I'm a Manager at Nordstrom—Here Are My Tips for Curating a Perfect Work Wardrobe

As the styling program manager at Nordstrom in Bellevue, Washington, Savannah Pilorge leads a styling team and is currently reimagining the styling experience at her Nordstrom location. She also works with her clients to help build out their dream wardrobes. So naturally, she has a few sartorial tips and tricks up her sleeve. On that note, she actually offered us guidance on how she's curated her version of the ideal work wardrobe for her days at Nordstrom. She also puts these style tips into practice when she's helping others build out their offerings.

Below, you'll uncover Pilorge's key styling tips. While the intel coming ahead is based on her personal preference for her more casual work wardrobe, many of the tricks could be applied to your own style and for various occasions. You'll also notice visual inspiration from Pilorge along with shopping recommendations. 

Style Tip: Set a Color Story

"I love black. I feel great when I wear head-to-toe black. Even though I purchase pieces in other colors, my most worn and most loved pieces are always black. When I need a boost of confidence? Black. When I want to just be comfortable? Black. In order to ensure that the pieces I invest in can be worn as much as possible, I choose a color story. I personally purchase my wardrobe basics in black, ivory, grays, and forest greens. If I went into my closet, closed my eyes, and pulled out three random pieces, they will all coordinate! I give myself different silhouette options, from skinny pants to full skirts to cropped jackets to oversize tops. From there, I have endless styling options and can be creative in how I pair everything together."

Style Tip: Think About Wardrobing vs. Fashion

"I categorize everything in my wardrobe by fashion vs. basics. A basic is the ground floor of all my outfits. Black trousers, black skirts, moto jackets, turtlenecks, silk button-ups, denim, and boots are all my basics. I keep all my basics within my color story to ensure I can mix and match everything to create new outfits. This adds so much value to each piece because I know I can wear everything in at least five different ways. Every time I look to shop for my basics, I ask myself, Will I feel amazing in this? If the answer isn't a resounding yes, then I move on. I tailor any of my basics that need it. If I am wearing pants at least once a week, I want the fit to be perfect. Many times, your basics will feel like boring pieces, but this is where I recommend investing in your wardrobe. I find myself pulling silk button-ups, wide skirts, and large-soled boots almost every morning because I feel amazing in them, so these are items I will invest in.

"Fashion pieces are where I play with color and trend. For example, this year, pink is a really trendy color that I want to play with. I can purchase a low-price-point pink sweater, jacket, and scarf for less than $200. Now, I can use just three items to work a pop of pink into all of my black-and-white outfits. I probably won't tailor my fashion pieces or invest in a high price point in this category. I know I will probably only wear this color for one season, so I keep it minimal and fun. I will lean into the trend by doing my nails to match and maybe grabbing a fun lip color to coordinate with the look. This might be a category where you find a statement shoe, a trendy bag, or even a loud blouse.  However, even when shopping fashion/trend pieces, always make sure it is true to your personal style so you can continue to wear it after the trend dies down."

Style Tip: Find Shoes That Really Work for You

"I have always loved a dramatic heel, and for most of my career, I wore heels to work every day. As I get older, though, my body is no longer thrilled with me when I wear a stiletto pump for a 10-hour workday.  I found a great place of compromise with platform boots and sneakers. I love my Converse Run Star Hikes because they go with everything, and the platform sole gives me support as well as an elevated work look. I am also a huge fan of lug soles, so I shop for boots with big soles. This way, I can still feel fashionable and elevated, but I also give myself the gift of being comfortable on my feet all day.

"At the end of the day, the art of dressing is a very personal one. Your wardrobe should make you feel good and look your best. I believe in trends being a fun way to expand or challenge your traditional looks, but no matter what, [they] should always reflect your true style. Fashion is so much fun, and if your wardrobe doesn't make you excited to dress every day, then we need to upgrade it. Shopping with a personal stylist that knows your body and wardrobe is a great way to accomplish building your wardrobe with intention and make sure you always feel great in your clothing."