Converting to a Post-Grad Wardrobe



One of the most confusing parts about post-grad for me has been how to dress. I've always had professional clothes thanks to being in a professional sorority in college, but it was never stuff that I was really comfortable in. When I was moving out of my apartment in May and packing up my entire wardrobe I realized that almost all of my shirts were from my sorority or my boyfriends fraternity, and that I really had no "adult" clothes besides my dress pants and blazers.

My other issue was that for the summer I would be working in a lab with fish. Nobody in the lab wears professional clothes because there's a pretty solid chance that you'll end up with smelly water or fish guts all over you. Last summer I mostly just wore my sorority shirts and jeans with boat shoes to the lab and no one really cared or noticed. However, last year I was still an undergrad, and I felt that since I was coming back post-grad I needed to step it up a little bit.

In addition to the fact that I'd be working at a lab, my other issue is that where I'll be living tends to stay over 100 degrees for a decent part of the summer. Last summer it was 107 degrees for over two weeks straight, and those skinny jeans were killing me on the walks to and from the office (I live only a block away so I walk). However, the office and lab were always so pumped with air conditioning that I would freeze if I didn't bring a sweater!

All of this contributed to me trying to find a very versatile wardrobe that was professional but not too professional, and was great in all kinds of temperatures. It seemed nearly impossible to figure out on my own so I reached out to my good friend Pinterest. Luckily, my 22nd birthday was only 4 days after graduation, so I had the ability to pick out a bunch of clothes for birthday gifts.

What I Bought:
- 6 plain v-neck tshirts
- 2 pairs of patterned palazzo pants
- 1 pair of patterned joggers
- 3 pairs of "fashion" shorts
- 1 crop top
- a brown leather belt
- 2 floppy hats
- 1 cardigan


I was in desperate need of plain shirts, so I ended up buying 6 from forever 21 (for less than $4 each they're great to have a lot of) in different colors. I bought solid colored shirts (and one striped one) because I knew I wanted to go with patterned pants. The palazzo pants and joggers seemed like the best option for me at the lab and office since they were work-appropriate but also very light weight and fashionable. I could pair these with one of the plain t-shirts and my boyfriend blazer and look like a professional in the office, but lose the blazer for the lab and not have to worry about the clothes being too nice.

I also wanted to have casual clothes that felt "adult-like" to me. Even though it doesn't really matter what I wear on the weekends, I didn't want to be wearing my sorority letters around for the rest of my life. I bought three cute pairs of shorts that I could easily pair with those plain t-shirts and still look cute and two floppy hats from Forever 21. I've been dying to get them for a while but knew I would never wear them at school so I figured it was the perfect time to incorporate them into my wardrobe. 

All together the clothes cost less than $200, and cost me nothing since they were gifts from my parents and my aunt. Obviously this is not an entirely new wardrobe and I will be incorporating some clothes I already had, but a few basics can make your closet feel fresh and new.



link parties: 
http://www.makingitinthemountains.com/frugal-crafty-blog-hop-131/

Liz Cipriani

My name is Liz and I'm a 22 year old with a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation. I love beer and fashion and exploring the outdoors, and am currently figuring out how to do all of the above on a post-grad budget.

18 comments:

  1. Those are some great finds! Forever 21 just shut its doors in one of our major city malls...so sad.

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    1. Oh no! I don't know what I would do without them!

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  2. This post is so inspiring! Thank you!

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  3. Love it! It's hard to transition from a college wardrobe to a more adult one. You don't feel like an adult yet, but you dress like one and it feels so disjointed!!!

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  4. I had and still have the same issue with needing a new wardrobe. All of the jobs I've had out of grad school have had a very relaxed wardrobe so my personal wardrobe has lacked statement pieces because of that. I like Forever 21 because I still feel like I can rock a lot of the clothes in there and make them look appropriate for my age!

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    1. Exactly! I almost envy people who have to dress formally because at least they know what to do!

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  5. Wow! You know how to get great deals! This is a great article for any young adult straight out of college!

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  6. Great deals!! I can't wait to see how you style these outfits. I really want palazzo pants, so cute!!

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    1. Thank you! And yes, palazzo pants are one of my favorites this summer!

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  7. Love this! F21 is so great for building the basic pieces to layer upon!

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  8. Great post Liz! It's always fun to get new clothes especially when you're transitioning from school to work or just transitioning jobs. Great job on scoring so much versatile clothing for $200!
    xo, Laura
    www.have-need-want.com

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  9. Gahhh. This makes me really want to go shopping, but I'm trying desperately to only spend money on necessities. Forever 21 might be necessity, though...

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    1. I only buy clothes twice a year (around my birthday and around Christmas) so I know how that feels! Just try mixing up your outfits some and it'll feel like they're new!

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