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Dressing the part: Being fashionable yet appropriate

posted by Sarah Lynch



Example of a variety of ensembles for the workplace from

A hot topic in our office is how to get students to dress appropriately for college events. Yes, crop tops are certainly in style, but we don’t want you showing up to an on campus recruiting event in one. Showing skin in a networking or interviewing setting not only makes you look unprofessional, but also the college. We love that our students are fashionable and like to express themselves through what they wear. Nevertheless, you need to know your audience. Employers are often unimpressed with how students are dressed at internships or career fairs. While it’s not all about the clothes you're wearing, they could make or break the employer’s impression of you, which could hinder your chance at that awesome internship you wanted. Don’t believe me? Take it from Forbes:

“Appropriate dress is also a way of expressing respect for the situation and the people in it. So, your look may change depending on the business circumstances. Teresa is a public relations professional – and a master at dressing for the role. She loves to wear hot pink, turquoise and fire-engine red silk dresses with stiletto heels and lots of bling to work in her New York City office. But the moment she has to meet with a conservative client, or one who is going through difficult times, Teresa transforms herself into a prim professional whose outfit matches the way she wants to be perceived. (In her words, “The success I dress for is that of my client.”) One member of her staff recalls meeting Teresa at the headquarters of a nonprofit religious organization where they were to conduct focus groups. The staff member barely recognized her stylish boss. By dressing more like the client, Teresa fit right in. She looked like one of the nuns!” (What is Really Means To Dress For Success

I liked this article because it shows a very in-style women putting careful thought into what she wears, depending on where she’s going and with whom she’s meeting. Students need to adapt a similar attitude when it comes to dressing. It’s not necessary that you all show up in suits – that’s not the industry norm – but if that’s how everyone who works at a particular company is dressed, you need to do so as well. Know your environment, take cues from your coworkers and those higher up in the company organization, and dress accordingly!

- Sarah Lynch, Career Advisor

Topics: fashion careers, fashion internships, Student Advice, Career Services

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