Ahh, college. The golden years. Football games, walks through the quad, huge parties. It’s sometimes easy to forget why we are here in the first place. It’s no wonder why we are often stricken with anxiety when confronted with the F word. No, I’m not talking about any expletive here, I’m talking about the future. Yes, figuring out what to do after college can be mind-boggling. Like it or not, it is time for us college students to start taking the next steps towards adult life.
This Fashionisto was doing just that. He was on his way to a rush event for Alpha Kappa Psi, Michigan’s premier business fraternity. Mastering the art of business casual is something every college student should learn to do. No matter what field you ultimately end up in, the balance between professionalism and comfort in your wardrobe is a skill that is integral to success in the workplace. The key is to find harmony between being formal enough for the office without your outfits becoming trite or boring. This outfit is a perfect example.
Let’s start with necessities: outerwear. Although business-casual typically does allow flexibilities for the cold weather, the more polished your outerwear is, the better you will look in the work place. His navy blue down coat protects him from the Michigan chill, and his casual scarf adds extra warmth while keeping the outfit from being too stuffy. Underneath the coat, he layers up. He wears a black vest under his coat for added warmth (not pictured, but you can find a similar one here). This brings versatility to the outfit, as he could keep the vest on during his event, or remove it and the outfit would still be professional. Under the vest, he wears a camel-colored V-neck sweater and a vertically striped oxford shirt. The sweater oxford combination is classic and comfortable, so he definitely won’t have to worry about fitting in at a professional event.
What makes his outfit truly unique, however, are his pants. Many people think of heavy dress slacks when they think of work-wear. He opted for some gray pants in a lighter fabric to make the rest of his outfit pop and make the rest of his look a bit more laid back. Finally his short, taupe, lace-up boots are durable for cold weather, cohesive with the color scheme of his outfit and comfortable enough to last the duration of the rush event.
Hint: When attending professional and networking events, formality is important. But confidence is even more vital. Therefore, don’t be afraid to wear something you love, even if you think you won’t look “professional” enough. When you’re feeling constricted or out-of place, others can tell. So wear what brings you confidence.