Today, my friend Sue, who graduated with her MA last year, talks about dressing for your first adult job!
Hi y’all! I’m Rebecca’s friend Sue. I just graduated and I’m back in the working world. Before I got my MA I worked at a Fortune 500 company, so I had to adjust my wardrobe for grad school (the West, a more casual vibe). I moved back to the East Coast this fall and started a new job so I had to adjust my wardrobe again.
Monday I typically start the week in a dark dress – I think because it’s easy to roll out of bed Monday morning, put on a dress and not worry about mixing and matching. I typically pair with a cardigan or (maybe) a blazer. My office is business casual, leaning more towards the business than the casual…no casual Friday’s here! I had a few staple dresses from grad school but definitely have been in a bit of a buying frenzy and utilizing Rent the Runway Update!
I’m sitting in Newark (drinking rosé, eating fries!) after a successful 3 days of conferencing. It turns out that being on the job market DOES suck some of the fun out of conferences because it amps up all nerves I’ve been harboring as-is. This conference was specifically for doctoral candidates on the job market to be seen by established professors in the same field, so as you might imagine, the pressure felt real.
Anyway. On to clothes. This was a fall conference, which is the best time to dress for because business casual is no longer too warm! Here’s what I wore…
I’ve definitely bought teaching clothes at Target before, but I wouldn’t exactly go there for a suit. But their new line of minimalist business clothes, Prologue, definitely caught my eye, in an Ann Taylor/Everlane sort of way. So today, after I got my flu shot, I decided I deserved a Target trip.
Target trips usually end in new Method cleaning products and desk decor for me, but today I filled my cart with all the REALLY GOOD Prologue stuff and went to try it all on. Here are some of my favorites.
Grad orientation may be the most stressful outfit choice you make all year–because you’ve never met your department before, so you have no idea what the norms are (unless you can rack your brain about visit weekend). Also, it’s realllly hot out right now, which led to me choosing shorts for day 1 of my MA orientation. And then we took a department picture. And I was front and center on the website. And my mom has never let me forget it.
There’s nothing wrong with shorts, I was just the only person in them. So here are some other outfit combos that can keep you cool while being a step above that, just to make sure the first day goes smoothly:
1) Semi-businessy dresses
Basically the only thing I want to wear right now are dresses that are ambiguous enough to go anywhere. Here are a few good ones.
J. Crew Factory is making some really pretty printed wrap dresses right now. I just bought this one in this color.
Professionalism is hard enough without it being 90 degrees with 80% humidity, but that’s exactly what I’m facing next week at a Nashville conference I’m attending. Here’s what I’m packing and what’s on the agenda:
It all started with a suit. I stumbled onto the Poshmark site late last summer, thought, “huh, like Ebay, but only clothes,” and probably would have just left…but then I found it. A gently used J. Crew suit, in tall sizes, for $40. Could this site be for real?? I weighed my options. I figured if I lost $40 in some scam, I would be a little sad. But not as sad as I would be buying a $200+ suit for my impending time on the academic job market. I got out my credit card.