Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dress Codes Decoded: Business Professional Attire

In college, I loved being the go-to for fashion questions. It was always so much fun being stylist & trusted fashion "expert" for my friends. I still love to answer your burning fashion questions when they come in my inbox- feel free to send me one anytime.

A friend Sara from high school had some questions regarding business professional style, which is super relevant for everyone interviewing for jobs and internships, or working in a professional atmosphere:

"I am about to graduate law school and enter the professional world  and I am really struggling to make the transition to "professional business attire." and would love any tips. I already have very little style and have found that all professional clothes are sooo expensive! Even the slightest tips will help!"

I've compiled some of my favorite looks that can be mixed and matched and still be very professional & will have some tips for finding business-y clothes that are affordable too! 
Dress Codes Decoded: Business Professional Attire
Just stumbling upon this post? It's been updated with New Links for 2017 to similar products!

  Truth be told, it can be tricky to incorporate your individual style or color into a business professional wardrobe. Do it with small touches- a peachy lipgloss you love, a bold bag you carry into work or on your lunch break, a pair of sassy stud earrings hidden underneath coiffed hair. The best way to know what you can get away with wardrobe-wise is to observe (another important business skill anyhow!)

So now that we've told you what to wear & some basics of business professional. Where can you buy the clothes (& not spend an arm and a leg)?

There are definitely some things you should splurge on for quality & the amount it will be on rotation in your wardrobe; like a great fitting black & gray pant. Or if you're in a very conservative work atmosphere- a flattering suit.Once you know a brand whose fit you like, buy multiple colorways of the style. A great pair of shoes that are comfortable too are essential- especially when running around as a newbie on the job. Save money by picking up blouses on discount and cardigans out of season or on markdown.

Great business-professional & stylish brands (many offer student discounts- be sure to ask!)

Discount retailers to look for stylish office clothes:

I hope this helps decode the Business Professional dress code-- feel free to leave more questions or suggestions in the comments! 

xoxo, lauren


frances said...

These are cute outfits, and would work for the day-to-day at a law firm. However, law is a very conservative field, and for the interview, she will need a suit in black, grey, or navy. She will also need one for any court days she has, so unfortunately in this particular field, splurging on a suit is an absolute requirement. But, it will pay off in the end!

Saucy Jocey's Kitchen said...

I've been going through the very few professional clothes I have and I realize I will DEFINITELY need to go shopping when I apply for a million jobs in the springs. I love the outfits you put together!

Cotton said...

One of the managers in my office has the cutest work wardrobe! She owns a TON of black and white pieces, which all clearly mix and match (ie, trendy white pants, a polka dot blouse for fall, etc). Then, she adds a pop of color each day, like a turquoise necklace, thin red belt, etc. It is so smart because all of her business attire mixes and matches so well!

Jennifer said...

Ann Taylor definitely does! & we just put a gorgeous light grey suit on sale... for half the price almost! :)

Laura said...

shut the front door, this post ROCKS. where were you when i had a business casual job?!?

Caitlin C. said...

Love this post!!! And it's super funny because I just got home from The Loft... where I bought a bunch of new work clothes. I'm finding it so fun to dress for the corporate world...there are so many ways to incorporate your style into "work clothes."

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Demmy said...

Love the blouses you chose. They're so pretty. Great post! x

Anonymous said...

Good post. If readers have any more questions they can check out my blog which is basically an entire blog devoted to looking professional in the workplace - I also happen to be a lawyer.


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May Johnson said...

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Business Time Apparel said...

Thanks for this nice blog post.

Izzy said...

You should decode other dress codes! The first time going to anything labeled semi-formal is pretty challenging as I remember!

Marielle Smith said...

I love the images you posted here on this blog post. They all look professional. I love the white and gray blazers. I'll always remember the fashion tips you've just shared. Marielle, sixtyfortyone

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