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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

New-Graduate Job-Seeking Wardrobe

suitIt’s that time of year. Flip-flops and t-shirts, jeans and hoodies, caps and gowns are exchanged for garb designed to get you somewhere. As a new college graduate, you’ll need to “look the part” before you have the part.

However, with no job and no money, how do you do it?

There are a number of articles written for young men just starting out in conservative professions, whether law or lobbying, for instance. It’s always the same: buy two all-weather, worsted wool suits, preferably in dark, solid colors, around $500 each. Then at least seven or eight $40 white or blue shirts, a dozen pairs of black socks and shoes with leather Business-Professional-1soles, five silk ties and quality underwear. You’re over $1,500 before you’ve even thought about a decent wristwatch (yes, even in this day of checking your phone screen) and briefcase or computer bag….

But what about young ladies? Unless you’re going into a more creative profession where color, open-toed shoes, separates and prints would not raise an issue, now is the time to consider your conservative career wardrobe. Apart from heading to Goodwill, where our sons just snagged some Ralph Lauren wool blazers for under $5 each, you’re going to need to be creative in a button-down sort of way.

womens_business_clothing1Enter WalMart. (No, I’m not connected to them, and no, I don’t like American jobs shipped abroad, but I think they put out some excellent, affordable alternatives.) Look at their online site and a university grad can easily throw together some basic pieces as the building blocks for a beginning professional wardrobe. I priced it out just for fun: 4 jackets, 2 pants and 2 skirts for $100, many now on sale.

No, they’re not worsted wool, most are more like a combo of poly/rayon/spandex, yet very professional looking. These are lined jackets, some with contrast lining, and appearing much richer than they cost. For a few extra bucks, grab some blouses, neutral nail polish and stud or pearl earrings. A snazzy shoe or bag you might already own, but even if you drop another $100 on those two items, you’re still coming out far, far ahead.

And that might be just what you need to succeed. Play your cards right, take it slowly, upgrade when you can and work your tail off. Arrive early, stay late and be a positive, team player.

You go, girl!


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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar rusmom says:

    Alexandra, thanks for the tips but it looks blah, don’t you think? If you go to interview at a company, how would you figure out what to wear or what their corporate culture may be?

    • avatar admin says:

      Yes, Abby, the clothes are basic and blah intentionally, lol. It’s so that your brain will shine! Nobody generally minds a bright scarf or bag… Good question on how to find out what to wear ahead of arrival. My secret tip: reconaissance mission! Sit in a car outside of the building or office and snap a few photos on your phone around rush hour. If you think you may be recognized later at the interview, send a trusted friend, usually female and ask them to snap away from afar or else when someone’s back is turned as though they’re aiming at the building or something. I have made the mistake of asking men in other countries what to wear to an event, say, a daughter’s wedding, or what they wear in their office– terrible advice! Usually (not always) women can describe things much better…. 🙂
      Personally, I like bright/power colors, so after the interview & acceptance phase, see how much leeway there is-!

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