The Ultimate Closet Checklist for the Modern African Business Queen
If you don’t have these 13 staples in your wardrobe, you’re not the modern business queen you think you are. Follow these tips, specially designed for our tropical climate, to perfect the minimalist style chic and casual look.
Mules/sandals with low heels
Say goodbye to those stuffy plain pumps with ridiculous heels that hurt our ankles after a long day. these low heel stress free mules or sandals. And they come in as many styles and colors as you want.
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You probably remember it from high school. Only cool girls whose parents actually paid a wardrobe allowance for them owned them. Now, as a working class girl, you can finally buy them for yourself. They are still as cool, stylish and, above all, comfortable as ever.
Neutral color oversized dress shirt
These are your usual office button-up shirts, but with a twist. Dress shirts are better fitted, made from finer fabrics like silk, linen, or pure cotton, and have intricate details that set them apart from the usual. Get them slightly oversized and in natural tones – faded whites, browns, blues and greens – and just like that, you’ve transformed your ordinary work outfit into a stylish number.
A staple item that serves as a clean slate on which to effortlessly build all your stylish looks, this carefree queen is a must-have. Wear it then throw on that oversized dress shirt with a few buttons undone, or a simple sweater, blazer, light jacket… you know what I mean?
Tailored cigarette pants
Cigarette pants are the sweet in-between where skinny pants and regular straight pants meet. In their expertly cut, just above ankle length, they scream chic and casual like nothing else does.
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A-line midi skirt
Once relegated to the closets of teachers and principals, midi skirts have been all the rage. They come back revamped, and nothing says boujee like these new versions of “Mary Amaka” skirts. You get extra marks if yours are asymmetrical or have a nice side slit.
Black sheath dress
This work closet staple is an underrated all-around queen. It’s simple and quiet, as it does the work of the Lord, slimming a working woman’s figure, emphasizing her femininity and giving off “cultivated” vibes. The sleeveless version can be paired with dress shirts with sleeves to create a whole new outfit every time. Swap out your work shoes with a pair of going out sandals and you’ll look perfect for a dinner date. I said “versatile”, right?
Straight printed dress
A shift dress in ankara, adire, kente, batik, or any other printed fabric is the perfect item to add color (and pizzazz) to this neutral-toned list. It’s guaranteed to inject a fun vibe into your work life, even if you can only wear it on Fridays (tell HR we said office dress codes had to die a quick but painful death).
Neutral color summer pantsuit
Pantsuits are usually hard to pull off in this climate, but sometimes the occasion calls for a power suit and your whole “patron lady” attitude. Summer pantsuits were invented especially for warm weather, and you have to get them. They come in a lighter fabric and with less lining than the regular pantsuit. Some also have shorter sleeves.
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Small chunky gold hoops
Nobody knows who invented golden hoops, but I’m sure they have African roots because they suit our ears and skin so well. They stand well on their own, but they also pair well with chunky single or double link necklaces.
Jewelery set in gold and internishable stone
The gold and clear stone necklace and earrings set is the perfect finishing touch to the polished minimalist workwear look we want to achieve. Just make sure you buy the set that won’t fade after a few weeks.
Moisturizing sunscreen SPF 50+
If you don’t apply sunscreen to your face every time you leave the house, you are wrong. Global warming is upon us, and not to get into the complicated science of it, the sun’s rays are not very safe for our skin. It doesn’t matter if you are black or white, dark or light skinned, sunscreen is a must. And for the bountiful gift of sunlight we enjoy in Africa, you’ll need it with an SPF of 50 or higher. The best sunscreens keep our faces smooth and dewy. You don’t want that?
Moisturizing lip balm
We can’t talk about style staples without throwing in basic skincare. Whether you’re a makeup artist or not, you should always have a good organic lip balm in your closet and your everyday bag. Let’s keep our lips supple and hydrated, shall we?
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