Huge thank you to Armitron Watches for sponsoring this post! All opinions, words, and images are 100% my own.

9 professional outfit staples for college students

When I landed my internship this summer I was stoked. An internship in my chosen career field the year before I graduate college? Score!

I had plenty of prior experience in that field so I knew what I was doing and I was excited to get started. However – this internship required me to work in an office setting and dress in business casual attire… which had me lost.

I remember preparing for my interview and pretty much doing a fashion show for my roommate asking her opinion on what blouse was better to wear and whether or not to opt for the blazer. I remember being lost on what was appropriate to wear for big class presentations (and trust me, as a Communications major I have a lot of class presentations) and having to borrow stuff from friends because I didn’t own slacks.

Fast forward to today, 7 months later (wow!) and I consider myself a pro in dressing business casual in a way that is appropriate for a professional workplace yet trendy and comfortable enough for a college student. I now love to piece together outfits for work with just the right accessories.

Have an interview coming up? Just landed a job where you have to dress nicely? Class presentation coming soon?

Today I’m here to share with you my 9 must-have professional outfit staples for any college student’s wardrobe!

1. Solid dress

Dresses are my favorite thing to wear to the office. Comfortable, professional looking, and versatile (especially when its 90 degrees outside and 65 in the office!). Plain dresses are especially nice because you can pair them with any accessory for a pop of personality without having to worry about them clashing.

2. Watch

never go to work without a watch on. Here specifically I’m wearing this lovely Swarovski Crystal Analog Watch Rose Gold Adjustable Link Bracelet from Armitron Watches. I have a collection of Armitron Watches and honestly my favorite part about them? How affordable they are while still looking so high class, which is perfect for someone on a college student’s budget trying to fit in into a professional world.

3. Heels


I’ll admit it – I hated heels until I started my internship. I got these simple and comfortable heels and my position on wearing heels is totally transformed! They really step up any outfit and took away any feeling that I had of not fitting in in my business casual clothes away.

4. Blazer

A blazer is an important staple in any professional wardrobe. I tend to save wearing this blazer for special occasions like presentations or big meetings as it really easily takes any outfit to the next level of professionalism.

5. Purse

Personally when I started my internship I had to trade in my worn out small purse from middle school (whoops) for this nice black sleek one. I’m a fan of bigger purses because they allow enough room to store my laptop, my lunch, and my key card instead of just my key card and lip gloss.

6. Flats

A pair of the most comfortable flats are a great addition to any professional wardrobe. I personally have to wear ones that lace up like these (the backs of my heels don’t work right so real flats never stay on!) but there are so many cute options out there.

7. Blouse

I never knew how many blouses one person could own until I started to work in an office. Everytime I’m at the store I’m always looking for new blouses! A simple button up long sleeved blouse is a great staple, however I also love my sleeveless blouse and short sleeved blouses.

8. Cardigan


I don’t know about you but my office is freezing. Even when it’s 100 degrees outside it is about 65 in the office, which calls for a simple cardigan to throw over any outfit to warm me up a bit!

9. Slacks

A classic, you can never go wrong with a pair of well fitted black slacks. I do like to change it up sometimes by wearing a long skirt or some tan pants – but black slacks are definitely a must.

Are you a college student preparing to enter the professional world? Any fears or struggles you are facing right now? Share in the comments below!



9 Professional Outfit Staples for College Students

5 thoughts on “9 Professional Outfit Staples for College Students

  • September 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    This has always been a challenge for me, especially with so many business casual events my senior year!
    Are there any particular stores you find to have a good selection of business-approved attire, while still maintaining that college budget?


  • September 19, 2017 at 7:06 am

    It’s so funny how once you have to start buying professional clothes, it’s always what draws your eye when you’re in the store – I’m constantly looking for new blouses too!

  • October 15, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Hello Dani, this is such a nice blog. I liked your idea of wearing the blazer with solid dress. It really gives a professional look to our personality. Thanks for sharing!

  • November 8, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Really love your ideas Dani! Thanks for sharing this wonderful tips with us especially during college where having to choose what to wear daily is such a stress and can be time-consuming at times. Keep up the great work!

  • November 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing with us these wonderful tips in regards to proper attire in college. Keep up the great work always!


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