Dress for Success Guide

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Choose a simple pattern–not too flashy or informal. Shoes: Dark-colored leather, clean and well-polished. Socks: Dark-

Dress for Success Formal Business Attire Your appearance sends an important message to prospective employers. First impressions count, so dress accordingly. When in doubt, go conservative. Check with your networking contacts for industry dress standards. Dressing professionally shows respect and emphasizes your interest in the position. Formal business attire is expected at employment interviews, unless otherwise directed. For Men Suit: Includes matching pants and a coat. Dark colors are standard. It should fit comfortably. Shirt: White or light colored collared long-sleeved is standard. It should always be ironed. Tie: Silk, in a color that coordinates with the suit. Choose a simple pattern–not too flashy or informal. Shoes: Dark-colored leather, clean and well-polished. Socks: Dark-colored and long enough that you can cross your legs without showing skin. Accessories: Avoid jewelry other than a watch. Belts should complement your shoes and have a simple buckle. Portfolios should be leather and plain. Grooming: Be clean-shaven and have well-trimmed hair. Cologne should be kept to a minimum.

For Women Women’s fashions allow for more leeway, but should reflect the culture of the organization. Skirt suits or pants suits are both appropriate. Suit: Cool or dark colors, either solids or simple patterns. Skirts should be no shorter than just above the knee. Neutral-colored nylons should always be worn with a skirt suit. Shirt: Long-sleeved blouses in a wide range of colors are standard. Do not wear low-cut styles. Shoes: Dark-colored, clean and polished. No open-toed shoes or sling-backs. Heels should be lower than 2”. Accessories: Jewelry should accent your attire, not overpower it. Wear only subdued pieces. Grooming: Makeup should be natural looking and nails groomed. Hair should be pulled back out from one’s face. Perfume should be used sparingly.

Business Casual Attire Business casual is expected at employer information sessions, employer-sponsored receptions or dinners, and alumni receptions and events. Rule of thumb: Dress one notch down from formal business attire. This will differ across industries.

For Men and Women The same standards as above, but a sport jacket (for men) or no jacket can be worn. Pants and jackets do not need to be from the same cut or color. Women may also substitute a knit top for a blouse.

Center for Career Services Spear House. 315.228.7380. www.colgate.edu/careerservices