One of my young professional readers in college wrote in asking which inexpensive versatile pieces could she add to her wardrobe that could also transition to her on campus style. My response was to invest in a work suit if possible. JC Penny’s and Kohl’s sell inexpensive separates that will work great and this is why. If you have a professional position, a suit really makes the kind of impression that you want to leave behind. According to Fast Company, the impact of a typical presentation is 55% visual (how you look), 38% vocal (how you talk), and only 7% verbal (on what you say). In other words, you don't deliver presentations, you perform them and how you look is an important factor.
The great thing about a suit is that it be broken up to create many different on campus or work outfits. Another great option for a more casual work environment, is a relaxed blazer. Combine it with a casual shirt dress and you have an outfit that can take you from the office to the streets.(Make sure the fit of the shirt dress is appropriate for an office environment, the focus should be on your work and style not on you hemline). I picked up this blazer from AE on sale for $29. I just added a shirt dress, a statement piece of jewelry and some blue suede pumps I got from Charlotte Russe for $15. I wore pumps but you could easily throw on some sandals for the campus look if you would like. If $30 is a little out of your price range, check out the local Salvation Army, they sometimes have blazers starting around $6. There are many affordable ways to put together a great multipurpose outfit. So get out there and put some together!
Shop the Look:
Blazer: American Eagle Shirt Dress: Ross Pumps: Charlotte Russe
Jewelry: Lei from a Flea Market in Hawaii Purse: Coach Outlet