Dressing for Success—How to Style Yourself for Work and Play

Summer is the best time of year to relax, hang out with friends, and spend time focusing on you. However, because of the absence of schoolwork, it’s also the ideal time for most college students to get a job or internship. Whether their ultimate goal is to earn money or gain experience in their field, it’s still summer and college students deserve some time to unwind. Here’s how you can dress for success both in the office and the activities you pursue outside of it.

First things first, refer to your workplace’s handbook, and find out what the dress code policy does, and does not, permit. The last thing you want is to be reprimanded by your superiors for not adhering to their rules. You’ll especially want to pay close attention to restrictions on colors, as well as sleeve and skirt lengths. Once you are clear on the policies, it is time to start building your outfit.

Next, you are going to want to skim your closet for pieces that are both stylish and versatile. For instance, you could pair the perfect little black dress with pumps and a blazer for work. Then after work, you can ditch the blazer, switch up the heels, add a little lipstick, and voilà. You’re ready for drinks with co-workers, a date night, a girls night out, or whatever your plans may entail.

Juggling a job or internship and an active social life is no easy feat. It is important for you to stay organized and plan ahead when preparing for a long day at work followed by an evening of fun. I personally like to pick out my outfit the night before and separate it from the rest of my closet. That way I don’t have to stress the next morning, and have plenty of time to dedicate to hair and makeup. A clothing rack can make the organization and styling process much easier. Just put all of your work pieces on the rack. From there you can ultimately decide which items are versatile enough to work for both looks.

Finally, consider how you are going to bring your after work pieces with you. Bringing a gym bag or a plastic bag (even worse) with a change of clothes is not very professional. Instead, you can choose a larger, more structured bag that fits your change of clothes and a smaller crossbody bag. You can change after work, put your important items into the crossbody, and leave the big bag at work. You spent all day working hard for that money, so go out and enjoy some time for yourself.

How do you convert your office wardrobe from day to night? Do you have any favorite pieces, or accessories that are ideal for both? Let me know in the comments below!