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First impressions are key, so it’s important to put your best foot forward. Business professional attire is generally recommended for interviews but a good rule of thumb is to dress one notch above the everyday dress code of the company. Click through each section to see specifics but also keep these tips in mind when preparing for interviews or other special events:

  • Clothing should always be neatly pressed and laundered
  • Clothing should fit well – not too tight or loose
  • Hairstyle and facial hair should be well-groomed
  • Makeup should be subtle and conservative.
  • Fingernails should be clean and trimmed – if nail polish is worn, limit to clear or light colors
  • Wear minimal cologne or perfume (none is best)
  • Empty pockets – no bulges or tinkling coins
  • Minimal/conservative jewelry
  • No gum, candy, or cigarettes
  • No backpacks or purses small or large; carry a briefcase or a pad-folio instead

Business Professional Attire

This is the recommended dress code for any professional interview or formal networking event. 

  • Conservative two-piece business suit – solid dark blue or gray is best (pant or skirt suits are acceptable)
  • Conservative long-sleeved shirt/blouse (white is best, pastel is next best)
  • Clean, polished, closed toed shoes in a dark, solid color (dark socks to match); heels should be no more than two inches in height
  • Ties or pocket squares should be a subtle pattern (ties should hit at the belt)

Business Casual Attire

This style of dress follows many of the same rules as professional dress codes, with less formality. For most workplaces, business casual is the everyday dress code.

  • Includes slacks, khakis,or corduroys
  • Dress shirt or blouse; button down/collared shirts and sweaters in a variety of colors
  • Short-sleeved tops and polo shirts are on the more casual end of this range
  • Dress shoes or loafers, including open-toed shoes.

Smart Casual Attire

Smart Casual style is what you might see at more relaxed workplaces, or on “Casual Friday” in many offices. This style is similar to Business Casual but often includes jeans.

  • Can include dark, rip-free jeans
  • Accent jewelry or accessories can be incorporated
  • Clothing is still generally tidy, buttoned, and tucked-in

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