Career Center M30

Professional Image


  • Career Center
    Fax: 202-885-1861
    Butler Pavilion, Room 5th Floor

    Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Tuesday 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Wednesday 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Thursday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Fernando, Gihan S
    Executive Director-Career Center

Mailing Address
  • Professional Image

Dress to Impress

When employers first meet you, they form immediate and lasting impressions based on your appearance. Learn the difference between “business” and “business casual” attire and follow our style guides to make a positive first impression.

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Business attire is strongly recommended for attendance at job fairs, networking receptions, and interviews, whereas business casual attire is often appropriate for employer information sessions, panel discussions, and other presentations.

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View examples of successful professional dress.

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Business Attire

Solid, dark suit (black, charcoal gray, navy blue) or subtle pattern and texture (pinstripe and boucle`) 

Tailored jacket that compliments your shape; perfectly hemmed pants; or skirt at, or one inch above, your knee 

Crisp, collared shirt; knit shirt; or silk camisole 

Polished flats or closed-toe heels (black or brown) with pantyhose or tights

Business Casual

Dress or tailored separates, such as slacks, skirt, blouse, sweater, sweater set, or jacket

Stylish flats or closed-toe heels with pantyhose or tights 

No-no's for Women

Cleavage, sleeveless shirts, mini skirts, stilettos, excessive makeup or perfume, and distracting jewelry


Business Attire

Tailored, dark suit (black, charcoal gray, navy blue) or subtle pattern (pinstripe)

Pressed, long-sleeved shirt (white or conservative, solid color)   

Silk tie with subtle colors or pattern   

Polished dress shoes with dark socks

Business Casual

Suit without a tie

Dress pants or pressed khakis with leather belt  

Collared or knit shirt, sweater, or blazer  

Polished dress shoes with dark socks  

No-no’s for men

Earrings or other distracting jewelry, excessive cologne, unkempt facial hair