October 17, 2011

Building a Workplace Wardrobe on a Budget

This is a guest post by Christine Belskey. Christine was an intern this past summer at a global investment firm and is currently working to complete her degree in Media Arts and Design at James Madison University. She loves Glee, creative writing, musical theater, social media, and long walks on the beach during the sunset. Learn more about Christine here

The countless hours of filling out applications and writing cover letters finally paid off and you landed an internship. While transitioning from a desk in a class room to a desk in the “real world” presents many challenges, your wardrobe doesnt have to be one of them. Office appropriate ensembles dont need to cost you an arm and a leg, you just need to spend your money wisely on a few items you can use frequently and that will help you incorporate the clothing you already own. Just add these 5 intern wardrobe basics to your own closet and you will be able to transform your current wardrobe from so college to so professional.

1.     Flats: Eight hour days are not easy to get through, especially in the wrong shoes! It is important to always be able to move quickly in case you are given a task that involves moving with a specific deadline or you have to walk with your boss. Purchase a pair of plain, versatile flats that you can get away with wearing often. If you insist on having some elevation in your shoes, wedges are the best way to go. Again, if you are going to purchase new wedges for your internship, make sure they are not flashy so you can wear them frequently in the office.

2.     Sweater: While it may seem absurd to bring a sweater with you to the office in the scorching days of summer and you know it isnt chilly by your desk, you cant be sure when the AC will act up or when you will have to sit in on a meeting underneath a vent. Also, if you happen to get some of your lunch on your shirt it is a great way to hide the evidence.

3.     Dress Slacks: If you are going to splurge in one place for your summer wardrobe, a pair of nice slacks is the best place to do it because they never go out of style. Dress pants are a staple in any professional wardrobe and transform anything from a t-shirt to a blazer into a professional outfit. A solid black, grey, or khaki color will give you the most wear. For a more feminine, trendy look, a pencil skirt will have the same result. Just be sure your skirts are an appropriate length!

4.     Blazer: A blazer is a great way to transform any top into office appropriate attire! Purchasing a blazer will allow you to utilize the tops you already have such as tank tops and t-shirts. You can pair it up with tank tops, v-necks, whatever.  Check out this site to get some additional tips on how to find the perfect blazer.

5.     Accessories: Accessories are an affordable way to transform any outfit instantly. With just a big pair of earrings, a long necklace, or flashy bracelets you can change the look of any outfit drastically. Mix and match your accessories to create new ensembles or revamp old outfits with new flair! Forever21 is a great place to find trendy jewelry at a reasonable price.
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