The College Grad Guide to Looking the Part: “Bro” Addition

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

We have it instilled in us from the time we go off to pre-school, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Unfortunately, in the real world, an interviewer, recruiter, and employer can judge your look as soon as you walk through the door.

It’s probably easier for girls than guys to make the transition into what’s appropriate and what’s not. Besides, we’ve only been reading fashion magazines since the time we were 12. We pay attention to what our moms, older sisters, and quite frankly, every woman we pass on the street is wearing and how they’re acting. What looks good and what doesn’t:¬†We’ve got it down. We’re pros.

But for most guys, the switch from “college bro” to “meeting with the CEO” can be tough. Your clothes, your shoes, your hair: It all says a lot about the type of person you are. More importantly, the kind of employee you will be. If you dress sloppy, you’ll be categorized as someone who is a sloppy worker. It may not always seem fair, but it’s time to make necessary changes.

If you’re a recent college grad “bro”, or if you’ll be one soon, follow these tips to looking the part while still maintaining your manliness and personality in the process:

The College Grad’s Guide: “Bro” Addition:

1. Keep your hair trimmed and clean cut. It’s not to say that you have to totally conform to one hair style or another, but try to make it to the barber every few weeks or so. At the very least, run a comb through it in the morning, wouldya?

2. Think about the way you speak. Do you use words like “man”, “dude”, and “killa”? It’s time to listen to yourself in everyday conversations. The way you speak with your roommates and friends will greatly affect the way you speak to co-workers. Amp up your speech by cutting out inappropriate words and start thinking about the way you sound to others.

3. You become most like the people you surround yourself by – choose wisely. The people in your life greatly affect the person you will become. It’s time to cut ties with the people who are only interested in drinking from morning to night regardless of what they have to accomplish the next day. And, unfortunately, these might be some of your best friends. Making this change doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to your bros forever. Just take a step back and think about how much their influence has on you – good and bad.

4. Create friendships with people older than you. Chances are, you’re one of the youngest people in your office. This is a blessing, not a curse. Grab lunch or after-work drinks with some of your older co-workers. Associating yourself with those who are higher up and have more experience can only further your own self – professionally and personally.

5. Go shopping. Even if you have to “drag” your girlfriend, mom, sister, or best girl friend with you. Tell them it’s a day at the mall for you and that they are there to help you with your wardrobe. This won’t take much convincing so set a date and prepare your wallet because it’s time to shop for quality clothes, shoes, ties, etc. — Look good, feel good.

And guys, remember the best college grad guide rule of all:
Work hard – play hard ūüėȬ†

– C

The Best Places for Young Professionals to Shop (Females & Males!)

As a college grad, it can be hard to¬†find a happy medium about where to shop now that crop tops (for girls) and muscle tees (for guys) aren’t appropriate for the¬†professional scene, whichever you may be in.

I’ve done some looking¬†and hunted down, what I personally think, are the best stores for us college grads to start shopping, without breaking the bank!

The Loft (F)
It’s a little pricey, but here’s why it’s worth it: The clothes, they last. They aren’t cheaply made and you’ll wear them forever. Also, this store comes with amazing benefits! They are constantly sending out deals and coupons. The other day, I spent $35 there for a dress, and today they sent me a $50 off coupon just for coming in. They are one brand you’ll want to make sure has your email address!!

New York & Company (F)
I used to think of NY&C as a hit or miss, but if you shop online, there are so many great options and they are always having sales! It doesn’t hurt to ever check here if you’re on the hunt for some great quality work clothes.

Gap (M/F)
I’m slightly, overly, maybe, possibly¬†obsessed with Gap, not only for work clothes, but also more along the lines of comfy, day-to-day clothing that classifies you as an adult without making you look over 35 years-old like some shops. They don’t always have the greatest sales, but if you can hunt down a good sales rack or even an outlet shop, you’re bound to find something.

J.Crew (M/F)
I love J.Crew, and while their prices may be through the roof on occasion, they always have really good deals for guys!! J.Crew, for ladies, might not always be the best for everyday shopping, due to prices, but when you need something fabulous, you know where to head.

Ralph Lauren (M)
R.L. has clothes for women, too, but for the professional world purpose, and because most of you probably aren’t heading the country club to play polo any time soon, I’m going to keep this one strictly for the boys, and here’s why: While their robes, hats, and ties may be insanely over-priced, there are good deals here. Their dress shirts and pants are affordable and most importantly, they’re long-lasting and comfortable.

Kohl’s (M/F)
Kohl’s is one of the best places to shop for both men and women’s dress clothes. They offer different lines, brands, and tons of styles to choose from. For women, there’s Vera Wang, Lauren Conrad, ELLE, etc. For guys, there’s Harbor Bay, Dockers [insert dad jokes here], Haggar, and so many more! You won’t find this many good, affordable, choices in one place anywhere else

H&M (M/F)
I was hesitant to put this on the list because quite honestly, the clothes just aren’t great quality. But, I’ll admit that I have found a good pair of dress pants and a blazer or two from here and since they finally made ordering online¬†accessible for the U.S. a couple months back, I guess they deserve a mention ūüôā With their¬†cheap prices, there is a wide variety to choose from, making it worth a shot if you’re looking to grab a few things at once without spending a ton – just be careful because some things are more poorly made than others!

 

While I do occasionally stop in stores such as Forever21, Charlotte Russe, etc. etc. for a pair or leggings or tank top, I end up spending more money on replacing the clothes. Try to stay away from stores that cause you to end up practically stealing your money in the long run, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the check out.

 

Look good, feel good.

Happy shopping!

 

 

 

 

Where are some of your favorite places to shop for professional/casual clothes? Share below!