What Not to Wear: College Edition

There comes a time in every student’s life when they have to make their way into the working world. Maybe you’re looking for your first job to get you off the ground towards your career goals. Maybe you’re looking for the job you plan to stay in for the rest of your life. Regardless, this is a scary time for everyone. Sure, you might have a great GPA. You might have been a part of Greek life. You might have all the experience and credentials the world has to offer. But what if you don’t look the part? That’s when you really need to worry.

Considering most of my knowledge of fashion comes from my years as a retail worker, as well as watching countless hours of “Sex And The City,” I figured some of my choices could probably be a little questionable. Sure, my retail work might be able to carry me a little, but working in boutiques and working in a corporate office are different.

For both men and women, solid colors are the safest bet and conservative suits are the runner up. Men should wear a coordinated tie, dark colored socks, and dress shoes. Women should also wear a coordinated shirt, have neatly manicured hands, limited jewelry and makeup, and sensible shoes. Of course, not every job has the same dress code, so if you have any questions about what the office wear is, ask the person interviewing you. If anything, this will show that you are serious about making a good impression.

Michelle Levash, a junior education major said, “It’s important to dress in a professional way because you only get one chance to make a first impression. It’s also always better to be overdressed rather than underdressed and dressing professionally sets the stage, showing that you take care of yourself and take your career seriously.”

Levash added, “You should dress in a way that reflects the work place but also reflects your personality as well.”

Leila Ali, a junior sociology major, agreed. “Dressing for an interview is important because it’s all about the first impression. You want your interviewer to know that you are professional, but you can add your own style in to show that you are unique,” she said. Ali added, “Of course, I would wear something appropriate, but I would add something that was in season, like a blazer or a scarf for fall, to complete the outfit. I think if you wear something colorful yet tasteful, you can show off your personality, which will make you stand out in a good way and you will be remembered for it.”

Ellen Reilly, the Job Placement Director for Career Services, also agreed that first impressions are critical and that people will absolutely be judged by what they wear. “Dressing conservatively is everyone’s best bet because in many ways, work attire is like a professional uniform, you are representing your job by what you wear. Your interviewer shouldn’t be distracted by what you’re wearing, they should be able to focus on your accomplishments, abilities and skills,” she said. “A smile should always be part of your attire and immediately adds value to your presentation,” Reilly added.

As much as I would like to believe I can make leggings go from casual to formal wear, this just isn’t true. Only in a perfect world would such things be acceptable. I once read, “You can never be overdressed or undereducated,” and I would like to believe those are two thoughts to take with you to any interview. Dressing the part will not only make a great first impression, it will show that you are serious about yourself and about what you want. Trying to get a job is stressful enough, why add stress by not knowing what to wear?

IMAGE TAKEN from jobinterviewexperts.blogspot.com