Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Outings with Professionals? What Not to Wear!

By Miah Daiello, Career Assistant

              As you go forth in your college career, you will be looking to cultivate your professional development. In order to successfully land professional opportunities such as internships, job interviews, and the ultimate goal…a job, there is one important component to help ensure success in these areas; the way you present yourself.
                Let’s take a moment to put ourselves in a professional interviewer’s shoes. What kind of person would you want to hire? One that appears to the interview in casual, wrinkled, ill-fitting clothes; or the person who appears in a neatly pressed suit that screams professionalism? Not only would you likely choose the later person, you would want to be the later person!
                In order to understand how to dress professionally, you must first understand the difference between business casual and business professional, and which is appropriate for the occasion at hand. Business casual is a more relaxed professional look that a suit jacket is not necessary for. Business casual attire would be appropriate to wear in an office setting once you already have the job. Business professional is a conservative style that a suite is necessary for. Business professional attire is appropriate for events like interviews and career fairs. There are specific guidelines for men and women that should always be followed:

  • Do wear a collared shirt
  • Do wear dark colored dress pants, trousers, or corduroys in black, brown, dark blue or khaki
  • Do wear a dark colored blazer
  • Do wear black, brown, or grey leather shoes with dark dress socks
  • Don’t wear a bold or distracting print
  • Don’t wear jeans, cargo pants, white pants, or patterned pants (other than a pinstripe)
  • Don’t wear a hat
  • Don’t wear wrinkled or ill-fitting clothes
  • Don’t wear wrinkled or ill-fitting clothes
  • Don’t wear sneakers, sandals, boat shoes, or boots

  • Do wear full length pants or a knee length skirt in neutral tones
  • Do wear a blouse with sleeves (long or short) with a blazer or cardigan
  • Do wear close toed flats or pumps no taller than 2”
  • Do wear simple jewelry and light makeup
  • Don’t wear sleeveless tops or short dresses/skirts
  • Don’t wear anything tight, revealing, or see-through
  • Don’t wear jeans or leggings
  • Don’t wear sandals, tennis shores, boat shoes (do not tuck pants into boots)
  • Don’t wear a hat



  •  Do a dark color suit; solid or subtle pattern
  • Do black or brown polished dress shoes
  • Do a plain leather belt to match shoes
  • Do a solid, dotted, striped, or paisley tie
  • Don’t wear a two-toned shirt
  • Don’t wear skinny or extra wide ties
  • Don’t wear overwhelming cologne
  • Don’t have unruly hair; including facial hair
  • Don’t wear silly or vibrant ties
  • Don’t wear jewelry (except wedding band, a professional simple watch)
  • Don’t have wrinkly clothes
  • Don’t wear a mismatched suit jacket and pants


  • -Do full length pant or knee length skirt with pantyhose (no pattern)
  • -Do simple, minimal jewelry
  • -Do closed toed shoes; heels so taller than 2”
  • -Do a suit jacket with pastel colored blouse underneath
  • -Do light makeup
  • -Don’t wear too short of skirts/dresses or ones with slits above the knee
  • -Don’t wear a capri or ankle length suit
  • -Don’t wear more than one pair of earrings
  • -Don’t wear statement jewelry
  • -Don’t wear sheer shirts or shirt with low necklines
  • -Don’t wear platform, strappy, or sandal-like shoes

Following these guidelines along with neat grooming of your hair and nails will help you feel confident and look confident the next time you attend an outing with professionals. With these guidelines, you can’t go wrong!

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