When we all reach that peak age of twenty-something, we start to realize that it is time to ‘adult’. As you get ready to interview for jobs, go to special events, and network, it is important to look the part. However, despite popular thinking, you never have to sacrifice your personal style for this. Keep reading for my tips on how to tune up your personal style to help you look like a stylish and professional woman.
I describe my style as eclectic, creative, and chic. What 3 nouns describe your personal style? Then, think about how you want to brand yourself and how you want others to see you.
For example, since I am an advertising major hoping to find a career in the fashion world, this is an outfit I might wear to an event. The fun butterfly pink dress says that I see things differently than most. My choice to add a mint green coat tones down the statement dress and adds a professional feel. Finally, the embellished headband makes this an outfit worthy of fashion week (which I’m sure would do me justice in a fashionable setting).
So, once you’ve thought more about your 3 nouns and how you want to brand yourself, let me know what you’re thinking in the comment section below. Then read my tips on how to preserve your personal style and still look sophisticated:
Add some accessories
There is an accessory for everyone. Scarfs are classic and come in some many different options. You can even try using one as a hair accessory!
Personally, I’m a huge fan of bulky earrings, but I would scale it down for a more professional gathering.
Try to avoid sunglasses. When meeting people for the first time, you want them to see your eyes. When you wear sunglasses, you put up a wall that either says you’re closed off or too cool for them. (Obviously, if the sun is blaring in your eyes wear them but take them off when meeting someone new).
Add a nice necklace. Whether you love delicate necklaces or chunky statement ones, they are a great addition to almost any outfit. Avoid chokers. I’m all for chokers but when I think about them, the word ‘sophisticated’ does not come to mind.
Invest in ‘Business Casual’ Staples
Investing in a good blazer, blouse, and pencil skirt can do wonders. To some of you, these pieces may sound extremely boring, but there are a lot of ways to make them your own. Plus, office wear is actually trendy this season.
For example, I wear white blouses practically every day. Everything in fashion can be made to look boring, but it’s your job to create a fun and totally you outfit.
Here are a few business casual staples to work with:
Remind yourself of the occasion and who you might meet there
What you wear to the bar on a Friday night is not what you wear to a networking event the next morning. I hope that is obvious! Ask yourself: If I meet the CEO of my dream company would they be impressed by my appearance? There is a time and place for every garment but in order to look sophisticated, wearing a very tight dress and 6-inch heels is not advised.
It’s also important to realize that you never stop networking. I am always in awe of fellow students that come to class looking incredibly put together and sophisticated every day. The secret is that those people are few in number in this world. So make a mark and be one of those people!
Make it your own
Similarly to how I wore my butterfly dress in this outfit, experiment with different outfit combinations. For example, you could wear an all black blazer and pant combo with some trendy statement shoes. Or wear a metallic pleated skirt with a simple white blouse; it’s the perfect look for a holiday party! There are endless possibilities.
Here are a few simple pieces to try dressing up for the ultimate sophisticated look:
Take some personal style tips from Audrey Hepburn
This fun article highlights 25 timeless style tips that Audrey lived by. Here are a few of my favorites from the most sophisticated woman that ever lived:
- A belt cinched in the middle of a dress creates a lovely shape
- You can wear a crown, even if you’re not royalty
- Collared shirts never go out of style
- Simple color blocking creates a classic look
- Fun, bold prints are always a go
- Find a classic and practical bag
And according to Audrey, the most important lesson is to wear clothes you can be yourself in!
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