Going to school in one of America’s biggest cities has given me a range of job opportunities to gain practical experiences in my chosen field of study I’ve gained a lot great exposure from these experiences and learned that personalizing your professional wardrobe isn’t as impossible as it seems.
Black and grey pantsuits: they epitomize the dress of the business world. From stockbrokers to financial advisors to accountants, it’s a costume that’s been chosen for those who are employed in the field – for at one point in time – I assumed had alternative.
But going to school in one of America’s biggest cities gave me the opportunity to not just gain practical experiences about this world that I will soon enter, but that personalizing your professional wardrobe isn’t an idea of fiction.
I had this fashion manifestation when I met my first boss. As I sat at my desk combing through the employee manual that was bigger than an encyclopedia, I saw a woman brush past me wearing a Clover Canyon dress under a Chanel blazer accessorized with Loubitin gladiator pumps.
*Pause* What?? Are my eyes be deceiving me? Is this professional (and well-known financial advisor) not only be colorfully dressed to the nines during market hours, but also be my boss? What happened to the black pantsuit…and why in the hell was I wearing one and she wasn’t?
From day one, we hit it off bonding over a cocktail of shared interests consisting of finance and economic principles as well as what as going on on the runway. What did I learn from my twelve week stint in the office? That you could find a career that fulfills your aspirations… and look damn-right fabulous while doing it.
Looking back, I don’t know why I doubted my ability to hold myself accountable for my professionalism. Whoever said that a professional wardrobe had to consist of black and grey pantsuits clearly never made it into the 21st century.
So as I get ready for work every morning, I’m reminded of that first day as an intern when I thought that finance and fashion weren’t allowed to mix. Who would have thought that an internship that was suppose to expose me to the basics of the financial industry would lead to an experience of personal growth and identification.
So girls, let me offer you a little advice: be daring, be brave, and never be reserved. There are ways to incorporate your style into an appropriate professional wardrobe.
Are you edgy? Find a pair of strappy gladiator heels to pair with your blazer and shift dress.
Are you preppy? Find a soft-colored patterned skirt to pair with a freshly pressed oxford.
Are you bohemian? Find a belt with a medallion to cinch at your waist to make a dress or skirt more unconventional.
One new accessory (or even a clothing item) can not only improve your style, but your confidence and ability to appropriately stand out in a large office setting.
Still unsure or doubtful of your styling abilities? Turn to The Corporate Catwalk, a blog that revolves around creating a fashionable professional wardrobe. Inspiration from others can go a long way when starting this revamping process so take it slow. 24 hours isn’t a long-turn around time for this kind of thing.
Ultimately, your co-workers and superiors will take note of your ability to not just hold yourself to exceptional standards, but to maintain your professionalism without having to turn to one of Hillary Clinton’s favorite pieces.