Count Down to the Real World: Blog 2
Awards season is one of my favorite times of the year, but more importantly, red carpet season has me binge watching TV I really don’t have time for. This got me thinking about a really important topic: fashion.
Trading in the college wardrobe for the professional one is a dragging task, not to mention an expensive one. If you were like me, jeans and a T-shirt, or even better, sweat pants, were a staple in the college wardrobe. Working in the real world means it is time to trade the sweatpants for dress pants and T-shirts for a blouse.
Here are tips I have found to buy work clothes for less:
- Consignment Shopping — I have found shopping at secondhand stores is a great place to find professional and affordable work attire. There are many small boutiques and consignment shops offering jackets and dress pants that are staples for a work wardrobe.
- Classic, not Trendy — If you’re going to spend the money on clothes, try not to focus on the latest trends. Instead, focus on classic pieces. Ditch the sparkles and bows and focus on a nice suit, knee length skirt and dress pants. All vital for any work wardrobe. Save the trends for the consignment shops.
- Bring Someone with You — Bring someone you trust to help you shop. While it’s always great to shop with your friends, if they aren’t in the work world they may not have the best advice. Someone older and established in your field can give much better advice on appropriate clothes.
- Comfort is Key — I used to try to wear heels just because I thought they looked professional, but then I was so wobbly in each step I took. If you feel uncomfortable, you look like it too. You should feel comfortable in order to look confident in all of the clothes you wear. Professionalism doesn’t mean giving up personal style. It just means adjusting it to a more polished level.
The most important thing I have found when making the switch from college to the work place is to change my mindset. I already have clothes from college, so it was important for me to only buy things I could wear to work. Just because I thought an outfit was cute, if it wasn’t going to be worn at work, I didn’t need to buy it.
Slowly, this has allowed me to transfer my wardrobe from college to career without breaking my budget.
Breanna Wooster is a graduate assistant in the EMU Office of University Marketing and is pursuing a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business.