Matthews Burton gives us her top tips on how to polish your look without polishing off your credit line.

Rachel Matthew Burton // Photo via Judy Inc.

Rachel Matthews Burton fashion styling // Photo via Judy Inc.

What’s old is new – thinking beyond the mall

Collect signature pieces that can’t be found in every chain store across the country. Your first stop—elletourage.com. Have fun browsing online and, with a little research upfront, you can get to know some ‘closets’ that work with your sense of style. (Another bonus: You can finance your projects by selling your own items through LWTL!)

Local consignment shops are another great source for finding an amazing deal. If you are patient and sort through the racks, you’ll likely find high-end and designer pieces that will make you a stand-out in the office.

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Accessories are key

Even a simple t-shirt can be glammed-up with a statement necklace. Accessories tell the world you’re paying attention to details and have yourself pulled together. Burton says she keeps a collection of go-to accessories right by her front door to grab before she leaves the house. She also says shoes are a staple piece that should be kept current. Nothing will spoil your look a look like a outdated pair of shoes.

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Grooming Matters

It’s important not to neglect basic grooming, especially in an office environment. Chipped nail polish is a major no-no, regardless of what you’ve seen on your favourite celeb’s Instagram account. Manicured nails, a good haircut, and a smattering of makeup can do wonders for self-confidence. If you’re not sure where to begin or if your look is polished enough—consider hiring a professional stylist to help to get your image fine tuned. Burton acknowledges it’s an investment, but it can save time and money in the long run.

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Take Inventory

Take a day to go through your closet and pull out all of your office clothes. You’d be amazed how this can inspire new outfits. Burton says it’s like rearranging the furniture—everything is the same, yet the look is totally different. The best part is, you don’t have to spend a penny. If you need visuals to help create office looks, take a little time to research: Pinterest is a fabulous and free resource.

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The Must-Haves

The closet of every career-oriented woman should not be without a great-fitting suit, with the emphasis on great! A sloppy, ill-fitting suit will not inspire confidence, nor will it help you feel powerful. So, take the time to shop for the right fit. Use the sales staff to help you because they know their stock and chances are they’ll know how to dress your body type. (Tip: tell them your budget. It will save you both time.) Sticking to your budget Is a very important step most of us gingerly side-step, and end up with buyer’s remorse.

Elletourage went to a few of our members to see what key items they reach for when they need their A-game in the office:

“Definitely a blouse in a vibrant, happy colour!” —Nicole, Registered Dietician

“Walking into a room with a structured bag in a strong colour makes me feel powerful! I am often in meetings with men in dark suits. When I hear them complimented on their flashy ties and patterned socks, it makes me happier than ever to show off my favourite accessory!” —Lindsay, Revenue Manager

“My fitted black blazer. It goes with the majority of my dressy tops, and paired with the right boots, I feel like I can take on the world!” —Stacy, Art Director

“To boost my confidence I pick a killer pair of shoes. I stand taller and straighter which makes me feel more confident in a stressful situation!” —Shelley, Public Health Nurse

“My go-to accessory is my brief case. I store all my goodies in there to set me up for anything (phone, laptop, pens, mints, business cards etc). Its big, black and has a bit of bling on it! It makes me walk in a room with extra oomph!” —Trina, Sales Representative

To learn more about Rachel Burton go to: http://www.judyinc.com/artists/rachel-matthews-burton/

stacy-rinella-squareThis post was written by Stacy Rinella. Stacy is a freelance writer based in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her husband and two sons.
Headshot: Paul Buceta