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40-40-20 Work Wardrobe: Why You Need One Today

June 30, 2015

Not every workday is created equal. On days when you’re deskbound, a simple skirt and easy top will do. On days when you’re presenting to your company’s investors, you need a serious power outfit. At MM.LaFleur, we believe in cultivating a balanced wardrobe made up of Everyday, Elevated, and Showstopper pieces. If we’re talking percentages, then 40-40-20 work wardrobe is the right balance of each.

Everyday Pieces (40%)

These are the items that get you through the average workday: casual layers, comfy tops, machine-washable dresses. They’re comfortable, versatile, and easy to care for. They look neat, but you can also sprint through the airport in them. And if you spill red wine down the front (as we’ve been known to do), it’s not a disaster.

40-40-20 Work Wardrobe

The Etsuko dress in Pacific blue.

Percentage of total work wardrobe: 40%

40-40-20 Work Wardrobe

The Didion 2.0 top in birch and the Greenpoint skirt in storm cloud.

Elevated Pieces (40%)

40-40-20 Work Wardrobe

The Catherine dress in midnight blue.

These are high-quality pieces that form the basis of your wardrobe on days when you need to look spot-on. They might be three-season pieces like a great blazer or a tailored pencil skirt. You can wear them from your client meeting to dinner with friends, without ever feeling too casual or too decked-out along the way.

Percentage of total work wardrobe: 40% 

40-40-20 Work Wardrobe

The De Beauvoir blouse in cream and the Nakamura trouser in black.

Showstopper Pieces (20%)

40-40-20 Work Wardrobe

The Monique dress in taupe.

These are pieces with serious “wow factor” that you pull out for the big presentation or your next TED talk. They inspire compliments every time you wear them, and because you’ve invested in quality, they’ll last for years.

Percentage of total work wardrobe: 20%

40-40-20 Work Wardrobe

The Alex dress in midnight blue.

For more advice on how to shop and dress for the office, check out Wear to Work: A Guide to Building Your Ultimate Professional Uniform.

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