Do you know someone who is or will soon be a college graduate? A first impression is everything when starting or interviewing for a first job. Polished business dress is important for young adults who want to project a professional image and dress easily for work.
How does one build a wardrobe when most of the closet is full of casual clothes that were worn to class? Here are some tips for building a professional wardrobe:
1. Begin with quality essentials. You can buy quality items without breaking the bank. Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers are examples of stores that carry quality items and have frequent sales, which make the clothing more affordable.
2. Dress for your specific workplace. You may wear more creative clothing in a creative industry, but conservative firms such as accounting, law and even healthcare require conservative clothes. Ask your supervisor for advice and read the company dress code. The examples below would work in many offices but not in a conservative field.
3. A grey suit is a building block for both women and men. I recommend that women begin with a grey suit jacket, pants and skirt because the pieces can be paired with different blouses, skirts and jackets or cardigans. As you add colors, it’s helpful to have a favorite color palate so that everything works together.
4. Bare-bone essentials for men are a grey suit, a navy suit, two pairs of flat-front wool trousers, a white and a blue semi-spread button-down shirt, a burgundy and a blue tie, a quality belt, and oxford dress shoes. Your weekend khakis are better left at home during work hours.
5. Shoes are important. I recommend women begin with nude pumps because they create a universally professional look with nearly any clothing. Add a structured handbag and a trench or other all-weather coat to complete the look. I recommend that men purchase a pair of Oxford dress shoes and a good quality leather belt.
6. Casual Friday. I suggest dark-rinse jeans for both men and women because they look more professional than traditional denim. Bootcut jeans are flattering for all body types and is my recommendation for casual Friday wear. Avoid thinking that your weekend wardrobe is appropriate for casual Friday. A blazer or other jacket is a great way to be casual yet professional-looking. I’ve used this image of Jennifer Anniston previously because it illustrates the look so perfectly. Her blazer is fitted and professional-looking, her jeans are boot cut and she’s wearing point-toe heels. It adds up to a polished, casual and professional look!
You can express more of your personality and still remain professional looking as you add to your wardrobe.
If you’d be interested in learning how I can help you or a loved on dress for success, please contact me HERE. I also speak to businesses about professional attire, so if you’d like me to com to your company or workplace, please contact me HERE and we can discuss your specific needs. It’s an interactive talk that can be tailored to your company’s environment.
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