My clients often ask me to help them find their new college graduate some work wear as this next step in their lives is so pivotal. They need to look the part and put their best foot forward in order to be perceived as a professional vs. the new rookie hire.
Similarly, I am also often asked to conduct “dress for success” seminars for corporations who are trying to establish a proper dress code that is both professional yet modern for a large millennial work force. It is easier said than done when it comes to finding stylish yet appropriate work wear and I understand the struggle young professionals go through when shopping for their new well deserved jobs.
This is why I have put together some affordable looks from some of my favorite stores. All looks are versatile and easy to wear from the office to the airport or a work related dinner. These looks don’t have to be complicated or expensive in order to prove your place in the working world.
Ann Taylor:
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J. Crew:
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Banana Republic:
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Club Monaco:
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In addition to these looks, I have some essential tips for young professionals when it comes to work wear:
1. Invest in tailoring when needed: a suit can look like perfection on the hanger but a disaster on you if it doesn’t fit properly.
2. Iron/steam when needed: do not let your clothes wrinkle after sitting for an hour or else you’ll just look sloppy.
3. Fabrics: do not buy linen for the office, look for weightier fabrics (but ones that won’t make you hot) and find material that will drape nicely.
4. Cover up: do not over expose any part of the body – the last thing you want is to be unprofessional in your wardrobe and therefore not taken seriously in the work place.
5. Invest in good shoes: find ones that are comfortable yet stylish enough to wear with dresses and suits. I suggest looking for a neutral color that goes with most of your work wear.
6. Invest in a work tote: good quality does not have to be designer expensive. Find a great tote or work satchel that is sturdy and affordable and can handle some wear from putting your files and laptop into it day to day.
7. Grooming: it is SO essential to have neat hair/nails and to wear simple makeup that keeps you looking fresh. The office is not the time to experiment with the cat eye, piercings, or the newest color trend in hair. Obviously, different professions will allow for more creativity but as an overall rule you’ll want to look clean cut to be taken seriously.
If you stick to these looks and simple rules, you will be sure to nail that interview and/or promotion and be the best dressed power woman in your office.