Don’t SPOOK your Employers: How to Dress for Success

Happy Halloween Holy Cross!

Since today you will be especially conscious of your wardrobe choice, this is the perfect opportunity to review the art of business wear. Although we trust you won’t walk into an interview dressed like a Halloween pumpkin, it’s always helpful to have a refresher session on the basics of dressing to impress.

For an interview, the general rule of thumb is “you can never be too overdressed.” You have a short period of time to be assessed by a potential employer, so dress like you want the part five times over. While you want to convey professionalism through your dress, you don’t want to be remembered for your outfit. (You want to be remembered for your qualifications!) This means veering away from loud colors and statement jewelry. Go back to the basics!

What exactly are the basics for an interview?

  • Women:
    • Conservative Dress/Knee-Length Skirt or ironed business slacks with a blouse
    • No LOUD colors (in your outfit, jewelry  or on your NAILS)
    • Limit the perfume & jewelry
    • Keep your hairstyle simple and professional (Tie out of your face to avoid playing with it during an interview- it’s distracting!)
    • Simple heels or flats (This is not the time for fashion forward stilettos!)
  • Men:
    • Basic suit with neutral colored button-down shirt
    • Simple tie
    • DARK socks (Don’t let us catch you in white!)
    • Nice leather shoes

    Check out this video (via Career Builder) for specific interview fashion tips!

Outside of an interview setting, it is still important to dress professionally in the workplace. However, you must also feel out your work environment and look to your coworkers to see what the norms are. Someone working on Wall Street will undoubtedly be expected to dress more formally than someone who works at the more business casual Google office. However, for the first few days of your internship or job, lean towards overdressing.

Although it may seem like we are trying to quash your self-expression, there are many ways to dress professionally and still incorporate your own style. Also remember that dressing conservatively does not mean you cannot be stylish! For great workplace style tips, check out the following sites:

  • Women: Marie Claire at Work here (includes how to be “business chic,” what to wear as a fragrance at the office and more!)
  • Men: Check out GQ’s “A 10-step GQ Guide to Nailing Office Style” here

Ready to Dress for Success? Good.

Now feel free to change back into your Pumpkin costume, after all it is still Halloween!