How to dress for work this fall – Q&A with Tiffany Ingram

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m more likely to be found wearing yoga pants with Teddy the dog on my lap at my home office than looking super fly in a fashionable outfit. But this fall, as I’ve been traveling coast to coast speaking at companies, conferences, and Universities, I’ve really tried to step up my presentation game.

As a formerly fashion-agnostic person, I’ve learned in recent years that dressing the part is part of giving a great presentation. And when I look good, I feel so much more confident.

One of our Trainer Team members, the super-stylin’ Tiffany Ingram of Policy and Fashion, has joined me at the past few Bossed Up Bootcamp Power Hours to share some of her advice on feeling like a boss through fashion. Our attendees responded so positively to Tiffany’s incredible message that I wanted to interview her on her top advice for the fall season here on the blog, too!

Here are Tiffany’s top tips for fall style that never fades

Emilie Aries: What difference does feeling “put together” at work make for you?

Tiffany Ingram: I dress well for work every day. I believe when you dress well, you perform well. When you’re rushing in the morning to get dressed, you don’t take the time to present yourself well. That can leave you feeling scattered mentally and even having a negative or fixed mindset for the day. I plan my outfits for work at least a day before based on the weather and my plans for the day. When you feel comfortable in what you wear, you exude confidence.

EA: Fall makes me think about fluctuating temperatures, which require outfits that work from a chilly morning commute to a hot afternoon to an over-air conditioned office. How do you recommend we layer up in a way that works?

TI: A great blazer or cardigan sweater will work. Wear it in the morning for your commute and fold it up in your work bag for the afternoon. Look for wrinkle-free fabrics that can sustain being folded. I love wearing three-quarter length shirts, my arms are covered for the cold temps in the morning and can keep me warm in the cold office, but it is not too hot when the temps are in the low 80s in the afternoon.

EA: How do you recommend we combine higher price items with budget-friendlier items to look polished without overspending?

TI: I always suggest investing in the items that you wear the most. A great pair of shoes and bag can elevate any look. Think about price per wear for each item that you buy, DON’T splurge on an item that you will only wear once or only in one season out of the year. If you want to indulge in seasonal trends, head to stores like Target or H&M to purchase it. They have items that are “on trend” where you can get the look for less!

EA: What fall trends are you incorporating into your office attire this season?

TI: I am in LOVE with plaid this season! It’s such a classic look! Purchasing a plaid blazer, pants, or even a scarf can help you incorporate this timeless trend into your office attire. Because this look is “on trend” this season you can find it anywhere from Forever 21, Old Navy, or even JCPenney.

EA: What are some classic fall pieces you think every boss woman should invest in?

TI: Every boss woman needs a great trench coat. It’s getting cold sooner than we think and this classic item will last you year after year. A great fitting blazer in a classic color (black, navy, or gray) is a good staple, too. And in the fall, I look closely at my shoe collection. It might be time to replace your work flats and heels (they may look a little worn from the spring/ summer months). Also look at your essential items, purchasing more blouses/tops that can be paired with skirts/pants can maximize your closet.

EA: What are your best money-saving tips for always looking good without breaking the bank?

TI: SHOP YOUR OWN CLOSET! We all have clothes. Look at what you wore last fall. If it still fits well, keep it! No need to buy things you already have. Make a list of items you need. Feel free to use the Policy and Fashion Wardrobe Checklist to help you! If you do need to go shopping, first make a budget for your trip. Second, look for sales and coupons online before your shopping trip.

If you are an online shopper, sign up for your favorite stores e-mail list to get notifications when they have a sale. When shopping online, place items in your cart and wait it out. More than likely, the store will send you a coupon code to encourage you to complete your purchase.

Look for consignment or second-hand shops! In D.C., we have Crossroads Trading, Buffalo Exchange, and Current Boutique. They have great items, some even designer, for a fraction of the price!

This article first appeared on Bossed Up.