As a college student, you’ve already got a lot on your mind.
From midterms to planning weekend trips to finding internships, you don’t have a whole lot of extra time (or money). However, despite how “broke” you are now, you’re going to feel it even more once you’re out of school.
One of my advisers told me to start working on my professional wardrobe my freshman year and it was a piece of advice I’ve never forgotten! It’s not something you’re thinking about since you’re already stressed out by so many other things, but you will get burned if you don’t start working on this ahead of time.
You’ll need to slowly build up your wardrobe piece by piece. You’ll be more likely to find clothes that you like (for a decent price) when you’re not desperately trying to find clothes the day before your job starts.
Whether it’s online or at the mall, there are so many options out there for you to find clothing that will be appropriate for the workforce. Remember: It’s about quality, not quantity. Just because you can buy three pairs of pants doesn’t mean they will all last you more than a year. Sometimes it’s better to dish out that extra cash and buy clothing that will be with you for the long haul!
There are also ways around spending your own money on work attire as well. Instead of asking for the latest tech gadget, ask for a nice dress or suit for your birthday or an upcoming holiday. Or maybe even spend that graduation money on clothes you will need for the workforce. If you receive a gift certificate to your favorite store, buy clothing that will work for both class and work instead of yet another outfit to wear out to the bars.
If you’re in a fraternity or sorority, you’re already on the right track to building up your wardrobe! Since you have to wear formal outfits to both chapter and functions, you’ll already closer to having clothes that will work in a professional setting. So, the next time you groan and moan when you have to dress up for chapter, be grateful instead. That’s one less dress/suit you’ll need to buy later on!
Here are some stores you should check out:
1. Banana Republic: While some items can be slightly more expensive, these are pieces that will last you a while. I recently had to splurge and buy some of their Sloan fit pants. Probably one of the best shopping decisions I’ve made in a while!
2. J. Crew: You really can’t go wrong here. They’ve got great professional-looking clothes for both men and women. While J. Crew is pretty expensive, you can either splurge, scour the sales rack or find an outlet store. All of the pieces I’ve purchased have lasted a long time. If you’re looking for a nice outdoor winter coat, this is definitely a great place to start looking.
3. Old Navy: I used to shop here all the time when I was in middle school but was slightly anxious to start looking here for wardrobe additions for the professional world. I was wrong! There are lots of great, reasonable pieces you can find at Old Navy.