Graduating from post-secondary studies is a monumental achievement. It marks the passage into adulthood, a second coming of age perhaps. It is a long journey, but what comes after can be scary. Going out into the real world to get a real job so you can finally be a real adult is not an easy feat for all.
One of the ways to achieve this adult-like persona lies in wardrobe choices. The following are some key items that all job-hunters need to invest in to land their dream job.
1. A Blazer (women), Suit jacket (Men) – A well-fitting navy blazer is going to be a huge asset. They make your everyday t-shirt look first class. It will also give you the appearance that you not only know what you’re doing, but also actually belong in the interview room.
“I try to look for clothing that is comfortable and that I can feel confident in,” says Halima Rashid, a University of Ottawa student. “For me thatmeans looser clothing that at the same time doesn’t make me look too bulky.”
“You want to think about quality over quantity. A well-tailored blazer is going to fit and flatter you better than something cheap and flimsy,” says Jennifer Baguss, booking agent for Models International Management.
2. White dress shirt (unisex) – White is a classic and clean colour. A button up is a great addition well to that new blazer you’ve acquired. You want shoulder seams to come to the right place, and pants to be the correct style. You don’t want sleeves to be too long or have things be oversized.
“Buying a $50 T-shirt is not fiscally responsible for a student, but (you should) definitely invest in things where the fit and quality matter,” Baguss points out. You want to make sure you’re comfortable so that you wear the clothes so that they don’t wear you.
3. Dark denim (women), Khakis (men) – The colour of denim is very important here. You want indigo. Dark denim looks classic and can be worn during either the day or evening. It is easy to dress up with heels and a blouse or make it causal with just a basic white V-neck tee. The same goes for khakis. They have the ability to make a dress shirt more casual but also come in many neutral colours that make them easy to match. You also want to aim for a slim-fit. This will prevent extra fabric down the leg that makes you look sloppy. Price is also a big factor because as a new professional you most likely have student loans, but also have been living in leggings or sweatpants for the past two to four years. You’ve probably forgotten what it’s like to buy real clothes, so make sure to invest without overspending. The $25 to $40 range is usually safe for a well-fitting pair of pants.
4. Shoes – In this department there are a few more options, but you want to keep it simple. For women, black flats or heels are great. If you choose to go the heels route, you want to find ones that you can handle walking in all day. For men, an oxford shoe is what you want. They are a classic man’s shoe and more versatile than the multiple styles of dress shoe that are out there.
5. Statement accessory – For women a scarf is a quick and easy way to bring some life to a basic office-type look. Patterns, solids or prints are all excellent choices and will add a nice touch of colour. For men, it’s “bowties for sure,” according to University of Ottawa student Jonathan Tea. He wears one himself just about every day, regardless of what the day ahead holds. A belt is also an excellent choice, as Baguss pointed out. Tread lightly, however, as no one is likely to hire a guy with a nylon belt.
Putting your closet together is a marathon, not a sprint. You can gain pieces slowly and at your own comfortable pace while staying true to your budget.