Skip to page content
Return to Top

Dress To Impress - Professional Attire

Preparing for an interview, job fair, or other professional event?  Never fear--Career Services is here!  We've provided illustrations, videos, and articles to help you prepare for any professional occasion.  Dress for the success you deserve!

When polling college recruiters, 40% cited image as the reason they reject qualified candidates. Proper dress/appearance may not be a reason for getting a job - however, improper dress/appearance is the most common reason candidates do not get a job. The job seeker should dress for a position two levels higher than the one he/she is being interviewed. When in doubt, conservative clothing choice for your interview is usually the safest. 

What to Wear - Business Professional & Business Casual Examples

What NOT To Wear - Unprofessional Outfits

Tips for Women

  • Conservative skirted suit in navy blue, dark brown or dark gray are best. Skirt length should be at or slightly above the knee.
  • Blouse in white or ivory, long sleeve with modest neckline.
  • Shoes match your suit. Clean and polished; heels no higher than 2 1/2 inches. No open-toed, open-heeled shoes.
  • Wear natural looking make-up.
  • No perfume/cologne. Clean bathed appearance.
  • Subtle color nail polish.
  • One pair of earrings, one ring on each hand, one necklace, professional-looking watch, one bracelet (Nothing dangling or distracting).

Tips for Men

  • Suits - best colors are dark blue or navy solid, solid gray, blue/gray shadow plaid. First choice of material should be 100% wool. 2nd choice is polyester/wool blend. Avoid less than 45% wool.
  • Shirts should be cotton or 65% polyester/35%cotton blend in white or solid colors. White shirts are best. They give the impression the wearer is intelligent, honest, and successful. NEVER wear short sleeves.
  • 100% silk ties are the best in solid or small conservative patterns.
  • No facial hair and a conservative haircut is preferable.
  • No cologne. Clean bathed appearance.
  • Limit rings one to each hand, professional-looking watch.

(Taken from John T. Molloy's New Dress for Success and New Women's Dress for Success)


When attending job fairs, dress should be professional. If you are looking for a job or networking for next year, your appearance may be helpful in securing an interview or may be a strike against you. If you are attending for class credit, please remember that you will be a job seeker in a year or two and the recruiters may remember you. Please, no flip flops, t-shirts, caps and backpacks. Backpacks may be left at the registration table and picked up when you are leaving. Remember... you can only make ONE first impression.