top of page
  • Writer's picturekathrinkim

Back-to-School (Work) Shopping

As soon as the Fourth of July is over, the fireworks and picnic supplies are moved to the clearance racks, the displays for back-to-school take their place. It feels like whiplash every year when this happens. I don't want to see school supplies in July. It's like an insult to Summer and a reminder that we're counting down the days before we have to submit to a routine again. Please, don't remind me! Somewhere in mid-August I begin to get excited about the approach of Fall weather and the reality of a change in pace. K-12 starts after Labor day here in Minnesota. But, for those that are about to move to the dorm or get back to classes a little sooner than the elementary schools, these displays are right on time.

Today, I met with a young man that's in his third year of college who has already begun to work in the field he is aiming towards. He's a real go-getter! He's been just fine wearing casual attire to school and working remotely during Covid-19. But this Fall, although still taking online classes, he will no longer be working remotely; he'll be getting back to a business work space. We went shopping for his Back-to-Work wardrobe.

Where does one start?

I take inventory of what's needed and make a shopping list before we even go shopping.

Often, clients hire me to go through their closets with them to make sure what they have in fits correctly and is still relevant, and while I'm there, I give them ideas of how they could style outfits out of what they already own. While in client's closets, I can see if they are lacking in a woman's basic shell tops , for example, or a men's gray work pant. When I see the holes in the wardrobe, that is how we make our shopping list.

The gentleman that I shopped with today didn't need me to come to his closet because, he was truly at the beginning of building his work wardrobe. We created a basics list and shopped from that.

This is an example of a general "basics list" that I start from for a work casual look and tailor it to fit each client's needs and preferences.

Men's basics (work casual)

button up shirts (plaid, print, white)

polo shirt

chino pants (in gray, navy and olive)

pull over sweater (2)

brown work shoes

brown belt

Women's basics (work casual)

basic shell tops (solids, print, white/cream)

ankle pant (navy, black, olive)

cardigan (2)

slip on brown shoes

brown belt

This is basic. Every person has their own preferences. Maybe you don't like casual pants and would rather wear a skirt. Color preferences are different for every person, too. Fit is different. But, having this simple starting point gets us going and motivates to find what we need.

Are you going back to the office this Fall? Need a re-fresh? Overwhelmed on where to start? Reach out to me. I'd love to help you polish your look.

Twin Cities Wardrobe Consultant Kathy Banta


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page