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3 Ways to Rebuild Your College Wardrobe into a Working Wardrobe

Reinventing yourself can be a lot of fun and can bring a sense of a fresh start to your life. One way to do that is simply transforming your style and wardrobe, and what better way to do that than update your closet from college to career chic? Now that college life is over and you’ve entered or are about to take your first steps in the real world, it’s time to take it up a notch on how you look. Here are a few tips on how you can transform your college wardrobe to a working girl collection.

1. Determine how you want your wardrobe to look

Let’s start with a plan of how you want your new work wardrobe to look. You can start by gaining inspiration from magazines, Pinterest, Instagram and even your friends. Make a list of styles that you can work with that are appropriate for the industry you’re in. You want your pieces to be appropriate for the workplace, but still something that you’re comfortable wearing and that fits your personality. “The best way to transition into the working world with your style is to avoid ‘fast fashion’ as much as you’re able, and invest in quality pieces that will be timeless—a blazer, blouses, a classic tote bag,” says Mara Hyman, a graduate of the University of Southern California.

2. Start with the basics

Having the basic essentials is important and can help create a variety of outfits. Basic colors you need for the workplace are white, grey, black, tan and navy blue. These are subtle enough to build on and still look good in the office. Your working girl wardrobe could also consist of a business professional suit, a blazer, dress pants and/or skirt, cardigans, a trench coat, blouses and camisoles and business professional shoes. However, your working girl wardrobe may differ depending on what industry you’re in. For instance, in the medical field your wardrobe would include scrubs and comfortable shoes. Make it into your own by accessorizing with appropriate jewelry that wouldn’t get in the way of your work. For teachers and professors, your attire will vary a lot more and you’ll be able to dress down however you want. Your wardrobe will still have to stay professional of course, but you can play around with different styles and with whatever makes you comfortable.

Related: How to Nail Business Casual Beyond the Skirt Suit

3. Accessorize

Your working girl wardrobe may seem to get a little repetitive, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. All it takes is a little color and your favorite pieces to accessorize your outfits. Soft colors, scarves, subtle jewelry and a fabulous bag can spice up your outfit and still be professional. For example, a little black dress for work can be accessorized with a statement piece necklace and a nice bag with a pop of color, or even a cute pair of shoes can turn a dull outfit into a winner. Having the right accessories will take your wardrobe even further. “I would recommend keeping basic button up shirts and dressy jeans, or black pants in your wardrobe and punching them up with jewelry,” says Madeline Frisk, a recent graduate of Oregon State University. “They are great for interviews for any industry.” Accessorizing clothes you already have is easiest when transitioning into your work attire. You know what you’re working with—all you need to do is to make it professional.

Now that college life is over and the days of throwing on anything just to make it to class on time are behind you, the real world is going to expect a little more out of the way you look. However, you should never have to feel uncomfortable or pressured to change who you are because of your job. Have fun with mixing and matching, add new pieces to what you already have and put your personality into your working girl outfit. You’re going to look and feel amazing in your office!

Ashley Drayton is an alumna of Georgia State University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Since being involved with Her Campus, she was co-founder and president of the GSU chapter, former chapter advisor of 5-8 college chapters, and wrote as a national contributing writer. Her dream job/career is to become a top writer, editor, blogger.
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