How to Transition Your Wardrobe from College to Career


As your four years at college come to a close, many changes are just around the corner. While saying goodbye to your favorite dining hall and finding a job are obvious, have you ever thought about how your style will change once you graduate? Collegiettes don’t dress like high schoolers, so why would a post-grad dress like she’s headed to a lecture or frat row? Luckily, giving your style a makeover is easier than you’d think. Whether you mix and match our tips or just make one tweak to your ensemble, check out our top ways to mature your look.

Look 1: Jeans and a T-Shirt

Every now and then, most collegiettes resort to sporting a simple tee and a pair of jeans. After all, this dynamic duo is comfortable, easy and you won’t be in jeopardy of committing a fashion faux pas. Unfortunately, this look doesn’t scream, “I’m a fabulous post-grad.” But before you begin to panic, there are so many ways to tweak this basic outfit.

Spice up this no-frills ensemble with some accessories. “Throw on some gold bangles and your favorite pair of espadrilles,” says fashion stylist Shanna Nicole. This set of bangles ($4) is effortlessly cool and will show onlookers that you put some thought into this casual ensemble.  Not only are these espadrille wedges sure to mature your ensemble, but they’re also perfect for the summer.

If you’re not a fan of jewelry and heels, stylist Kara Kaufman says updating this outfit is as easy as swapping your tee for a more innovative alternative. “Make sure the shirt you are wearing has more structure or detailing,” says Kaufman. “For example, a tee in a yummy cotton with faux leather sleeves is updated and sophisticated.” This high-octane shirt ($37) gets rid of the “I’m running to my lecture” vibe.

For an on-the-pulse outfit, simply throw on a blazer. “It’s always a winner,” gushes Kaufman. Juxtaposing this professional piece with an otherwise casual outfit is sure to create an edgy look. We are loving this blazer from H&M ($47) because it’s sleek and versatile. Not to mention a blazer is the ultimate way to keep warm and will quickly become a staple all year round.

While you may think that graduating college means you have to trade in your trusty denim for a pair of office-friendly trousers, many twenty-somethings sport jeans after hours (or even to work if their jobs call for casual attire). However, you may need to rethink your denim’s wash. “Start wearing solid wash jeans as opposed to denim with whiskering,” suggests Kaufman. “They are more sophisticated.” These dark wash jeans ($16) from H&M will instantly make your outfit more “grown up,” plus the dark wash will look great day or night.