If you're like many young women who have recently graduated from college, you're undoubtedly experiencing a mixture of anticipation and uncertainty. Navigating the professional world for the first time can be daunting, and you'll be learning something new every day — and this can be overwhelming for many people. You probably already know that developing a thriving professional career is more than just having the right education and credentials. For instance, recent college graduates often struggle with creating a career wardrobe, and this is often made even more challenging because standards for professional dress have fluctuated significantly during recent years. With the exception of traditionally conservative workplace environments, most offices are significantly more casual than their counterparts of the past.
Nonetheless, there are times when it's both important and appropriate to present a polished, professional appearance, such as meeting with current and prospective clients and hosting promotional events or otherwise representing your company in the community. Fortunately, it's not that difficult to turn your look up a notch when extra professionalism is called for — it's all about having the right separates. Following are four career separates that you should have in your closet for when the occasion calls for an extra layer of polish.
An All-Purpose Blazer
Even a pair of casual khakis and a button-down shirt can be instantly dressed up by throwing on a tailored blazer. Be sure to get one in a neutral color that goes with just about everything in your wardrobe. Some people even keep an extra blazer at work so they're able to amp up their professional look in a pinch.
A Pair of Tailored Wool Trousers
You can wear a pair of tailored wool trousers with a crisp button-down shirt for a classic look that screams professionalism. This is a particularly good look for when you've got to ride that particular line between business formal and business casual dress.
A Pair of Classic Pumps A classic pair of pumps is another wardrobe item that easily takes almost any look from casual to polished in a matter of minutes. Black is best because it goes with everything.
A Pleated Midi Skirt
You can't go wrong with a women's pleated midi skirt when it comes to work attire. You can pair it with a blazer and pumps for when the occasion calls for a sophisticated, pulled-together look, or you can dress it down with flats and a casual top.