I went shopping with my mom yesterday with some Christmas/paycheck money and had one very important goal in mind (and a few less important goals, too…guilty).
I wanted to find the perfect suit for interviews and my future, as-yet-unknown, job.
College girls, listen up: when you’re getting close to graduation and you start going to interviews—whether it’s for the next level of your education (i.e., grad school, med school, law school, whatever) or for your first “big girl job,” you need to wear the right clothes to make a good first impression.
Think professional, polished, mature, and sophisticated. Those are the words your interviewer should be thinking when he or she sees you and shakes your hand for the first time.
The unfortunate reality is that buying business clothes is a) expensive and b) far less fun than buying your “weekend clothes.”
Plus, I had to bend my college girl budget quite a bit more than I expected when I began my hunt for a flattering, high-quality pant-suit.
Let me level with you.
Yes, I am 100% in support of putting together a great personal style for less money. However, I also believe that CERTAIN things are worth the investment.
Think of it like this: trends change from season to season, so when you’re on a college girl’s budget, there’s no point in wasting a bunch of money on something that will be “out” next year. However, the classics (including most of the items I included in this post, which you can refer to for ways to wear the ones here outside of the office) are those items you’ll wear forever.
Besides, when you're out of school and working, you'll spend the majority of your waking hours during the week at work...so you should love the clothes you're wearing during all of that time.
I hereby give you permission to invest in them. Especially if it gets you a job J
*The blazer and the pants were on sale and then an additional 30% off after the sale price. I made my purchases at Banana Republic.
Blazer: $90, Banana Republic
Pants: $100, Banana Republic (there are two main fits: the Martin and the Logan. I chose the Martin. The Logan is a much narrower fit). I need to get them hemmed, I know.
White button-down shirt: $60, Banana Republic
Are you wildly disappointed in me? Maybe…but this is a suit I can wear for years!
If you’re in the market for your first real business outfit, ladies, keep a few things in mind:
Buy the pants and blazer TOGETHER. Believe it or not, there are definitely different shades of black, so you want to be sure your outfit matches before you make a purchase.
Have a salesperson help you. They do this every day for a living, and they will know best what fit and style works for you…and what doesn’t, even if the friend or relative you’re shopping with is afraid to be honest with you.
No cropped blazers. Not for a job interview.
No slim-leg pants. Just stick to a traditional look.
Wear a pretty and long necklace. That's just what I would do to complete the look, even though I don't wear one in the picture above. I'd go for a longer one. Look at this page for reference on necklace measurements.
Now, if you DO think I’m crazy…
I did a little digging online to find this look on a slightly more traditional “college girl budget.”
Check out this blazer from H&M for $49.95.
Pair it with these pants, also H&M, for $59.95.
Love this white button-down shirt from LOFT for $39.50.
Try these black pumps on Zappos.com for $47.99.
Total cost: just under $200.
Still too much? I just found these styles I liked by browsing online. So can you :) AND you can probably find something in your price range.