Hey Rattlers! It’s Tobias and Lindsey to ease all of your fashion insecurities. However, this is about business attire.
Even though the fall semester has just started, it’s time to start applying for internship and jobs. As aspiring young professionals, we should take control of our career opportunities and look the part.
Randal S. Hansen, also known as the “career doctor and founder of Quintessential Careers,” which is an online source for all of your career needs, explains dressing for success as vital: “In job-hunting, first impressions are critical. Remember, you are marketing a product-yourself-to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire; thus, you must make every effort to have the proper dress for the type of job you are seeking.”
One common mistake is over-dressing for an interview. Students, please don’t mistake professional dress with church wear. Even though three-piece suits, dyed alligator print, and pimp hats seem to be stylish, it is not appropriate for professional dress in the work place. Ladies should also veer away from floral prints and be conscious of hemlines, exposed midriff, plunging necklines, and open toe sandals.
Ladies and gentlemen, stick with dark solid color business suits such as black, charcoal, and navy. Men should wear a simple tie that coordinates with your suit. Also, wear a solid color shirt that contrasts with the color of the suit. For example, wear a shirt that is a business blue, white, or eggshell. Wearing intricate designs attract attention. In a professional setting, you want all the attention to be on you, not your ensemble.
The online site for GQ magazine, men.style.com said it is important to have the correct fit when wearing professional dress clothing. “It sounds obvious, but it’s not. The most crucial element of a suit is its fit, and not many sales guys understand how a suit should fit, or more specifically, how you want yours to fit. Before you step into a dressing room, get a handle on the various components of a suit.” To achieve the “perfect” suit, it may require you to get your suit tailored to fit your body.
Also, when wearing professional dress clothes it is important to include the appropriate undergarments to complete the look. Men, when wearing a collared button-down shirt it is essential to wear an undershirt. This will avoid clinginess and absorb sweat. Women should wear bra and panty sets of basic color and pattern that will complement their outer wardrobe. A whole or half-slip will also smooth lines to create a sleek silhouette. Women can also try pairing a lace blouse underneath a blazer or cardigan, adding just a hint of femininity.
In achieving a business look, minimal accessories are needed. Ladies, a simple broach, single strand necklace or pearls can do the trick. However, for gentlemen, the earrings can be left for happy hour. Wearing a nice watch and/or cuff links is more appropriate.
Both women and men should wear black or brown leather shoes without print and minimal evidence of wear and tear, along with nylon socks and stockings. A simple leather briefcase, folder and ballpoint pen will get the job done. Additional purses, book-bags, or sports bags are not needed.
As far as hair is concerned, it is highly encouraged that we, as black people, maintain hairstyles that are more traditional and will comply with the guidelines of the company we wish to work for. Traditional hairstyles such as “wraps” or “even lows” without designs are safe and popular choices.
This ideal can be applied to nails as well. A clean, cut nail with clear polish is acceptable for males. Females should begin the habit of shortening nails and wearing them without designs. French, American or clear manicured nails are appropriate.
Keep in mind this quote from Diana Pemberton, image consultant and author, “As shallow as it is, people DO judge you by how you look. In fact, since your clothing and demeanor reveal SO much about you, from your origins and education level to your probable income, others make snap judgments about you all the time-just as you do with them. If you look and carry yourself like a thoroughbred, others will assume you belong in the race or in the winner’s circle. If you’re unkempt and plod along obligingly, they’ll assume you’re a work horse and treat you accordingly – even if you have the talent and instincts to lead the field.”
~You are what you wear~