Professional Dress and Appearance
During a job interview, this impression is crucial and most of it may be based on your appearance.
James Mitchell, associate director of the Career Center at Ball State University says “job applicants should dress up for an interview to signal to potential employers how serious they are about getting the position.”
Your wardrobe doesn’t have to be drab. While your basic rule concerning professional dress should be “when in doubt, take the conservative route,” that doesn’t have to mean boring clothes and accessories. You can’t go wrong with neutral colors such as gray, navy, and black. If you start with an outfit that is well-tailored and looks put together, then you can add accents and accessories that still let your uniqueness shine through.
Here are some ways you can add some personality to your work wardrobe:
While some companies have official “Casual Fridays,” many will accept some amount of dressing down every day of the week during the stifling summer months ahead. The good news is it’s indeed possible to stay cool and still look professional. Here are a few suggestions on summer threads that won’t make you look like you’re at the beach:
A Woman For all Seasons: Keep Cool & Still Dress Professionally
If in doubt, ask. If you’re going on an interview or sales calls, ask the person who has arranged the meeting for some advice. This may sound awkward, but it can be as simple as this: “Would you please tell me about the attire in your office so I can dress appropriately for our appointment?” Following these rules ensures that you’re always stylish and smart – a winning combination in any weather.
Bury the black and wear white. It’s light and airy. Linen shirts line the racks in stores from Target to Rodeo Drive. No matter what your budget, these basics are a smart staple and work with just about any bottoms. Dress it up with accessories.
Though it may seem petty, appearance is critical to first impressions in networking and interviewing. Cosmetics, fragrance, accessories, clothing, grooming, and handbag really do matter. Not presenting a polished look costs many people the offer.
Remember the scene in Pretty Woman when none of the sales clerks in the Rodeo Drive boutiques would help Julia Roberts’ character? With her tight, ultra revealing clothes, no one took her seriously, despite having plenty of cash in hand. But when she went back to the same store a few days later, dressed to perfection, sales clerks were falling over themselves to help her. Both times their responses were based purely on attire.
Similarly Tess McGill, the Staten Island assistant played by Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, dons her wealthy boss’s expensive cocktail attire to grab the attention of a corporate titan. It works: Harrison Ford’s character, Jack Trainer, falls for her. For better or worse, how you dress often determines how people react to you. What you wear can send a message about who you are.