As a girl from the Northeast living in the Midwest, I’m used to dressing for the weather.  However, when it comes to accommodating changing weather and looking the professional part, it’s not always easy to find the perfect outfit.  Luckily, I have discovered that Zara, H&M, and Aritzia are all great stores to find pieces for looking the professional part no matter the season.

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Fall

Color-changing leaves also means cooler temperatures.  Mix up a standard skirt and blazer combination with fall-inspired colors and textures.  Suede and tartan fabrics in neutral colors such as tan or camel work well together.  Zara is a great and affordable place to find blazers of various cuts and colors.  Tights are optional, depending on personal taste and outside temperature.  Heeled ankle boots are a great finishing touch.

Winter

Dressing for winter means layering up.  A thick sweater over a button down shirt is always a comfortable alternative to a blazer.  Dark neutrals and jewel tones such as burgundy or forest green work best in the winter as well.  Aritzia always incorporates these deeper tones into their winter collections.  Slacks are a staple, but a thick wool skirt and tights could also do the job.  Footwear can vary depending on the weather outside.  If anything, bring a structured tote bag to store a pair of loafers, pointy-toed flats or heels, or smoking slippers to switch into once you get to the office.

Spring

As the last snowfall of winter melts away, springtime brings brighter colors and warmer temperatures.  Pastels are a great way to infuse the brighter weather into your wardrobe.  Light fabrics like cottons and chiffons work well in springtime.  Dresses and skirts are a must: lean towards more flowy and unstructured shapes for a more relaxed and comfortable look.  Trade in the blazer for a cardigan over any dress.  H&M has an extensive collection of pastel and print skirts and dresses that work with the brighter season. As for shoes, lace-up sandals and open-toed shoes work well with the weather.

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Bring a structured tote to store a pair of loafers, pointy-toed flats, heels, or smoking slippers to change into once you get to the office.

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Summer

Summer follows the same dress code as spring, but with more opportunity for prints and even brighter colors.  Feel free to layer on the jewelry as well.  Bigger statement pieces work better in the summer as there is more opportunity to incorporate color.  Stores normally offer broader, brighter color palettes as outdoor events become more popular. If you’re not in the mood to wear shorts, try a flowy skirt, maxi dress, or romper. Culottes are also a comfortable, more conservative option in the summer. Wedges are a comfortable alternative to heels and are a great fit for the summer aesthetic.

 

A rising second year at the University of Chicago, Shereen is a pre-med student hoping to major in Global Studies. When not doing yoga, running, or writing, she can be found exploring Chicago for good food and good views.

 

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