Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Post Grad: Dress To Impress

Honestly, one of the most difficult things to deal with as a post grad can be clothes. You're used to being in college, wearing sweatpants at every opportunity or having a uniform at a part-time gig. Now you've entered the real world of interviews, "real jobs", and meeting professional business people. You've got nothing to wear and no money to spend on a fancy new wardrobe!

Here are some tips on getting the most out of your dollar when buying business and professional clothes and still look like a trendy twenty something college grad.

1. If you don't have any business clothes, start with the basics. Guys: buy at least one pair of dress pants, a few neutral dress shirts, a suit jacket, nice shoes and some ties. Chances are you already own some of these things! Girls: buy at least one pair of dress pants, a dress skirt, a blazer, a few nice blouses or dress shirts, and close-toed shoes. Starting with neutral staples is the best way to go because you can mix and match with anything!

2. Shop at places with discounts. Try your local Salvation Army. You might find a lot of duds at places like these, but you never know. You may just find a perfect pair of nice pants for cheap. Skip the expensive places at the mall like Banana Republic for now and try more inexpensive places to find interview ready clothes at H&M, Forever 21, Platos Closet, JC Penney, Sears, TJ Maxx, Marshals, etc.

3. I always, always suggest trying on clothes, but if you're positive of your sizes, try online shopping. Or, try it on in the store and see if you can find it cheaper online. A lot of places online offer cheaper versions, free shipping, or additional discounts that could save you lots of money.

4. Guys and gals, when you have your staple wardrobe, now is the time to accessorize. Guys: find funky ties you like or fun (just keep it professional) dress shirts to go under your suit jacket. Girls: accessories are where you really shine. Bring out your personality with jewelry, cute shoes, headbands, beautiful blouses, belts, and more (just keep it classy, not kitschy....remember it is an interview or new job!). You can find a lot of accessories for cheap (especially at the stores listed above plus Claires and For Love 21).

5. Lastly, just remember because you have to dress professionally for a new job or interviews doesn't mean you have to lose your personality. You can still look trendy, cute, handsome or whatever look you're going for and still dress to impress your potential employer.

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