Back-to-School for Professionals: A Checklist

It’s that time of year when everyone is buzzing with preparing for back-to-school and end-of-summer vacation plans. Back-to-school for professionals now means back-to-routine and a return to steady attendance in the office or courtroom, not just a Target run for school supplies. 

So what does that mean for your wardrobe? With courts reopening, you’re probably going to be dressing more formally than you needed to for a Zoom meeting. Instead of wearing a sport coat or separates, you’re back in full formal suits.

back-to-school for professionals

But do your favorite suits still work for you? Do you have everything you need to wear your existing suits? This transitional time is perfect for reviewing our checklist: back-to-school for professionals.

Do your suits still work for you?

First, let’s address the actual suits. Take a moment to try on your suits in front of a mirror to see how they fit. Sometimes, taking a mirror selfie can help you evaluate the fit better than just looking at a garment while you have it on. Check out our guides on how suits and shirts should fit if you feel like something is not quite right.

Should you need to let something out or take something in, our suits can usually handle a shift of 10-ish pounds in either direction with the right alterations.

For more details, check out our article, Nothing Fits and I’m Going Back to Work.

Are you missing some critical pieces for your suits?

It may be that you don’t need new suits but you do need a fresh set of shirts to go under them. Since shirts get the most wear, your trusty favorites may be looking a little tired. Worn collars and cuffs, strained buttons, and stains can all ruin a court-ready outfit.

So take a moment to assess whether you need shirts—whether solid, white, pastel, or something with personality—to go under your existing suits. As we’ve discussed before, a new set of shirts can breathe new life into a wardrobe you’re just not that excited about anymore.

Don’t forget to check your shoes, ties, and belts, too. That favorite pair of shoes may not be so comfortable anymore if it’s been sitting in your closet unworn for several months. Feet change, and our habits change. You definitely don’t want to be all dressed up only to find that your shoes hurt your feet or your belt doesn’t fit.

A little preparation now can save you a lot of hassle and discomfort later, when you need to make a good impression in court. With fall just around the corner and new school supplies waiting in backpacks, don’t forget to address what you need to look your best as you head back to court or the office. Think of this time as back-to-school for professionals, too.