Dress for Your Day

Whether you are preparing for an interview, job fair, or other professional experience (i.e. internship, job or even a job shadowing), first impressions are important!  Ensure you demonstrate your readiness to work by dressing appropriately for the position. Consider the company culture and position to which you are applying when making professional dress decisions. Do your research by confirming the appropriate attire through others knowledgeable about the organization’s culture.


Business Casual, Business Professional, Casual, or Uniforms are among the most common styles for work and details on each can be found below. When making an initial contact with an organization, wear clothing that is simple, well-fitting and not flashy, to allow potential colleagues to focus on YOU without distractions.


When you become employed full time or part time, learn more about how the company’s dress-codes and how they may change with different days and activities.  When in doubt, always dress a little better than the “norm”!

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Avoid wearing baggy interview clothes. Sweats and clothes that are too big create an impression of untidiness. Also, don’t wear your pants on your hips. It looks unprofessional and gives off the sign that you don’t care. When choosing clothing, both men and women should choose a conservatively colored shirt, nothing crazy, and nothing transparent or clingy. For men, a safe bet for shirt is to stick with white or pale blue.


  • Wear a full suit or nice slacks and a coordinating jacket. Suits should be navy blue or black—avoid pinstripes, unless they’re very thin and muted.
  • Coordinate your tie with your suit. Splashes of color can be fine, but don’t go wild, and don’t wear loud patterns. Red is called the power color for a reason—it catches the eye and focuses attention on the wearer.
  • If you want to wear a flag or ribbon pin on your lapel, be aware that they may initiate conversations that you don’t want to have during the interview.


  • Your hemline should fall just above or on your knee.
  • Low neck-lines, transparent fabric and bra straps on display should be avoided.
man in business wear.
man in business wear.
man in business wear.
woman in business wear.
woman in business wear.
woman in business wear.



  • Wear clean, polished dress shoes, free of dirt and scuff marks.
  • Make sure your socks match your shoes and your shoes match your belt
dress shoes.


  • Wear closed-toe, medium to low-heeled shoes such as a pair of black pumps.
  • You should be able to walk comfortably in your shoes and appear confident and at ease.
  • Very high-heeled shoes are unsuitable.
  • Avoid brightly colored and trendy shoes - you are not there to make a fashion statement.
dress heels.



  • One simple ring per hand is acceptable. Avoid necklaces and bracelets.
  • If you wear a watch, wear something simple with a leather or metal band—it conveys efficiency and punctuality.
  • Try to cover up any tattoos.


  • Wear understated jewelry. Ostentatious, in-your-face jewelry is a big distraction and gives the impression of flashiness.
  • Big, dangling earrings and jangling bracelets are particularly distracting and should be avoided.
  • Try to cover up any tattoos.
  • Anklets can make your feet a focal point. You want the interviewer to concentrate on your face and what you have to say.
  • Sunglasses pushed up into your hair is a definite no! It looks messy and unprofessional.
woman wearing a necklace.



  • Men should have a traditional haircut and neatly or completely shave (depending on the work culture) before the interview. A clean shave makes the right impression. If you really want to retain your facial hair make sure it is neatly trimmed. Your hair should be neatly combed and styled. Avoid a style that allows you to fiddle with your hair - this makes you appear nervous and unsure.
  • Make sure nails are trimmed, neat, and clean.
  • Take studs out of visible piercings, and don’t wear flashy jewelry.
Side profile of a man.


  • Your hair should be neatly combed and styled. Avoid a style that allows you to fiddle with your hair - this makes you appear nervous and unsure.
  • Keep your hair off your face. You don't want to be constantly flicking your hair out of the way during the interview.
  • Wear understated makeup in natural tones. Overdone eye shadow, heavy eyeliner and brightly-colored lipstick make you appear frivolous and unprofessional.
  • Ensure your nails are clean and manicured and only wear neutral polish.
Side profile of a woman.

Your Bag

  • Carry a small briefcase or similar bag in place of a purse. This provides an easy way of carrying a tablet or laptop.
  • If you feel you need a purse, a small structured one is preferable to a large floppy bag. Avoid canvas, denim and straw, these look very unprofessional.
three briefcases.