First semester is almost over, and that means that final presentations are right around the corner. As a business school student, I’ve already had numerous occasions in which I had to give a presentation in front of a class. Nerves are common before giving a presentation, but one thing I’ve consistently felt comfortable with is the way I dress for these formal events. If I feel satisfied with my outfit, I feel more confident, and that shows in a presentation. Finding what to wear isn’t always the easiest task, but what many don’t realize is that you can incorporate things you already own into your business attire.

Every girl should own a pair of plain, black, go-to pants. There will undoubtedly be numerous occasions where you will be so glad you have these simple, yet practical pants. Although this is a safe bet, you can easily incorporate new trends to your staple wardrobe. For example, plaid is one of this winter season’s hot trends and almost every popular retailer has a plethora of plaid trousers. Pair this with the white button down that’s been sitting in your closet and you have a stylish business casual outfit that you’ll feel confident wearing to class.

Another go-to outfit is a fun white blouse, tucked into a pair of pleated black shorts. It is so important to feel comfortable when presenting and not feel like you need to keep adjusting a skirt or holding up a top. Wearing a pair of nice shorts that almost look like a skirt provides comfort while still looking professional.

As the colder winter months approach, a blazer is essential in everyone’s closet. A good blazer can be transitioned from daytime to nighttime and from the streets to the classroom. Pairing a blazer over a sweater dress or a pair of white pants and a button down is an easy go-to option that is still super on trend. Whether the blazer be fitted and black or oversized and plaid, people will be in awe of your take on business casual.

Being tall has always made me shy away from wearing heels when I don’t have to. That being said, seeing other girls wear heels to present always made me panic. Luckily, alternatives are not hard to find. A pair of black mules or a trendy pair of loafers will do the same job and elevate your outfit.

Dressing up for business casual often makes me think of boring and plain pieces put together just to make someone seem professional. I think that incorporating trendy pieces that speak to who you are helps to create your personal brand. It is obviously important to keep it professional and classy, but incorporating a print or a pop of color is a refreshing take on what is normally considered bland attire. The confidence you feel wearing the clothes on your back will translate to the class and result in an overall more effective presentation.

PHOTOS: Shopbop

COVER PHOTO: Getty Images

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