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Professional Image

young woman dressed in black skirt suit and purple blouse standing in front of autumn leaves

Learn the difference between "business" and "business casual" attire and follow our style guides to make a positive first impression on employers and professional contacts.

Business Attire

Business attire is strongly recommended for attendance at job fairs, networking receptions, and interviews.

Dark suit (black, charcoal gray, navy blue) or subtle pattern (pinstripe). The suit jacket should fit well, pants or skirt should be perfectly hemmed. Skirts should end at, or one inch above, your knee. Pressed collared shirt (long-sleeved white or conservative, solid color), knit shirt or silk camisole. If wearing a collared shirt, silk tie with subtle colors or patterns. Polished dress shoes with dark socks, flats or closed-toe heels (black, brown, or neutral). If wearing a skirt, pantyhose or tights.

Business Casual

Business casual attire is often appropriate for employer information sessions, panel discussions, and other presentations.

Suit, dress, or coordinating separates, such as collared or knit shirt, blouse, sweater, sweater set, blazer, or jacket with slacks or skirt. Suit or suit jacket may be worn may be worn without a tie, with pressed khakis and leather belt. Polished dress shoes with dark socks, flats or closed-toe heels.

Other guidelines

Avoid wearing distracting jewelry or strong fragrance. Avoid sleeveless shirts without jacket on top, unbuttoned shirts and other exposing clothing, and clothing that is very tight, baggy or trendy. Hair and facial hair should be neatly groomed.