Looking past graduation and onto job interviews, your new internship’s dress code and any future professional setting, you don’t have to compensate your style for your career. If you’re going for best dressed in the office, here are three tips to master the business casual look as a fresh graduate.
Invest in everyday basics
To build your business wardrobe from scratch, you’ve got to go back to the basics. Here are some staples to curate a closet anyone can wear.
First, a black blazer and dress pants set. These can be bought separately, but they’re the most basic business wear you’ll need. Once you have these, you can play with shirts underneath and colorful shoes, but they’re good pieces to build the rest of your outfits.
On top, be sure to have basic colored blouses or polos on deck. These are best in colors like white, navy blue and gray.
These tops pair great with slacks or minimal patterned pants and can go under a blazer. Some safe prints are plaidcheckers or gingham. The same goes for skirts. For both pencil skirts and short skirts, Sticking to basic colors and patterns will make it easier to get dressed in the mornings.
For dresses, some options you’ll want to keep close are a classic sweater dress and any mid-length, full coverage dress. Dresses are easy to wear because they don’t require much styling besides shoes and accessories.
Accessories aren’t unprofessional
Jewelry may seem distracting to certain employers, but there’s no need to tone your look down for a boss. A long statement necklace pairs best with a simple top. Instead of a necklace, you could go for a set of banglesa watch or a cuff as your statement piece. It’s best to choose one statement piece against the rest of your outfit.
A claw clip to keep your hair up and your bangs to the side is a modern take at the professional updo. If your clip matches a color on your outfit, you’re one step closer to looking put together. Nowadays, there’s plenty of claw clip designs to choose from other than the original pronged one.
Being behind a desk or a computer can be straining for multiple days a week, so investing in a pair of blue light glasses is not only smart for your eyes but also offers a more professional and studious look.
You don’t have to wear heels everyday
Don’t limit yourself to thinking heels are required at work. There’s plenty of other options for footwear that don’t have the potential to be painful.
Slip-on shoes can still be appropriate for work. Chain embellished black loafers are simple yet classy for their price point. If you’re wearing these, make sure your jewelry is also the same shade of gold.
A pointy-toe is a modern take on flats, which have always seemed to be the only other business casual option next to heels. While you’re still laying low, add a strap to an otherwise thin shoe for a different shoe with more coverage.
If you’re still looking for some elevation, there’s more comfortable business shoes with some length. Some white chunky loafers would look best with ankle socks and patterned pants. A square heel will still have you feeling closer to the ground and is easier to walk in.
By collecting just a few pieces off this list, you’re set for the first important moments of adult life. Be sure to dress appropriately for the occasion, and don’t be afraid to let your personal style shine through on the job.