• Allison Grippe

4 Ways To Build A Young Professionals Wardrobe

Updated: May 14, 2018

“I’m sorry, do you have some prior commitment? Some hideous skirt convention you have to go to?” - Devil Wears Prada

This quote is not only hilarious, but speaks truth on how our eyes deceive us. It only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. Before you say anything your clothing, hair, and body language will speak for itself.

I in your sweats for a suit can be daunting, not to mention pricey. As a start-up lady boss I've hunted to find the best looks for my buck. I've gone to 100+ seminars and have observed the good, bad, and the awful in millennial business wear. Just because you need to dress like an adult doesn't mean you have to give up your personality, style, or cash. Below are tips that will make you a smart shopper and keep you looking like a BOSS.

1. Invest In Key Pieces

At a young age "What Not To Wear" taught me that it was better to have a few quality pieces then a closet full of junk. Suits can be pretty pricey, but you don’t need to buy a bunch to still look sharp every day of the week. Kat says “Quality pieces, taken care of properly, will generally last much longer than cheap pieces." Investing in timeless pieces such as trousers, pencil skirts, and suit jackets can be smart. Wear them with various blouses, cardigans, blazers, and tights. These pieces are more affordable and you can buy them seasonally to keep a fresh look. You will feel put together without having to break the bank every month.

2. Personality Through Accessories

If you want to leave a lasting impression you need to put bold accessories with simple outfits. Last week I wore white pants with a black blouse. Adding a red bag, flats, and a Fossil watch took an outfit everyone could wear, to an outfit only I could wear. Anna Kendrick is a great example of keeping it classy while adding personality. Her green clutch and wedges stand out against her simple blouse and skirt. Add a splash of personality to your business outfits by picking out fun accessories that you feel good in.

3. Sell Old Clothes

Consignment stores are the perfect place to go when wanting to make space and money for your new clothes. Your luck may be good or bad depending on the store and their needs. If you get stuck with undesirable pieces you can use tools such as E bay, FB online garage sales, and other consignment apps. Still stuck with undesirable pieces? Donate them! Get rid of what's not serving you and give to someone in need.

4. Be Yourself

When I attended my first business seminar in 2014, I became mesmerized by the professional wear the other women were sporting. They looked so high-end and fashionable, and I felt casual and young in comparison. It finally resonated with me — these ladies were much more high-end than me. They were also much older then me, and had developed careers. I began to feel good about my look after I realized we were in fact different in many aspects. I replaced comparing myself with being inspired. It was inspiring to look at all the nice things they had, and that I could have in the future. That day, I complimented a ladies watch, and without knowing, it ended up being a Rolex. She recently had purchased the watch and let me try it on! When you stop judging yourself people will see, and love the genuine person you are. Comparing yourself will lower your confidence, and true professionals will notice. Be yourself, love where you're at, and be clear of where you're going.

My Top 5:

The stores I listed below are some of my favorites! Most items offered from these retailers are under $200 and generally within the double-digit price range. There is a great feeling that comes with finding stores that work for you within your budget.

1. White House Black Market - Some of my friends were surprised when I told them I shopped here, but I absolutely love this store for great staple pieces. They have a great selection of dresses with lengths that work for business. I catch myself on their website weekly! They have great offers that are worth keeping an eye on! (ft. maroon dress and gray suit)

2. Loft - When it comes to finding fun patterned and textured tops, Loft always has an abundant selection. (ft. polka-dot top)

3. Michael Kors -. Michael Kors is an award-winning designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear. You will find multiple pieces that are worth investing in. 4 years ago I bought my first bag, and still use it today. If Michael isn't your style check out brands such as Coach, Kate Spade, Guess, and Calvin Klein.

4. Fossil - From great leather handbags to luxury watches, Fossil has you covered. I wear my fossil hybrid smartwatch almost everyday. Buying Tip: Multiple department stores sell fossil and run ads frequently. (ft. silver watch)

5. Express - Although Express has a wide variety of care-free, going out, and casual clothing. Let's not forget Express has a solid selection of affordable suits, dress pants, skirts, and blouses. (ft. blue and white stripe blouse)

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