- Is this professional enough to wear to a business interview?
- Do I need to have a suit?
- Can I get away with these shoes?
I have been getting these kind’s of questions for years! One of my best friends just sent me snapchats of a few outfits today while she was shopping for an appropriate second interview outfit. I started working a 9 to 5 before I was even out of college. Some might call me crazy. Some might say determined.. I’m still deciding, hah! The point is looking cute in a professional work place everyday can be a challenge. Not only for you but for your wallet! It does matter though. It will give you the confidence boost needed in a difficult interview and it will make a boss or client take you more seriously when you show up put together.
You don’t have to go buy out Express or Nordstrom to make a good impression though. A few staple professional wardrobe essentials to start with are perfect. They may not be exciting but, you can add one or two things a pay check from there if you want. Below, are my professional wardrobe essentials. The pieces that have lived in my closet the longest & can be worn 9 to 5 with anything!
Professional Wardrobe Essential :: Suit
Okay, I know I said don’t break the bank & then I said suit. Your sitting there looking at this like Katie, suits are damn expensive. I know, but they are WORTH the investment. Honestly, if you are graduating college I highly recommend asking your parents to buy you a nice suit as your graduation gift for interviews. If you’re purchasing it yourself, there are affordable options! I went with a Calvin Klein from Dillard’s and all together I spent about $100. As long as I don’t gain a crazy amount of weight, crossing my fingers! That suit will last me a lifetime. When you look at it that way it’s not too bad. I’ve worn it to so many interviews and I mix and match the jacket and pants with more casual pieces during the week too.
Professional Wardrobe Essential :: Unique Skirt & Pants
Besides having your suit bottoms you need a few other options to mix and match with your tops. I try to go for fun & unique skirts & pants in my professional wardrobe. I love wide leg pants right now. They are so comfortable and cute for the office I’ll pin some below. This leopard skirt is also a great example of one I wear to work all the time. When paired with a black blouse, blazer, and nude heels it is perfect for the office. I love that I can throw on a crop top & open toed shoes to dress it down though. Having pieces that can easily convert from office to weekend is a serious win in my book!
Professional Wardrobe Essential :: Nude Pumps
I wear these honestly 3-4 times a week. They go with EVERYTHING & take any outfit to that next level of professional. They don’t have to be expensive or a designer brand. I have a pair of Calvin Klein Pumps & a pair of Michael Kors that I don’t wear as much as my Charles Davids. I’ll tag them and a few other options here! Things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a professional shoe is closed toed & no platform. Once you’re in your position & looking for everyday office outfits open toed is usually fine I like to have fun with the shoes!
Professional Wardrobe Essential :: Blouse
A nice blouse can be worn alone with dress pants or a skirt. They can be worn under a blazer. Tucked or effortlessly untucked depending on what your day looks like. There are seriously so many options. I would buy a few that you can wear throughout the week. H&M, Nordstrom Rack, and Express all have great inexpensive options. Keep your eyes out for deals too! I post what stores have good sales happening every Monday on my feed so you can get the best inexpensive options.
Professional Wardrobe Essential :: Dress
I love a good office dress! Why? Because it is so easy on a late morning. I don’t have to pick a top & bottom to got together. Just throw on the dress and keep moving! Plus, I always get a million compliments about how nice I look on days I wear them. Little do they know I just couldn’t be bothered to put pants on. I would go for the more basic colors here at first before you go crazy with prints. Try to find something timeless that will be in style for a long time. Ross often times has really good options like Calvin Klein & Ivanka Trump for low prices.
Professional Wardrobe Essential :: Tote Bag
I know a small stylish satchel is so in right now. I have plenty that I wear for date nights or weekends. During the week though I always have my black Michael Kors tote that Collin got me for Christmas last year. Your bag needs to be big enough to bring your work home with you, including your laptop. In my case I always have way too many notebooks in there because I have a different one for every area of my life. Organized Chaos, ya know? I also throw lunch in there and then put it in the fridge when I get to the office.
Whatever you need it for, it ends up caring a lot. It’s pretty much a mores stylish backpack. Please do not think you need a designer bag though! I had a $20 tote I got at Target for my first job! The handles fell apart and it didn’t have a zipper so everything fell out on the TSA belt at the airport…If you’re traveling get one that zips!