When I graduated from college, I did not expect that I would have to completely revamp my wardrobe.
Seriously, when it came to the internship and my job after graduation, I had no clothes to wear! That being said, my sense of style has changed dramatically over the past year. Now it’s all flats and cute little sandals. Back in the ol’ college days, I spent almost every day of my life in sneakers. Part of it was a safety issue (in chemistry labs you have to wear closed to shoes in case you spill something on yourself) and the other part was that they were just super comfortable.
I like comfortable.
What did the rest of my attire look like as an undergrad? Jeans and a t-shirt. If (big “if”) I was feeling fancy, I would wear sandals and a nice tank top or shirt. Other than that, college was an exercise getting the maximum result (looking cute) with minimal effort. I can honestly say that most of my days in college were spent looking scrubby, and I’m okay with that because something has to give when you have to choose between sleeping and finding a cute outfit.
In retrospect, I’m surprised that I was so not into my clothes during college. I love clothes. I love all the pretty things that I can put on my body and all the cool things that I can do with my hair and make-up. I’m not exactly sure what was going on with me. It was probably the lack of sleep, weight gain (oh yes, one day I’ll write all about that one because the Freshmen 15 are more real that you can imagine) and the overall havoc a busy schedule can wreak on your appearance.
Anyway, upon graduation, I realized that my current closet just wasn’t going to cut it. You can’t go to a congressional office in jeans and your college gear. It just won’t do, ya know? Suddenly, I had to look like a young professional and had absolutely no clothes to match this new image that I was trying to project. No one told me that this was going to happen!
College seniors (college freshmen, you should pay attention too), heed my advice, start looking for professional clothes now. It will give you the time to find what works for you and, most importantly, build up a wardrobe over time so that you don’t have to spend a lot of money at one time when you enter the workforce.
You may think that you know what you should wear in a professional environment, but trust me “business casual” is the most ambiguous dress code ever. Start looking now. I know that it’s probably the last thing that you want to think about, but it’s going to make your life so much easier.
My best advice is not to ask your friends what you should wear. Go to a store and ask an associate because there are certain rules about dressing in a business environment that, although lame, are considered a standard. Case in point: skirts. If you want to wear a skirt, at the most, it can only be two inches above the knee. Dressing the part is not as a easy as it sounds.
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