What to Keep In Mind When Shopping for Work Clothes

When transitioning from college to the workplace, one of the biggest concerns of an aspiring career girl is her wardrobe. While some would think this should be the least of one’s concerns, I believe that the right attire can bring out a great deal of confidence and productivity in anybody.


As summer moves past us, many college students are now shopping around for their new digs for the workplace or for upcoming job interviews- are you one of them? When buying new work clothes or dressing up for an interview, embrace these simple guidelines for a foolproof power ensemble:


1. Buy Your Basics – Buy clothes that can be used in many different looks. If you can imagine yourself in 2 or 3 different work looks when mixed and matched with other key layer pieces and accessories, you have a great buy. Dresses in timeless silhouettes and basic colors are some of my personal must haves.

2. A Good Blazer Can Save Your Look – A good fitting black blazer can take your outfit from day to night if you take it off and change shoes. It can take you from office formal to business casual by simply loosening some buttons. If there is any investment required of you to make for your corporate get up, this is it.

3. Dress It Up – My favorite look is the pretty dress + black blazer look. If you are unsure of what to wear, this look errs on the side of business casual – a nice dress in a conservative shape and color, a blazer, sensible heels, and statement accessory can show personality and is neither loud nor square. Your work dress has to look structured, with a clean and basic shape to it. Stay away from dresses that look too flowy and light. If you want to stay feminine, try a clean sillhouette with girly prints, or a more flowy dress in a single bold color.



4. Consider Office Culture – Assuming that a formal suit will make a great impression might work against you if the company you are joining is more relaxed in nature. Sometimes the companies encourage a creative and productive environment by letting their employees wear what they best feel represents them, so you might be seen as an uptight individual, or you may just come across straight away as a rookie. Remember what people were wearing when you were interviewed, or feel free to call up your interviewer or HR contact to ask what is best to come in.

5. Make Sure it Fits – You need to be able to move in your work clothes without the fear of a wardrobe malfunction. Make sure you get a dress in a sensible size, nothing too fitted and form fitting. Keep the hem, at most, just slightly above knee level.  Just because you saw the look in the TV show Suits doesn’t mean it’s work appropriate.


Whatever you decide to buy, make sure that you are comfortable enough in it to be productive and that it represents you best and brings out your confidence. Make sure you take your power from within you and translate it into your outfit. As the saying goes – wear the clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you.


Are you shopping around for new work clothes? What did you get? Comment below or tweet us @mscareergirl!


Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.