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Dress Code? Let’s Talk About It

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

As a college student with a college wardrobe, my everyday clothing choices aren’t usually what you would call “work-appropriate”. I recently got an internship and realized I’d have to either buy a whole new wardrobe or somehow make my current clothes work with their dress code. I did the latter.

You may also find yourself needing to dress more modestly for a certain event, work, or an internship like myself! I’ve had to get pretty creative with my outfits to keep them professional, and I thought I’d share some helpful tips so you can save some money and go to work or your internship knowing you are dressed appropriately while keeping it stylish.

Layer, layer, layer! 

Layering is a great way to use the clothes you already have in your wardrobe, and it has been the most useful tip for me. It’s so 90s, which has been back for a while now. Think Cher from Clueless, Rachel Green (or all of the Friends girls for that matter), Julia Roberts, Britney Spears, Drew Barrymore… I could go on forever.

  • For your thin strapped tank tops, put a t-shirt underneath and you’ll look as cute as Cher in that PE baseball scene. This also works if you want to wear a more low-cut top; just layer! This works best with a tighter-fitting short sleeve, and it doesn’t matter if it’s cropped as long as your tank top is long enough. If the tank top is cropped, make sure your undershirt is longer. For the colder months, switch to a long-sleeve underneath!
  • To keep your crop tops useful, put a bodysuit underneath so that your midriff will be covered. This is perfect because it won’t bunch up and will stay put throughout the day. Bodysuits could also be helpful if you have one that is short-sleeved or has a higher neckline. 
  • If the AC is blasting in the office or you find yourself in a cooler day or month, wear a cardigan, flannel, or jacket over your tank top. Button ups (denim especially) are also adorable to cover up with. 
  • If you want to wear a dress or skirt that isn’t long enough, throw some leggings or darker tights underneath for a cute fall look. 

Make your own shorts

It’s still about 100 degrees in Phoenix. Shorts are a must for GCU students on the extra hot days. The easiest way to obtain shorts that are long enough for a basic dress code is to make your own. Grab a pair of pants you don’t mind parting with, jeans or cargos work great for this, and cut! Cut them to a length that is long enough; I usually do a few inches above my knees. Thankfully, long shorts are in style right now, and making them yourself is the cheapest and easiest option. 


This doesn’t go into using the clothes you already have but is still a cheap alternative option. If you are struggling too much using the tips I mentioned earlier, go to your favorite thrift shop and get some new clothes!

Remember: dressing professionally doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. With these tips, your everyday wardrobe should be able to seamlessly translate into your work attire!

Lauren is a professional writing student at GCU and will graduate with her bachelor's degree in Spring 2024. She loves skateboarding, watching films, doing most anything with her friends and spends her summers at her favorite beaches in Malibu.