Dressing appropriately for all professional situations is important. Whether you are going to an interview, attending a Career Expo, or networking at an event, you want to make a good first impression with your appearance. Here are some tips for different professional situations. If you aren’t sure, always err on the side of Business Professional.
- Wear a conservative dark-colored, two-piece matching business suit; long pants/knee length skirt.
- A pressed, lighter-colored professional button-down shirt/blouse under jacket
- If you choose to wear a tie, the pattern should be conservative and end at mid-belt
- Shoe choices: Polished loafers or closed-toe/low heel pumps
- If appropriate, wear calf length socks to match your suit, or neutral pantyhose
- Leather belts should match the color of your shoes
- No visible tattoos or piercings
- Keep jewelry conservative and minimal
- Hair should be away from your face and neatly cut and styled, including facial hair
- Wear natural-looking makeup - lip color/nail polish should not be too trendy or bright
- Nails should be clean and manicured
- Perfume/cologne should be avoided
- Bring a padfolio, briefcase, or business bag
Business Casual depends on the environment, but usually means “not a suit.” Here are some differences from dressing professional. Remember: it is always better to be dressed-up than dressed-down.
- Along with long pants/knee-length skirts, crop or khaki pants are acceptable
- Knit sweaters, cardigans and sport coats are appropriate
- More casual loafers and flats are acceptable. Athletic shoes are inappropriate.
- Keep hair and makeup simple and natural
- Wear black or khaki pants, neatly pressed, and a pressed long-sleeved button-down shirt
- Ties are generally not necessary for business casual, but if in doubt, you can wear a tie
- More trendy fashion decisions are generally acceptable