9 Style Staples Every Fresh Grad Should Invest In

Graduating from college signifies the end of an era and ushers in a new time for every young adult. During this period, you’ll begin your career journey, expand your social circle, and better know yourself. To prepare you for this next stage of your life, you’ll need to have the right clothes so that you can exude confidence and command respect. That being said, here are ten wardrobe items you should definitely invest in:


Dresses are easy and elegant fashion choices for job interviews and office meetings. Because of this, you must also have nice pairs of tights on hand that you can slip into when you need to put on said dresses. There are many kinds, from shaping tights that can help you look your best for important occasions, to control-top tights that reinforce mainly the waist and thigh section for nights out after work. Getting a pair of each type is a worthy investment as long as you get good-quality ones that won’t rip easily.


Although used as a general term for most legwear, hosiery usually refers to pantyhose and stockings which are generally sheer. They can come in a single piece that covers the toes up to the waist, or in a pair of separate garments similar to socks. The latter type usually reaches up to the knee or thigh and may be held in place by built-in elastic bands.

Hosiery is great for covering up imperfections on your legs. Additionally, hosiery is also more breathable because they’re usually thinner than tights. Knee-high hosiery is perfect for long dresses and skirts, while control top and shaping hosiery work well for fitted dresses because of their added support and ability to smooth out the waist.

High-quality blazer

Blazers are an easy way to cover up especially when wearing sleeveless tops or dresses to work. It also gives a more professional and serious touch to any outfit. This is one item where quality beats quantity, especially for recent grads. Although spending a lot of money on a good pair might not seem logical, high-quality blazers will likely last longer than cheap ones. Black, white, and brown are good neutral shades that work well with a variety of colored outfits.

Button-down shirt

A long-sleeved button-down paired with slacks is perfect for job interviews. Meanwhile, a short-sleeved button-down matched with jeans and sneakers is perfect for a casual day out. It’s no wonder why button-downs are a closet staple, so don’t hesitate to match them with various bottoms and accessories for a slightly different look every time.

Stylish Blouse

Blouses are a great choice when dressing for the office. The best part is that they’re available in almost every color and pattern you can think of. Similar to how you should choose dresses, pick blouse styles that flatter your body type. In terms of color, light-colored blouses are often favored by working women because they contrast well with dark pants or skirts.

Appropriate Skirt

Appropriateness refers not only to the length of the skirt, but also the style of the skirt with respect to your body type and size. In general, you’ll want to opt for skirts that are knee-length or longer. As for skirt styles, it depends on each individual’s silhouette. For example, those with an apple body shape will look great in high

waist flouncy skirts. Meanwhile, pear-shaped women will look gorgeous in A-line skirts that highlight the waist and flare out to hide wide hips. Generally, pencil skirts flatter all body types but are best suited for hourglass shapes since they accentuate the waist.

Well-fitting Pants

Nothing is more practical for recent grads than a pair of formal pants. You can use these pants for job hunts, nights out, and everything in between. Make sure they fit well and are made of durable material as you will likely be wearing them all the time. Try to build up a small collection of pants in dark and neutral colors to offer yourself some variety when dressing up for the day.

Comfortable Shoes

Most workplaces still require working women to report to the office in a pair of heels, and said workplaces may also expect this of interviewees. If you must wear heels, stick to low block styles so you can walk more comfortably during the day. In case your potential future office has a more lenient dress code, getting comfortable work-friendly flats is the way to go.

Whatever type of footwear you go for, get a sturdy pair that can withstand constant trips to and from interviews, workdays, or social gatherings. Ballerina and D’ Orsay flats are classics that pair well with formal workwear. However, don’t be afraid to try Oxfords or brogues if that’s more your thing. These shoes are often worn by working women with a pencil skirt and a formal blouse. You might even be able to get away with a comfy pair of boots if your potential workplace allows them.

Work-friendly Bag

No matter the job, it’s good to have a sturdy, professional-looking bag that you can count on to contain all your work essentials. Bags in black, white, or other neutral shades like beige or brown can complement most outfits. You may also want to throw in some bag organizers for hygiene products and makeup. These organizers are especially helpful if you change bags between work and other activities in your day.

The items listed above are just some of the more practical fashion essentials that every recent grad should invest in. We hope you’ve found this article useful!

As a parting tip, remember that building your wardrobe does not need to happen overnight. Try buying these pieces one or two at a time, and always be on the lookout for ways to save on them. You can, for example, wait for clearance sales or search online for discount coupons. You may even want to consider purchasing some of these items second-hand. That way, you don’t have to worry about breaking your budget while building the foundations of your professional wardrobe.

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