How to dress professionally on a college student’s budget



I think we all relate to this meme of the Grinch. At some point or another, we have all had difficulty figuring out what to wear, especially when it comes to dressing professionally as a college student. There are career fairs, PRSSA events and presentations where a college student must dress professionally. But how? Most college students wardrobe consists of Nike shorts, T-shirts to wear to class and cute gameday outfits for the weekends (or at least that is what my wardrobe consists of).

Also, college students are operating on a budget, making it that much more difficult to dress for professional events. But, investing in a few wise pieces can transform your closet from college-chic to working-world ready. Here are a few tips I have acquired over the past year about dressing to impress teachers or future employers(without breaking the bank).

Know the difference between business casual and business professional. This can be a tricky one. The dictionary defines business casual as “a style of clothing that is less formal than traditional business wear, but is still intended to give a professional and businesslike impression.” Knowing whether the attire of the event is business casual or professional will help you figure out the perfect outfit to wear.

Invest in a blazer. A cute blazer doesn’t have to bust the bank and will serve as a versatile piece in your closet. Pair it with a nice pair of jeans and a blouse and you’ve got the perfect business-casual outfit. Dress it up with a skirt or nice pants and you’re ready for the professional world.

Black pants are a lifesaver. You can never go wrong with a pair of black pants. Like the blazer, the pants will serve as a nice versatile piece in your closet and can be worn on many occasions. Match the pants with a pair of heels and you’ve got a nice business-professional look. Match the pants with a pair of flats for the perfect business-casual touch.

A dress is never a bad idea. Everyone probably has an old church dress in the back of their closet. Wearing a dress shows you know the importance of the engagement and you are ready to handle it. You could even pair the dress with a blazer to give it a nice, professional touch.

Don’t over accessorize. I love jewelry just as much as any girl, however when it comes to dressing for professional engagements and presentations, it is important to keep the jewelry simple and to a minimum. Too much jewelry can be distracting.