Among landing my first internship at a campaign office, I knew that my entire wardrobe had to be updated – jeans and sandals say “teenage student” rather than “young professional woman.”  Wardrobe plays a major impact on first impressions which may lead to your next dream job. Whether you’re dressing for an internship, job interview, or career fair, these are five key clothing pieces that every striving women should have in her wardrobe.

1) A neutral blazer

A blazer can be paired with basically anything – a suit, a pencil skirt, a dress, or a blouse. It can truly tie an outfit together and make it look much more professional. When choosing a blazer, neutral colors are best. Not only are these colors most professional, but they will go with anything. The best colors to stick with are black, navy, brown, crème, or maybe even an olive green. A plus to having a blazer is that if you feel too dressed up, it can always be taken off. Better safe than sorry. 

2) A pair of dress pants

I know you’re all probably thinking that dress pants are “unflattering” or “boring,” but they don’t have to be. Dress pants come in a variety of colors and patterns which can be paired with a blouse or button-up top. If you decide to purchase a pair of dress pants with a pattern, pair it with a solid top. Solid dress pants are more versatile, but adding a pop of color or a pretty pattern can make you stand out and still look professional. Pair them with your favorite blouse, blazer, and heels or flats. 

3) A plain pair of heels and flats

I recommend getting both a pair of heels and a pair of flats. Flats are going to be ideal for long days and a lot of walking, however heels will come in handy for the business professional affairs and short-term events. I recommend getting a neutral color shoe for versatility. Again – black, brown, or nude are ideal.  Make sure that you invest in a comfortable pair – nothing is worse than worrying about blisters and Band-Aids while trying to accomplish tasks. If you can splurge, buying a pair of colorful shoes may come in handy when you need to add a pop of color to your outfit.

4) A versatile dress or pencil skirt

Dresses and skirts make the easiest outfits due to their adaptability. A dress can be paired with a blazer and voile, and you have the perfect outfit. A pencil skirt can be paired with a blouse and you’re all set. I prefer having both of these items in my closet, however having at least one is key. You want to buy a dress that can be worn many times. I stick to buying a neutral, solid dress so that I can accessorize it differently each time it’s worn, making it look like a new outfit each time. The same goes for a pencil skirt – I have a plain black one and pair it with different blouses and accessories to dress it up. 

5) A Good quality bag

Nothing pulls your outfit together quite like a pretty bag that makes you feel powerful. I usually choose my bag to add a pop of color to my outfit and make it tailor to my personal taste. Having a neutral and colorful bag is always handy, but if you can only choose one, I say go with color. Make sure that your bag has plenty of room for a laptop, makeup, or anything you need to take on-the-go. 

READ: 5 Things Every Successful Girl Should Have In Her Purse

A strong business professional wardrobe is significant for any striving woman looking for success.  Tailor each piece to your own personal style. Make sure that your outfit makes you feel strong and sophisticated, allowing you to walk with confidence. 

Jennifer D.
Jennifer Duplessie is a senior at Texas A&M University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in political communications incorporating her passion for writing and photography.

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