• What to Wear to an Interview or Career Fair

    Dressing appropriately is crucial for making a good first impression at an interview or employer event. Professional dress indicates to the employer that you value yourself and your work.

    Guidelines for Men

    • Business suit or your best conservative outfit
    • Colors: preferably navy blue or medium to charcoal gray
    • Pattern: solid or pinstripe
    • Fabric: wool/polyester blend (year-round) or all wool (winter)
    • Tie: solid color, small polka dot, or conservative stripe (here is your chance to use color!)
    • Shirt: long sleeve, preferably solid white or light blue
    • Pants: ABOSLUTEY NO Sagging!
    • Socks: long and dark (coordinate with suit)
    • Shoes: black (polished!); no boots, sandals or flip-flops!
    • Jewelry: very little - watch and no more than one ring on each hand
    • Hair: conservative length and style; minimal, well-groomed facial hair is acceptable
    • Fragrance: minimal, light scent
    • Glasses: spotless

    Guidelines for Women

    • Business suit (with coordinating pants or skirt) or your best conservative outfit
    • Colors: navy or medium blue, medium to charcoal gray, wine, black or seasonal
    • Pattern: solid, tweed, or subtle plaid
    • Fabric: linen (spring and summer), wool/polyester blend (year-round), or all wool (winter)
    • Blouse: light color solid or small pattern – ABSOLUTELY NO Cleavage showing!
    • Shoes: plain pump (polished!), dark color, closed heel and toe, one-to-two inch heel
    • Hose: natural color
    • Jewelry: at most a necklace, earrings (one pair, no dangles), watch, and no more than one ring on each hand
    • Make-up: natural-looking, conservatively applied
    • Nails: filed, clear or light-tint polish, short or medium length
    • Hair: As conservative as possible in style; well-groomed look
    • Fragrance: minimal, light scent
    • Glasses: spotless

    Help Every interview and every interviewer is different. When in doubt, seek the advice of your career coach or a Career Academy staff member.

    Extra Tip:  Always carry breath mints and lotion

  • How To Dress for Success: Business Professional or Business Casual!

    Business Professional Attire

    Workplace attire varies greatly by company or organization. Industry standards for business professional attire typically include suits, dress shoes, and neutral colors and hues. Business professional attire should be crisp and clean and often reflect a more conservative look, rather than bold prints and/or colors.  

    Business professional standards typically require neat hairstyles that are worn away from the face. You should wear a style that is comfortable to you and that will allow you to focus on the workplace.

    Below are some tips for business professional dress. Consider opting for a more conservative look the first few weeks at an office or organization and adjust as appropriate. 

    • Suits with matching pieces should be worn (they can include skirts or pants as you desire).
    • All clothing should reflect a neutral color palette.
    • Dress shoes such as low-heeled and closed-toe pumps, oxfords, and loafers should be worn and polished if necessary.
    • Use simple accessories and avoid large watches and jewelry.
    • Wear neat, simple makeup if you feel inclined to wear any.
    • Nails should be clean and neat, as should any polish.
    • Limit perfume or cologne.
    • Carry a portfolio/ padfolio. Briefcases and handbags should be black, navy blue, or other neutral and conservative tones.

    For information about dress as it relates to gender expression or cultural identity, we encourage you to make an appointment with your career consultant.


    Business Casual Attire

    Business casual attire describes additional suitable options to professional clothing, depending on your workplace environment. Your workplace will specify if they adhere to a business casual dress code. Business casual attire allows you to add a bit of color and variety to your already professional wardrobe.

    Much like interview attire, business casual should still be crisp, conservative, and neat. It is not as formal as an interview outfit, but not as casual as attire you would wear to a sporting event. You are still in a workplace environment and want to be prepared to meet even the CEO of your organization.

    Below are some tips for business casual dress. If you are in doubt, observe the people in your office and in your industry to understand the standard dress.

    • Blazers are a good business casual item.
    • Buttoned shirts, blouses, and collared shirts are all acceptable.
    • Spaghetti straps and narrow tank tops should have a top or sweater over and/or under them.
    • Polo shirts may be appropriate if the environment will be more casual, or outdoors.
    • Ties are generally not necessary for business casual, but if in doubt, you can wear a tie.
    • Dresses and skirts should be knee-length.
    • Dress slacks/pants, khaki pants, and dress capri pants are all acceptable options.
    • Dress shoes (flats, closed-toe shoes), heels, and loafers are acceptable.