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How to Level up Your Wardrobe, Even If You’re WFH

Our advice columnist tells you how to upgrade your style, and how to support Black-owned businesses in their hour of need

Melvin Backman
Published in
5 min readApr 2, 2020


Illustration: Chris Kindred

Update 6/7/22: Level has a new home. You can read this article and other new articles by visiting LEVELMAN.com.

I love my closet, but my new job probably won’t. Is there an easy way to level up a T-shirt and jeans wardrobe without blowing my entire first month’s pay?

WWell, well, well! If your job is letting/encouraging/forcing you to work from home because of the pandemic (and you’ve been fortunate enough not to be laid off), you might be able to save up and blow your second month’s pay on a new wardrobe. Problem solved. Of course, you might not be working from home, and hopefully, the pandemic will be over one day.

The easiest thing to do, if you don’t feel like spending a lot of money or overthinking it, is to just buy a bunch of stuff at the mall, or at least the digital equivalent: Banana Republic, J. Crew, etc. Get a navy suit, a gray suit, a few white shirts, a few blue shirts, some black shoes, a black belt, and keep it moving. It’s not the sexy answer, but it works. (If you need sexy, Rick Owens once said that a…