As a fresh graduate, you’ve probably heard people say that you need to dress for the job you want. In simpler terms, this means investing in all the essential pieces so that you can put together an impressive office wardrobe.
Why is doing this so important? For starters, having these clothing items on hand ensures you’re ready for any upcoming job interview. With the right outfits, you’ll also easily impress hiring managers, future bosses, and team leads, which boosts your chances of passing each application stage.
Don’t know where to start? Read on to find out what clothes and accessories to add to your shopping cart:
Now that you’re entering the corporate world, you’ll want to invest in a suit that you can throw on for a job interview and wear daily to your future job.
In general, it’s best to look for neutral-coloured or pinstripe designs in grey or navy blue, as these hues and simple patterns won’t be distracting to others. They also show managers that you put careful thought into looking professional. Make sure that your suit comes with two or three buttons as well as notch lapels with one or two vents. These simple design elements can not only give you a sleek look, but also show others that you have an eye for detail.
Quality leather shoes that come with thin soles are worth the investment, as these kinds of footwear can last for years if properly cared for. So, instead of buying cheap shoes that break easily, save up for a few better-quality pairs instead.
As for what style to choose, you can’t go wrong with simple, sleek designs like the Oxford, cap toe, or wingtip. You should also avoid shoes that feature fancy or distracting embellishments. Not only will these additions drive up the final price of the shoes, but they also won’t match well with minimalist and neutral office outfits.
Once you’ve found the best style and brand of footwear, you’ll only need to buy two pairs: the first in black and the other in brown. Don’t forget to buy some socks to pair with your shoes, too. Whenever possible, choose dress socks made in the USA, as they usually feature higher-quality materials and construction.
To start, you’ll want to invest in at least seven dress shirts. You’ll be wearing one for each workday and using the other two as back-ups in case your usual ones get dirty.
In terms of what styles to pick, choose straight point collared shirts. These go well with small tie knots and exude a safe conservative look that’s often preferred in more traditional office environments. As for what colours to go for, choose solid-coloured or vertically striped shirts that are easy to match with neutral-coloured blazers and slacks.
As with your dress shirts, stick to ties that come in conservative colours and simple designs like regimental stripes or pin dot patterns. Choosing ties in these hues and patterns are sure to match your neutral attires nicely. If possible, invest in 100% silk ties, too. These usually last longer compared to those made of other kinds of fabric.
A Good-Quality Briefcase
On the way to your job interviews, you’ll likely be lugging around a stack of required documents along with your daily essentials. And once you get hired, you’ll probably have to bring a few gadgets and papers to work, too.
Unfortunately, bringing along a backpack just won’t cut it if you want to be taken seriously in the workplace. Instead, it’s best to invest in a quality briefcase so that you have work-appropriate on-the-go storage for all your most important items. Choose briefcases made of leather, as their sleek, mature look will help you maintain a much more professional appearance overall.
When it comes to your accessories, less is more. So, just like choosing your office shoes, you’ll only need to purchase two belts for your work wardrobe: a black one and a brown one. You should also choose leather belts featuring sleek buckles that don’t call too much attention to the waist. This is because belts are primarily meant to help your trousers fit better rather than be the focus of your entire ensemble.
To find out if you’ve found a high-quality belt that will last for years, try bending it back and forth. If it’s made out of durable material, it shouldn’t show any creasing on the surface of the leather, and the belt should easily revert to its original shape.
Wearing the right outfit to a job interview or your first job will make you memorable—in a good way. After all, staying top of mind is important, especially for companies or industries where the competition is fierce. Given this, all your wardrobe investments won’t go to waste. Add these clothing items and accessories to your closet, and you’re sure to leave a lasting positive impression on your potential future employers.