an ode to business casual


Now that I officially have a full-time (paid!) internship in Manhattan, I’ve been shopping for professional clothes. My wardrobe, as it stands, is primarily t-shirts and skinny jeans that don’t fit, so saying I need to add items more presentable is an understatement. And so, a step-by-step process of my personal search for “business casual”…

Step 1: Check my bank account

Miserably empty. I’m talking: looking at my digital statement and seeing moths fly out.

Step 2: Endear family members for help

Luckily, my grandmother already knows I need new clothes (by which I mean, she hates how I dress), and so I was able to procure some funds from this generous donor.

Step 3: Head to the mall for the first time in ???

I cannot pinpoint when I’d last been in my local mall before this trip if I tried. In the nearly four months I’d been away (from February to mid-May), I’d only gone to one mall. When I’d gone to the Multiplaza in Panama City I had the same reaction as heading back to the Middletown Galleria at Crystal Run: sheer panic.

Step 4: Frantically buy anything in sight

I knew what kind of pants I wanted and could not find them anywhere. Finally, frustrated and suffering from sensory overload, I picked out two pairs and a blazer on sale at JCPenney. As soon as I put them on for my first day I knew I hated them, but it was too late; first impression sealed.

Step 5: Head back to the mall, rinse, repeat

At the end of my first week, I went back to the mall and allowed myself the time to actually try things on in various stores and not just buy whatever fit. I finally, finally, found a pair of pants in the style I wanted and, cherry on top, they were half off. I promptly went home and bought four more pairs on the store’s website.

In conclusion…

Don’t be me. Don’t lose your head over the most simple things, like how to dress in business casual.



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