As a current senior in college about to graduate in a few months, I have been applying to a lot of jobs and internships. This meant I was also doing a lot of interviews. In general, most of the interviews have been through Zoom, so when I had to dress up for them I only worried about my top half. However, once it came to the in person interviews, I realized that I own little to no professional clothing. This was a problem, I began to feel unprepared and with interviews I had coming up I was anxious. A thought that kept coming to mind was “Is this professional enough?”
As I began to incorporate more professional pieces in my closet I learned that this wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I had to consider my budget, I didn’t know where to start looking, and on top of that I still wanted to look stylish while still being able to express my personality through my wardrobe.. Moreover, while speaking to some of my peers who will also be graduating, I realized that this is a common struggle. So, in hopes that I can help some people about to graduate or anyone seeking jobs/internships here are some staple pieces I personally think every woman should own.
1. A Collared Blouse
Having a crisp white blouse is a must. I know when we think of a white collared blouse we immediately think that it won’t be cute or something we would add in our closet but there are a variety of blouses that are both cute and professional. I suggest owning a variety of blouses from long sleeve to short sleeve and owning neutral color to begin with. This will make it match and create more outfit options.
2. Narrow Leg Trousers
Owning a nice pair of trousers along with a blouse will immediately make you look much more put together and professional as opposed to jeans and a blouse. Great colors to own would be blakc, navy and khaki. Make sure to iron your clothes always!
3. A Blazer
A blazer is great for those colder days. It’s also a great way to layer your clothes while maintaining that professional look, but you can also add a pop of color with a blazer to make your look a little more stylish, or to match your personality. I definitely recommend owning at least one.
4. A Knee Length Skirt
If you prefer wearing skirts or if it’s summer, owning one knee length skirt is also essential. A great way to make wearing a skirt more professional or if it's winter time is by wearing some sheer black stockings.
Lastly, shoes. Shoes will always tie the whole look together so make sure you own a nice clean pair. Again black is easier to match and keep clean. I recommend buying a nice pair of flats.
It's important to note the clothing/dress code usually depends on the job. There are places where the dress code is more casual, and so it isn’t so necessary to buy more professional pieces of clothing, and others where it is completely necessary. In any case, each of these pieces are great basics to have in your wardrobe for interviews, especially when you’re starting out because it’s always important to make a great first impression. I would definitely recommend checking out H&M, Ross, Marshalls and even thrift stores to find affordable professional clothing.