Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology
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The Devil Wears Prada… You Don’t Have To

Expanding a professional wardrobe isn’t easy. When you’ve been in school for a long time, it is easy to get away with throwing on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt in the morning and running out the door. When you enter the real world, it takes time to choose a professional outfit and it will take some time to build the wardrobe that you’ll be wearing to work. Here are a few tips as you begin this journey:

1. Start Early

You already made the decision to go back to school. Your reasoning behind this decision probably had something to do with wanting to start a professional career when you graduate. This means you already know that you’ll be interviewing when you complete your program, so even if you are in the medical field and might wear scrubs every day, you will still need professional clothes for interviews. 

Start thinking about this early! The earlier you start getting professional pieces together, the easier it will be when you graduate. Even if you can only afford one part of a suit at a time, start setting the pieces aside so you are ready when the first interviewer calls you for an appointment.

Another option is to start setting aside a certain amount of money from each paycheck you might receive. Even if you set aside $20 a check, these numbers will add up when you’ve done it for 18 months or the length of time you were in school. Then, as a nice graduation gift to yourself, you can go out and buy a new suit or professional outfit.

2. Budget!

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to look professional. Select stores that fit your budget, your body style and your age. Whether you can afford to head to Macy’s or Ann Taylor, Gap, JCPenney or Gabe’s, it doesn’t matter…the only thing that matters is that you are wearing professional wear that fits you and your generation.  The key is that you want to promote a professional first image of yourself that employers will remember.

3. Age and Body Type Count

Shop at stores that carry clothing appropriate for your age and body type. Take the time to find stores that are right for you at this point in your life and use it to your advantage! Shop around to find stores that carry the kind of clothing you want without breaking your bank. This also means that you need to make sure clothing is not too tight, the “Two C’s” are covered (cleavage and crack – hahaha) and that lengths are appropriate for your sleeves, skirt or pants.

Take a moment to consider where you should start shopping and the types of professional clothing you want to buy. Follow these easy tips to begin gathering your budget-friendly wardrobe today! If you need some help starting in the right direction, you can always visit the Career Management Director at your campus for ideas, advice and extra tips.

For more information on graduation rates, median debt of students who have completed their programs, and other important information, please visit our website at