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8 Ways To Transition Your Wardrobe From College To Corporate

Climb the corporate ladder in style.
PHOTO: (LEFT) Instagram/weavephl, (RIGHT) Instagram/mosaicph

College was loads of fun, especially when we were allowed to wear whatever we wanted. Every day was simply a chance to express ourselves through fashion, right?

The corporate world, however, is an entirely different runway, and while you’re super excited to start wearing smashing #boss looks, it’s wise to arm yourself with the basics rules of office dressing first.

Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Get rid of all the ~trendy~ clothes you own.

    Crop tops and leather minis have no place in the corporate world, so might as well get rid of the temptation wearing them (or at least hide them at the back of your closet!).

    What you can do, though, is incorporate little trendy pieces into your look, e.g. with a statement accessory, or small details on your wardrobe such as fancy pleats or ribbons.

  2. Wear only comfortable shoes.

    Well, okay, maybe you can wear your sneakers from college while commuting, then change to more appropriate shoes when you get to your desk.

    Also, don’t even think of wearing shoes you can’t walk properly in. Block heels and well-cushioned flats exist for a reason!

  3. ~Splurge~ once in a while on investment pieces.

    Buy once and never buy again! That’s how fashion investments work, and exactly why these pieces will cost you a ton more. Invest in a sturdy work bag, a presentable wallet, and dependable shoes! 

  4. Go for pratical pieces.

    Little cutesy bags that hold no more than your phone have no business in the office. Especially when you’re starting, you need all your essentials close to you (a notebook, pens, your power bank, etc.).

  5. Reserve your denim cut-offs for days off work.

    Say goodbye to this college staple! Most offices (and even buildings) don't allow shorts. You can try roomy trousers or the impeccably tailored ones that are still really comfy but office-appropriate, or boxy, shift dresses.

  6. Stick to safe colors—for the meantime.

    If you aren’t confident with your corpo style yet, stay on the safe side first. Neutrals like black and white, navy blues, and khakis are your best bet, and you might actually enjoy the challenge thinking of ways to style them!

  7. Practice day-to-night dressing.

    Nope, you can no longer come to class in glorified pajamas, head back to the dorm after school, and get dressed for an org event later. Especially when you’re working in a CBD, you need to learn the art of transitioning your office attire to an event-ready one. Do keep an emergency pair of heels under your desk, if necessary.

  8. Pay attention to your hair and face.

    While you perennially sported the messy-hair-don’t-care look in college, it’s high time you cleaned up a little and even learn simple ways to put on a face. Because tbh, first impressions do last—and it might even take more work to undo a bad impression. Good luck! 

Follow Patti on Instagram and check out her blog at TitaPacita.com.