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Dressing for Success

Becky Drexler on Monday, 06 March 2017. Posted in Co-op, Student Life

Dressing for success is something we've all heard, but what is it like in terms of college?

There will come a time where everyone will have to "dress for success." This could be for an upcoming career fair, an interview, or a special presentation. There are two main categories that you will encounter: business casual, and business professional.

Business Casual

Luckily, the guys have it easy here. Business casual for men typically is a nice pair of dress pants (even khakis will do) and a button down shirt or nice polo. Whalah, you're set. Pair it with a nice pair of dress shoes and you're all set to go.

To all the ladies out there, we have a lot more options (pros and cons). For me personally, I attended a career fair geared towards artists and designers that was a business casual event. For such an event, you want to look very put together, fashionable, and professional - but without looking too businessy (it's a fine line). My go-to is a nice, colorful pant, solid shirt, and a blazer. One could also wear a dress, skirt, sweater, the list goes on and on.

Over the summer, I worked in a creative marketing agency in Rochester. When not meeting with clients, the dress code was business casual. Whenever we would be presenting to a client or an outside representative, we would step it up to business professional.

Business Professional

Once again, guys will have a much simpler time with this. A nice button down shirt, tie (bow tie if you're feeling it), dress slacks, a suit, and nice shoes are a classic combination. Pro tip: take it easy on patterns and colors, clashing won't do you any favors.

For all the girls, it may be time to break out the pant-suits. This is where you want to look as professional as possible, and having a nice blazer or jacket is something to invest in. Business profession for women typically involves professional dress slacks (often dark in color) or skirt paired with a nice shirt and jacket. Most pant-suit/skirt-suit combinations are black or grey, so having a solid, bold colored shirt to wear under the jacket can be a nice touch and allow you to show your personality a bit. If you have a nice pair of heels and are comfortable walking in them, do it! If you feel like you cannot walk normal and are self conscious about how you walk in heels, skip them and go with flats. The important part is that you feel confident.

Why Dress for Success?

You want to make a great first impression when meeting with someone for an interview or presentation. Show them that you can look the part, and they will be more easily able to picture you working alongside them in the workforce. Some studies say that when you look good, you feel good. I personally can attest that if I have a killing outfit on I 100% feel more confident. If you are worried about an interview, fake it until you make it.

Good luck, and keep it classy. 


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