Dress for Success: The Guide to Business Attire

What to Wear for a Job Interview and at an Internship

College is about preparing to enter the workforce but many students are concerned about what constitutes as business attire. Here are some words of wisdom regarding the unspoken business dress code. Find out what to wear for your next interview and first day at the office.

Women

At interview: To make a favorable first impression at a job interview, dress to impress. A white blouse paired with a high-waist pencil skirt that hits above the knees is both feminine and modern. To keep the outfit from looking too simple, opt for a blouse with ruffles on it or a banded skirt. In addition, a black and white contrast dress looks professional and is easy to wear. If you prefer slacks, a jewel-colored blouse stands out when paired with dark slacks and looks sharp and vibrant. Heels are fine for an interview as long as you’re comfortable in them but they should not be taller than two inches.

At internship: The term “business casual” means that you should look professional but still be comfortable enough to complete any task. While working as an intern, you’ll have a long list of duties so the main concern is feeling at ease in your outfit. You don’t want to be standing all day or walking back and forth in heels. I recommend that you invest in a good pair of flats. Generally, sandals or any open-toed footwear are not acceptable in the workplace.

As an intern, search for clothes that are easy to move in and comfortable. For example, a nice tank top, a-line skirt, and thin cardigan are relaxed without looking sloppy. Dark pants and a feminine blouse is also a great choice. Also, a fitted blazer instantly dresses up an outfit.

Jewelry & Accessories: While it is fine to show off your distinct fashion style, don’t go overboard with jewelry and accessories. A handful of neon jangling bracelets or big bow headband will most likely be a distraction to you and your coworkers. Instead, aim for elegant and tasteful. A thin chain necklace or pretty barrettes are always great go-to items when you want to accessorize.

Unexpected and subtle pops of color will do wonders to help you add your own flare to your outfit. A thin yellow or red belt wrapped around a dress will not only emphasize your figure but brighten up your look. Colorful hair ties, flower printed flats, or a stripped headband are also excellent picks.

Internships vary depending on where you’re working and what tasks you’ll be doing so if you have any doubt about what to wear, ask your supervisor. It is better to ask at the start of your internship than be under dressed and make a bad impression. With that in mind, go forth and ace your next job interview!

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Author:wordswithoutwords

Whittier College student.

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