Professional Dress Guide

These are some examples and tips for interpreting how to dress for a variety of professional settings like networking, conferences, interviewing, and day-to-day work.

BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL (usually means a suit)

Business professional is recommended for job interviews and events like Career Fair. In certain fields, particularly corporate jobs, professional dress is required in the office. Here are some examples of business professional attire:

  • Matching suit in a solid color, or light pinstripe, with a solid collared shirt underneath
  • Solid dress shoes, flats, or low heels and belt
  • Blazer or tie are highly recommended
  • Avoid bright colors, busy patterns, or flashy jewelry

Business Professional Examples

BUSINESS CASUAL (not jeans, not a suit)

Business casual is often recommended for networking events, conferences, specialized fairs (Tech-Connect, Biz-Connect, Teacher Fair) and often required for day-to-day work. Note that business casual attire can vary depending on the work setting. If you're starting a new job, ask about attire before starting, and consider dressing nicer until you are able to see how others in your office dress day-to-day. Here are some examples of business casual attire:

  • Dress pants, slacks, or khakis
  • Knee-length skirt/dress
  • Collared shirt or nice top
  • Dress flats, loafers, or low heels
  • Blazer/tie are optional

Examples of Business Casual

 Pinterest Visit our Pinterest board to see examples of business casual and professional attire.

 GQ Check out this GQ Magazine slideshow for some great examples.

See examples of how to DRESS for SUCCESS!

What NOT to Wear When Networking or Interviewing

  • Shorts
  • Athletic wear (leggings, tennis shoes, gym shorts, etc.)
  • Tank tops/t-shirts
  • Flip flops/casual sandals
  • Hats
  • Jeans with holes/frays/acid-wash

Other Appearance Tips for Networking or Interviewing

Tattoos & Piercings: Your self-expression through body art is appreciated, but it may not be embraced by an employer wanting to hire you. Consider the image you want to convey to employers. This article may be helpful in weighing your options.

Large Purses & Bags: Try to keep purses or bags smaller and matching your attire for interviews or networking. If you're attending Career Fair, Biz-Connect, or Tech-Connect, our staff will check your backpack so you can navigate the event without any extra baggage.

Padfolios: These are a great way to carry your resumes and notes professionally. You can pick one up at any office supply store or even the Southeastern Bookstore. You can also use a black/plain folder instead of a padfolio.

Phones: Silence and put away your phone. Employers want to engage with students who are looking at them and interested in any professional settings.


Check out the Career Closet for gently used clothing.

Career Closet Open House