Resumes, Letters & Interviews

What to Wear

If your current fashion statement is "college senior casual", venturing into the work world may be cause for a drastic shift in your wardrobe. Some of your individualism, at least from 9 to 5 may need to be kept in the closet. In most business and technical settings, when it comes to your attire, conservative and conformity are in order.

Each company, season, industry, and geographic region will call for different fashion decisions.  Be sure to research your industry and the company you are applying with before the interview.  Don't try to set new standards, especially in the interview. When in doubt, conservative is better than flashy. For men and women, a suit is the safest bet.

Guidelines for interview attire

Men

  • A two-piece suit
  • Solid colors and tighter woven fabrics
  • Bright ties bring focus to the face, but a simple pattern is best for an interview
  • Wear polished shoes with socks high enough so no skin is visible when you sit down and cross your legs, socks and belt should match your shoes
  • Clean shaven or neatly trimmed beard

Women

  • A suit with knee-length skirt or pants and a tailored blouse (not low cut)
  • Simple accessories - basic pumps and modest jewelry and make-up
  • Conservative nylons with skirts

Both

  • Make sure your hair is neat
  • No open toed shoes and shoes should be polished
  • Keep nails trimmed neatly and women should choose a nail polish that is not distracting
  • Avoid perfume, excessive jewelry and make-up; men should refrain from wearing earrings
  • Cover tattoos if possible
  • Fresh breath

You want your experience and qualifications to shine. Your appearance should enhance your presentation, not overwhelm it.

Office Casual

Relaxed workplace attire is becoming the norm. At many companies "casual Friday" has expanded to the rest of the week. The new office wardrobe includes:

For Men

  • A two- or three button linen suit in a neutral color
  • Cotton chinos or nice khaki slacks
  • A blazer in wool and/or cashmere
  • High-quality crew-neck or turtleneck sweaters (cashmere, merino wool or cotton blend)
  • Long-sleeved sport shirts that can be worn without a tie
  • Patterned or colored socks in a heavier knit than dress socks
  • Loafers or other casual shoes

For Women

  • At least one light-weight wool or silk-blend suit
  • Chinos or other tailored cotton slacks
  • Lightweight cardigan, crew neck or twin set sweaters
  • Casual skirts in a modest length (corduroy or knit)
  • Cotton polo style shirts
  • Crisp cotton dress shirts
  • Comfortable, low heeled shoes

Fashion Attire Websites with Professional Dress Tips

For Men

For Women