Success 101.

January 14, 2016

Assembling your post college business wardrobe.

You’ve successfully graduated college and you're ready to start making your way in the world. Whether you’re just beginning the interview process or you’ve already landed your first paying gig, you’re going to need to start building a wardrobe essential to navigating life in the corporate world.

The first and most critical purchase you can make is a couple of nice quality suits, starting with a navy blue one. The navy suit is the bedrock of any functional wardrobe. You can purchase a nice one for a little over $500. Not only is this a great garment to wear just about anywhere your job may take you, from interviews to business presentations, it also offers a ton of flexibility outside the office walls.

You can wear a well-tailored navy suit to just about any social engagement, short of black tie and look great doing it. Your tried and true navy suit also presents plenty of mix and match options. Pair the suit jacket with your favorite jeans for a clean casual look that works between 9 to 5 and well into the evening. You can also wear the pants and your favorite oxford for another go to look.

The second staple you’ll need is a grey suit. Like the Navy suit, it’s a classic look that you can wear year round to just about anything. It too affords the ability to deconstruct for a variety of combinations for work and casual settings.

Obviously, you’re going to need shirts as well. A white dress shirt and a light blue dress shirt should be your default here. Over time, you should add more depth to your closet but you have to start somewhere and these two standards can take you a long way.

Ties are a little more subjective and offer you a chance to show some of your personal style. Be forewarned however, that in most business settings, less is usually more. Unless you’re interning for a fight promoter or rap mogul, crazy patterns and wild colors should be avoided, especially when you are trying to create crucial first impressions. Simple stripes and traditional patterns in blue, reds and greys are a good start.

Your wardrobe, like your life is always going to evolve. But early in your career, putting your best foot forward is key. Maximizing your finances is also critical, which again reinforces the reasoning to get high quality basics that will look great and last. That bargain suit you found isn’t a bargain at all if it starts to unravel after a few wearings or fits you poorly. Your wardrobe is an investment in your career, treat it that way.

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