Too often as students we make the mistake of accumulating fun pieces we can wear now but not in a professional setting. When it comes time for the career fairs and job interviews, we look to our closets only to become discouraged. It’s never too early to begin building a wardrobe of mix-and-matchable pieces that are appropriate for both work and play.
All clothes from: Ann Taylor LOFT in the Aurora Farms Outlets
It’s never too early to begin building a wardrobe of mix-and-matchable pieces that are appropriate for both work and play. My pick this week is not only a great “Casual Friday” option, but it’s also a fantastic example of how to make your tailored office essentials look funky enough for a night out on the town.
When it comes to finding stylish work attire that’s both age appropriate and suitable in price and quality, LOFT is hard to beat. To easily recreate this layered look on your own, stick to a neutral color palette and focus on pairing together textures that are aesthetically interesting.
A sequined tank, underneath a ruffled jacket, beneath a black fur vest, may sound extreme in theory, but paired with classically tailored wide-leg trousers, the overall look remains pulled together.
Increase the playful factor by throwing on a pair of printed pumps, layering on your favorite jewelry, and topping it all off with a chic sequined beret. The result is a look that’s simultaneously sophisticated and fun.
Too often as students we make the mistake of accumulating fun pieces we can wear now but not in a professional setting. Therefore, when it comes time for the career fairs and job interviews, we look to our closets only to become discouraged.
What I am attempting to do is to slowly transition my wardrobe with pieces that fit the categories of both now and later. Take this ensemble from Ann Taylor LOFT in the Aurora Farms Outlets, for example. The striped dress is actually made of a cotton “sweatshirt” fabric that, by purchasing it now, would be extremely casual and comfortable to wear to class.
However, by placing a collared blouse under it and a blazer over it, the look has been completely transitioned to reflect a more professional appeal. In addition, more sophisticated jewelry is also something to consider while shopping for pieces that can be worn both now and later.
The necklaces pictured here (also from Ann Taylor LOFT in Aurora) have an edge to them with their chunky chains and gunmetal accents that would look great while going out in college.
But, due to the intertwined pearls, the necklaces also look just as amazing with a more polished look like the one pictured.
On a tight college budget, buying a wardrobe for school and a separate one for work isn’t an easy or realistic task. Many of the pieces you buy for the professional world are only worn every so often, making it even harder to rationalize the price for them. The trick is to buy clothes that can be worn to class or for a night out now, but can be dressed up for an interview or day at work later.
For daytime, the sweater can be worn without the button up underneath for a more relaxed look. Wearing a bold patterned blouse such as polka dot with the sweater and a cardigan on top works well for class and is layered enough to stay warm. For less bulk, wear the blouse unbuttoned with a shirt underneath and broken in jeans for a cool and chic look.
As for nighttime, add a cropped leather jacket over a top to downplay the tweed skirt and give it a more edgier feel. Pairing a loose sequined or metallic sweater pulled over the skirt gives the outfit more interest along with balancing out the form fitting high waisted skirt. The accessories that compliment the professional look can easily be worn in the evening. The necklace, bracelet, and belt is a perfect combination to liven up a LBD or be worn with jewelry you already own for an accessory-heavy ensemble.
When picking out clothes that can be worn now casually and later for business, the best guideline is to choose things that aren’t too trendy and won’t be out of style soon. The rest is up to your imagination and creativity!
PHOTOS BY MATT HAFLEY
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