Magazine article Diversity Employers

Looking Professional on a Conservative Budget

Magazine article Diversity Employers

Looking Professional on a Conservative Budget

Article excerpt

As juniors and seniors prepare for their professional careers, one thought that often lingers on their minds is, "How can I afford to be professionally dressed for the interview and the job-search process on a typical collegian's low-income budget?"

Well, it is quite simple. While skirts may get longer or shorter and pants legs get wider or narrower within a single season of fashion trends, the basic jacket, skirt, slacks, white shirt, plain tie, navy pumps, and wing tips are here to stay, and at reasonable prices. Durable, classic wardrobe basics never go out of style, and that is where the budget-conscious collegian should look to make his or her "investment."

The Male Business

Brad Witzig, a spokesman for Chicago-based Attitudes, a clothing manufacturer, advises that a professional wardrobe for a male should consist of a dark gray or black suit, which is perfect for the job interview, and a long-sleeve white shirt worn with a conservative tie. A complete business ensemble of this type would cost less than $300 at his store.

"Students should not be concerned with fashion trends while building a professional wardrobe because business wear trends do not change that much," said Witzig.

The Female Business

For women, the same basic theme holds true. Conservatively designed suits in solid colors like black, brown, gray, and navy are the best choices for that basic professional wardrobe. Brightly colored suits can be distracting in the corporate world, as are "trendy" styles. Sticking to classic cuts is always safe. A basic white or off-white blouse underneath is a sure winner. No bare arms or mini-skirts, please. The skirt should be at knee length or just below. Low heels are comfortable as well as appropriate. Two-inch heels or flats can work fine depending on the style or cut of the outfit.

Professional Advice

The conventional wisdom for students who are ready to set foot into the professional arena is not to spend too much money right away. …

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