Penn students break the stuffy mold of suits and crisp white button downs into a world of new textures and styles.
As on-campus recruiting (OCR) season approaches, University of Pennsylvania students take on the challenge to find a bridge between professionalism and creativity.
Despite stress from interviews, cases and applications, Quakers have managed to perfect the balance of appealing to recruiters while looking innovative. No longer does business casual mean a boring old blazer. Instead, twists to established conventions can be seen all across campus.
Even before the introductory “better-be-firm” handshake and the “hold-that-gaze” eye contact, the first thing a potential employer perceives is appearance. The entire purpose of OCR is to make a distinct impression to land that internship — which will help land another internship that will help land you the dream job.
In an effort to do so both in personality and dress, Penn students break the stuffy mold of suits and crisp white button downs into a world of new textures and styles.
This Fashionista brings the trendy chambray into the career arena via her denim-collared shirt. This versatile piece easily transitions from structured to laidback by losing a couple buttons.
To push the boundaries even further, she confidently struts in her leather leggings, adding edginess rarely seen in the workplace.
The leggings demand to be noticed, just like the prospective employee at an interview — only those daring enough to see beyond the rules can simultaneously rock these pants and retain a refined appearance.
Yet, the adventurous Fashionista keeps some tradition in her color palette.
She sticks with the common blue and black, but contrasts the darkness with the bold and fresh, a white blazer. While black may be the most business-friendly, white demonstrates an openness to new perspectives. In a sea of black, blue and grey, white is sure to stand out and make a memorable first impression. The boyfriend cut, with a looser fit overall, allows her to move freely and has a more casual feel than the fitted blazer (and the best part is that if you don’t have one in this style, just borrow your boyfriend’s!).
Ultimately, this Fashionista embodies a seamless blend of down-to-earth with the formal ambition that every Penn student possesses — a perfect example of how Quakers redefine the workplace with their remarkable minds and great sense of style.
Take a stroll down Locust Walk and you will encounter a new angle of business casual. Students at Penn manage to transcend the preset limits of business wear, bridging the gap between dry pantsuits and modern free spirit.
In spite of the stress and anxiety OCR evokes, they step up to the challenge and land dream jobs with style. Their success might be due to their intellect, maybe their charisma, or dare I even say that it’s simply because they’re so well dressed!
This article is part of the ongoing, exclusive column series for USA TODAY COLLEGE. A new post will appear every Wednesday. Be sure to tune in each week for the best in university fashion trends!
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