To start up my fashion segment, I’m committing to a series of 12 posts that will center on professional wear and tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years. It’s going to really hone in on what kind of fashion statements you want to make in an office or any professional setting. I spent my high school career in an entrepreneurship magnet program that centered on being professional. I even had a class based on professionalism and what it means. I’ve also researched and experienced in interviews and internships what kind of look most offices are going for.

I think being a young woman in this day and age, I have somewhat skewed views on professionalism. Mostly because a lot of what can be considered professional nowadays has been cultivated by old white men from a million years ago. I’d like to think times have changed or at the very least are under way to a drastic makeover.  

Much of what I’m going to be sharing with you are my own opinions on what kind of style you want to have going into an office setting or even what to wear to an interview and where to find good items that won’t break your bank. I think first and foremost that you should never sacrifice style for a job. A lot of people believe that you have to wear plain bland colors and combos to be professional. I’m not gonna lie to you guys but some jobs that’s what they expect. 

Personally, I think if you can say ‘no’ and tell them where they can stick their antiquated opinions then you should. If you don’t have that option, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Most people don’t have that option. It hurts to know that they are stifling your creativity for some dilapidated notion that men know what women should wear in order to be professional. Even some woman will say the same thing, mostly those who have been following the example of what men have always worn to be the definition of “professional”. I have a different approach, where what you want but style it like a professional. My personal style may be a little bit more outlandish for some of you but I think if you really want people to remember you no matter what kind of job you’re in then you’re gonna need to step out of the box. 

The general idea of professionalism is to have the knowledge or skill of a professional. It has less to do with appearance nowadays than you think. You could have 5 degrees or 20 years of experience on the job, get ketchup stains on your shirt everyday, and be considered for a leadership position. Men do it all the time and don’t get reprimanded for it. This goes hand in hand with women and style. If those rules applied to men, a lot of business “professionals” would start investing in a good tie. Unfortunately it’s a stigma of both regular people who don’t even work in an office and business professionals, that women must adhere to certain dress code rules in the workplace that men don’t necessarily have to follow.

Honestly, I’m not comfortable with the idea that someone else gets to tell me what to wear and when to wear it. It’s one thing when you’re a child and your parents buy all your clothes but it’s entirely different when you finally learn how express yourself and your emotions safely through fashion and someone tells you that you’re being inappropriate because of it. This might go completely unnoticed but I’d like to vow that one day in the future that I’ll be able to contribute to change the bias that comes with fashion in professionalism.    

This series of posts is a break down to the bone of each piece of an outfit that can be styled to coincide with what’s work/interview appropriate. I go over several different styles and ways to wear each item and what to wear with it. I will be working with some thrift shops in my area such as Goodwill and Plato’s Closet to showcase some of the prices and deals. If anyone has any ideas to throw in then just jump in the comments and let me know.

Finally, as I’m sure you’re all dying to know. This dress I’m wearing in the pictures is actually from the brand Who What Wear that I recently purchased at Target for $10. I saw it and just knew that I had to have it. It’s got bell sleeves and reaches just past my knee so it’s super work appropriate. Not to mention, it’s in one of my favorite colors: bright ass red. I paired it with some small gold hoop earrings I found at Plato’s Closet for $4 and my Merona chunky open-toed heels that I also bought at Target for $22. This whole outfit cost less than $40 and will undoubtedly leave an impression no one will be likely to forget. 

xoxo Darcy Mae Modica

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