So, you’re only in your twenties and you don’t feel ready to part with your distressed denims or band T-shirts just yet. And you shouldn’t have to. But you are, however, at a stage in your life where you are meant to dress a little more “grownup”. This is largely because you’re expected to find and hold down a job in order to start your career. You wouldn’t think your clothing choice has much to do with that, but you’d be surprised. Nobody’s going to hire someone who looks like they just woke up and grabbed the first item of clothing they saw.
When you start to become an adult (at least in the eyes of the world around you), you have to be prepared to make some wardrobe changes. It’s sad, but true. You don’t have to throw anything away and what you wear in your free time is up to you. But if you want to be seen as a professional and taken seriously, then you do need to think twice about what you wear to work. Yes, even if you’re in a creative industry and your CEO wears a blazer with a T-shirt and sneakers. You’re still a young person starting out and, unfortunately, young people aren’t often taken seriously at first, especially not if you’re wearing your “fancy” tracksuit pants and a top with a hole that’s been badly stitched up.
Of course, you’re young and new to the working world, which means you naturally won’t be earning much. Which is why you’ll end up having to make this wardrobe transition on a budget. But don’t worry, it’s more than doable.
Own at least two “perfect” pairs of jeans
In the modern day working world, jeans are acceptable for most offices. They just can’t be your old baggy mom jeans with holes in places where there should definitely not be holes. Also, avoid those overly distressed jeans that show more skin than not. These jeans should fit perfectly and stay up even when you’re bending over. You can’t go wrong with a pair of high-waisted skinnies or straight leg jeans.
Make sure to test them out properly when you go shopping. Kick around and see that you still have great mobility. You should, of course, spend a little more than you usually would on these jeans as they are going to get you through many days of work.
Of course, you’ll need to pair these jeans with a smart top and not just a random T-shirt that’s lying in the “clean” pile on your bedroom floor. You’re an adult now, remember. And adults wear clothes that have been ironed and hung up.
Know which quirky accessories are acceptable and which aren’t
A multi-coloured beanie with flaps that cover your ears? Not appropriate for a “grownup”. Sophisticated, grey or beige winter hat? Perfect for those cold days. Oversized cat earrings? Nope. Sparkly studs or subtle dangling earrings? Appropriate.
If you’re wondering which accessories to invest in, you can’t go wrong with scarves. There are winter scarves and summer scarves. And you’ll be able to find something for every single outfit. They’ll jazz up those perfect jeans and the fitted white T-shirt and make you look comfortable yet ready to work.
Have a go-to outfit for important meetings and seeing clients
As a junior employee, there’s a strong chance you won’t be invited to many client meetings at first. You also won’t be invited to fancy executive lunches. However, there will come a time when there will be important clients in the office and you’ll want to look your best. Or you’ll have to dress up for the end-of-year function held at an upmarket yacht club.
Which is why you should own something special for these occasions. And you don’t need more than one of these outfits to start off with because people won’t see it often. It can be a long dress that can be dressed both up and down (with a scarf, of course) or it can be a pair of good-quality linen pants and a beautiful shirt paired with the jewellery you reserve for special occasions. Make sure it’s still your style, even though it’s for a more dressed up look than you’re used to.
Buy good quality basics and then mix and match
You need to have a few quality basics in your wardrobe. These you will need to spend a little more money on, but they’ll be worth it as you’ll be wearing them often. These are the clothes you wear daily but can be mixed and matched so that no one knows you’re repeating outfits every week. You probably can’t afford to go all out while shopping at first. However, this is a collection you can add to over time.