From Hot Mess to Hot Success: How to transition from college clothes to corporate couture

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
By: Kate Murphy  - Student Journalist -
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The move from college academics to the professional world can often be a shock to recent grads. Perhaps one of the biggest adjustments for those entering into the workforce is their appearance. While it's acceptable for girls to throw on a pair of yoga pants and guys to sport a jersey in college, your boss at a large corporation might not be so fond of Ugg boots or beanies.

Have no fear. Helpful hints are here to take you from college drab to office fab.

Mature your wardrobe. Those fuzzy pajama bottoms and oversized sweatshirts you wore to class aren't going to cut it. This means your wardrobe has to "grow up." Go out and buy more professional looking clothes. Examples include dress pants, pencil skirts, ties, collared shirts, and office-appropriate shoes.

Be conservative. When updating your wardrobe, try to stay away from loud colors and go for the classic basics: navy, black, white, brown, and gray. Invest in a suit. Yes, suits are not the most fun thing in the world to wear, nor are they cheap like the boxes of ramen noodles you just bought. However, to be taken seriously in the corporate world, it is important to be able to really dress the part, when necessary. So spend some money and invest in a suit or dress suit. Besides, everybody is crazy ‘bout a sharp-dressed man or women...

Also, be sure to opt for clothing items that are not revealing. If you express any doubt about the professionalism of a clothing item you find while shopping, simply leave it on the rack. But don't think that you have to look like a Puritan; accent the navy suit with a statement necklace or add pizazz with a patterned tie. Subtle hints are better than über-bright pieces or attention-getting items.

Get a new ‘do. You're transitioning into a new life soon, so it's time for an update. A more professional cut will translate much better in an office environment. Ladies, clean up your ends and go for your natural-looking color. Guys, style your mane toward a more clean-cut look instead of a shaggy surfer.

Be polished. Don't overdo the cologne or perfume and make sure your hygiene is up to par. As for clothes, it's important to make sure the items are ironed and wrinkle-free. My female friends, makeup is nice, but don't go overboard. Please. You are inherently beautiful; au natural is so much better than looking like a crazed raccoon. My fellas, keep that face of yours clean or well-groomed. You don't want to look like a mangy caveman when meeting your co-workers.

All in all, appearing polished looks professional. However, your head-to-toe style does depend on the job field you want to pursue. But it never hurts to dress for success.

Ta ta for now,