WasserWord of the Week: Dress Code/Professional Attire

Dress Code: formally or socially imposed standards of dress

There are a myriad of rules and suggestions for appropriate business dress. For interviews or events it is important to know what it means to adhere. Definitions of “dress code” usually fall into 3 different categories:

Business appropriate attire is generally a suit. For women, some dresses accompanied by a blazer are also appropriate. Choose basic colors (navy, charcoal gray, brown, or black) and keep the styles simple.

Business casual is a very popular dress code these days. This most often refers to slacks with a sweater or a casual blazer. Contrary to what many believe, putting a blazer over jeans does not make it business casual. Jeans are a strictly casual clothing item and should never be worn to an interview or an employer event.

Social/Evening wear is for formal events only. Do not wear an evening gown or a tuxedo to an interview or an event unless explicitly asked to do so.

Shoes should be conservative. Women, this means no stiletto heels, platforms, or open-toes. Men, stick with basic black or brown dress shoes in classic styles.

Accessories should always be simple and minimal. Ladies, do not wear overly large jewelry as it may be distracting during an interview. Men and women, if you have any facial piercings consider removing them for the event.

Always find out what the dress code is for an event you are attending. If in doubt, wear a suit. It is always better to be dressed more professionally than to appear too casual. Remember the old adage, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have!”

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