By: Freddie Trahanas
Photos by: Jill Reilly
After countless hours spent on the prowl trying to find that prestigious internship on the Hill to kickstart your career, you’ve finally nailed it. You got the hard part out of the way, and now it is time to start thinking about the fun part: fashion. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, since people place importance on how you present yourself in the workplace and clothes are a big part of that. We have all heard the sayings, “dress to impress” and “dress for the job you want.” That might be harder than it sounds, especially considering the hefty price of purchasing multiple pieces. Whether you are working an unpaid internship or just would rather spend $200 on something other than a nice blazer for work, look no further than Thirty Seventh’s guide to the perfect mix of chic, professional, and affordable office attire essentials.
First thing’s first: you have to figure out if the environment is business formal or business casual. While it doesn’t sound like a big difference just from the sound of it, you don’t want to feel underdressed or overdressed in a work environment.
Business formal is your traditional, very corporate, buttoned-up attire – think very tailored, structured, and minimalist outfits that are crisp and pressed. Suits or dresses of monochromatic colors, such as navy, gray, and black work well. You also can’t go wrong with dress pants or skirts with a matching jacket. Just make sure the skirt falls at or right above the knee! This look fits the professional image of the workplace environment.
Business casual can be a bit of a wild card, as specifics really depend on the event, company, and culture. Your choice of clothing is still professional, but much more comfortable and relaxed. With business casual you have much more freedom to let your individuality to shine through. No need for a suit here; think a nice skirt or slacks paired with a collared blouse or dress material shirt.
Now that you know the caliber of what you’re looking for, the key is versatility. We are still college kids; no one wants to crowd their entire wardrobe with office attire, not to mention that would just about break the bank. Find a few staple pieces that can be mixed and matched and you’ll be set. Invest in one or two blazers, dresses, dress tops, dress pants, and flats – pretty much all of the workplace essentials.
In terms of what stores to hit up, you can’t go wrong with H&M, Banana Republic, or J. Crew. These stores have a wide variety of all the must-haves for business wear and are not crazy expensive. Pro tip: bring your Go Card to J.Crew and receive 15% off your purchase through the student discount. Happy Hillterning!