How to: professional wardrobe

Starting a professional wardrobe after graduating from university, or while you are still in university, might seem time consuming and expensive. Although you might be clueless as to where to start from, it can be easy and fun if you keep in mind some dos and don’ts!

Firstly, do go shopping when the sales are on. Professional outfits can be costly and looking out for discounts will definitely save you a lot of money. It will also allow you to buy quality items instead of pieces that you will need to eliminate from your wardrobe after a couple months – do always remember that a professional wardrobe is an investment and as such should not consist of cheap items that you won’t be able to use regularly. Visit vintage shops to find elegant and professional designer bags and shoes at a reasonable price.

Secondly, do prioritise essentials like a pencil skirt, a little black dress and a blazer before spending money on more eccentric pieces. And if you find a basic top that you love and that works well, do buy it in multiple, conservative colours! Don’t be a compulsive buyer and buy too many items all at once though, you might regret your purchases or find some of them completely unnecessary.

Do consider all sorts of different occasions you will come across in your job and plan outfits for each occasion. An interview re quires a somewhat different attire than a day in the office or a formal cocktail party, and you should be prepared for all events.

Don’t be afraid to add accessories to personalize your outfits, especially if you already own them. It won’t cost you any money to experiment with them, and classy earrings and pearl necklaces will instantly make you appear more mature, while belts will make your outfit more formal.

Also, do remember that you can mix up a few pieces and create entirely different outfits. For example, pairing a silky blouse with a pair of black flared trousers or with a pair of cropped grey linen trousers will make a huge difference.

Because you are in the transition phase between a student and a professional, do keep your outfit young. Turtlenecks are classy, but pair them with a pair of jeans instead of a suit.

Last but not least, don’t be lazy – do always iron your outfits! Do pay attention to details – for example, keep your shirt tucked in, and if it doesn’t fit well, get it tailored. Don’t neglect your professional wardrobe, just as you wouldn’t neglect your career!

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