Apparently someone read last Fall’s blog on professional attire, as I was happily surprised to “catch” a few students walking around campus wearing some of the clothes I wrote about… 🙂 Here are some tips and some new affordable professional options I found for you this (SALE) season! Every piece is less than $40!

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the 2015 Fall Career Expo taking place on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 from 10am-3pm. ).

As we are about to show you, you do not need expensive suits to impress recruiters/hiring managers and you can look professional while incorporating your personality (I think there is something to be said for standing out in a tasteful way).

Basic Rules:

  • Use make-up, cologne/perfume in moderation
  • Don’t over accessorize
  • Iron your clothes
  • Don’t chew gum (not the best accessory!)
  • Use common sense: don’t wear something you would wear at a club/beach/gym/grocery store
  • Ladies: Do not wear extremely high heels. You don’t want to look like a baby giraffe.

A few of my personal rules:

  • While many websites and books will tell you that you need solid dark suites or dresses, I think that a little bit of color is ok. I really don’t like walking into a Career Fair and thinking I accidentally stepped into a funeral.
  • You don’t need to wear stockings. It is Florida. In 2015. If your skirt is long enough (as it should be) nobody should be offended by the view of your naked knees and shins.
  • Be comfortable. This doesn’t mean you should wear your pajamas, but make sure what you are wearing fits right, lets you move around comfortably, and doesn’t make you feel uneasy. It is hard to feel confident (and convey confidence!) when you feel like you are walking around in a straitjacket.
  • Invest in a few “interviews appropriate” pieces. You will wear that jacket/pants/dress/pencil skirt again, I promise you! As a student I would patiently wait for sales at stores such as Banana Republic, Macy’s, Nordstrom, J.Crew, or LOFT (never mind, I still do!). They have a large selection of basic, good quality pieces that you can dress up or dress down, depending on the occasion.
  • Check for online and in-store coupons!

LADIES – Pants

These are my go-to pants. For a more professional look I buy them in Regular (although I am a Petite) and don’t roll them up. They can be dressed down for a comfy “every day at the office” look, or you can wear them with a blazer to look more professional. Loft has always great sales!


Loft – Skinny Cropped Chinos in Marisa Fit

Org. $59.50

Now $29.99 (after $20 off discount)

f2Loft – Skinny Cropped Chinos in Julie Fit

Org. $59.50

Now $29.99 (after $20 off discount)

Loft – Petite Gingham Skinny Ankle Pants in Julie Fit

Org. $69.50

Now $36.49 (after 40% off discount)

Tips: Try wearing them with a black top & blazer and white pointed shoes!


Loft – Custom Stretch Pencil Pants in Marisa Fit

Org. $69.50

Now $26.99 (after 40% off discount)

LADIES – Blazers

H&M has some great affordable options and the fit is very modern and flattering! Our Marketing Career Coach Victoria is a big fan 🙂

f5H&M – Jersey Blazer

Org. $34.99

Now $24.99

f222H&M – Fitted Jacket

Org. $34.99

Now $19.99      


H&M – Jacket

Org. $29.99

Now $19.99

LADIES – Dresses is a website to watch. This is where I found some of my favorite designer dresses for 1/4 of the price!

f9EMMA & MICHELE – Medallion Print Cap Sleeve Belted Dress

Org. $70.00

Now $24.99

f10SANDRA DARREN – Cap Sleeve Colorblock Sheath Dress with Belt

Org. $89.00

Now $39.99

f11EMMA & MICHELE – Cap Sleeve Colorblock Belted Dress

Org. $70.00

Now $29.99

LADIES – Shoes

f12Madden Girl Kopykat Mid-Heel d’Orsay Pumps

Reg. $49.00

Now $39.99;;Mid%202-3%22%26PRICE%3D0.0|49.99%26SHOE_TYPE%3DPumps%26TOE_TYPE%3DPointy%26PAGEINDEX%3D1%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D14%26ruleId%3D%26slotId%3D2

f13Enzo Angiolini Gevila Pump

Org. $99.00

Now $24.94,cat20006,dsw12cat2250038

f14Chinese Laundry Area Pump

Org. $79.00

Now $24.94,cat20006,dsw12cat2250038

f15Alfani Women’s Jeules Pumps

Orig. $59.98

Now $31.47;;Mid%202-3%22%26PRICE%3D0.0|49.99%26SHOE_TYPE%3DPumps%26TOE_TYPE%3DPointy%26PAGEINDEX%3D1%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D14%26ruleId%3D%26slotId%3D6


f16Banana Republic – Gavin Straight Cotton Chino

Orig. $69.50

Now $28.99


Banana Republic – Tailored Slim Non-Iron Charcoal Pinstripe Cotton Dress Pant

Orig. $89.50

Now $39.99

f18Banana Republic- Aiden Slim Bedford Cotton Pant

Org. $69.50

Now $31.99



GAP – Non-Iron solid poplin shirt

Orig. $59.95

Now $29.99

f20H&M – Premium Cotton Oxford Shirt

Org. $39.99

Now $19.99


f21INC International Concepts Tony Slim-Fit Blazer

Orig. $79.98

Now $27.99|49.99%26PAGEINDEX%3D1%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D65%26slotId%3D13f22

Blazer Slim fit

Org. $69.99

Now $39.99




Reg: $49.99

Now $ 29.99


Reg: $69.99

Now $ 39.99


Laura McDonough c

Laura G. McDonough

Career Coach – Finance & Economics