Dress to Impress (On a Budget)

For all of my fellow college seniors, now is the time to apply for a big girl job. You spend your nights working out the perfect “Why do you belong at this company?” reply, pulling all of your best work together in a portfolio, and putting the finishing touches on your resume. Guess what? Your luck is shining bright because you got an in-person interview!

The only catch is your closet is overflowing with yoga pants and going out shirts, not exactly hire me attire. Fear not though because I’m here to tell you what business casual essentials you need to set you on the right track.

1. Dress Pants

This is the number one, most important thing to have in your closet. If you don’t have a pair yet, you need to add it to your closet ASAP.  They go with almost any top you own, what could go wrong? There are three colors to (eventually) have and they are black, khaki, and gray. These colors easily mix and match which is exactly what a girl needs when she is budgeting!

Target: Surprisingly, this store offers dress pants at all lengths and colors. Just what you need!

2. Sassy Skirt

Business casual doesn’t have to be frumpy, instead play up the flirt factor! Black is the classic go-to color, but why not change it up and go for a military green or a patterned skirt for something more interesting! If you go for a color or pattern wear a plain color on top to help balance it out. During the winter pair your skirt with a pair of tights to keep warm and add another fashionable element.

JCPenny: Great pencil skirts at a great price!

3. The Button Down

This is the quintessential ‘I’m here for business, take note’ look. If you have ever seen the USA show Suits, you know exactly what I am talking about. It’s almost like women have taken this look and made it a power piece.  Button downs used to look older and hide your figure, however, now you can find one that is work appropriate AND fashionable.

H&M: This store offers great business casual looks, but especially when it comes to button downs!

4. Classic Cardigan or Trendy Blazer

Here are two choices depending on what look you going for. The cardigan is a great option if you are trying to stay warm in a freezing building and are edging on a more casual look. The blazer is the option that is more professional and formal.  As an added bonus, blazers are totally trending for the girly preppy look.

Kohl’s: Whichever look you choose, this store has great options all the time! Plus they are nearly always running a sale!

5. Jewelry to Match

If you are desperately in need of something that looks professional, dress it up! You can take a plain white fitted t-shirt, add jewelry to the look and suddenly you have elevated your style!  Many stores offer great statement pieces that will take your eye off the plain T and turn it to the cool necklace and bracelet set you are wearing!

Francesca’s: Great items in lots of styles, perfect piece for every girl!

Tell me your business casual essential in the comments! Until next time, ladies!


One comment

  1. Kaitlyn Jacob · March 4, 2015

    I’ve just started expanding my professional wear for interviews and in preparation for the “real world.” I splurged at New York and Company on a suit and dress pants, and also on a great pair of closed-toe heels. I’ve had a lot of luck at Gap too, especially when they run their sales.


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