You’re in Sauder. This week’s agenda: presentation, interview, info session. You’re at a networking event and are about to see some important people. Turns out there are more reasons to put together a “professional” outfit than you thought, but how do you look great while dressing appropriately for each event? We’re here to give you Wardrobe101 starting with the fundamental fashion do’s and don’ts when it comes to business casual and business formal attire.
When to wear: informal interviews, work, networking events, business socials, information sessions, class presentations, coffee dates
Gents, business casual is your opportunity to showcase a little more of your individual style. For more casual meetings and coffee dates, you’ll make a good first impression with careful combinations of colors, patterns and layers.
Do’s: Wear a light colored blazer over a fitted white shirt, and choose a dark accent color for your shoes, tie and bag. Explore patterns. Pair a checkered or striped button- down with a dark fitted blazer, or even a solid shirt with patterned blazer if you’re a little daring. Here you can get creative with a tie clip or a pocket square to stand out from the crowd.
Don’ts: Though business casual gives you a little more freedom to change it up, make sure your pants still show you mean business. Dark slacks are safe, and your socks should at least be as dark as your pants.
Quick tip: If you’re unsure about whether wearing a blazer is appropriate or not, simply layer on a stylish coat for a blazer jacket look that is also weather appropriate.
This is your chance to incorporate some color and personal style. You can pair virtually any blouse with the right bottoms to add versatility to your wardrobe. Feel free to add a statement necklace for that extra boost, but don’t over accessorize. Know how to apply “less is more”.
Do’s: Add color. Whether it’s your accessories like your shoes and a statement necklace, or colored pants over neutral shades, accent colors make your outfit come to life.
Don’ts: This is not the time to wear your Friday stilettos, yes, even if they’re your new Christian Loubiton Daffodils. Keep the height of your heel to 3 inches, and make sure you’re hiding those toes while you’re at it. Simple flats will also do, or patent black/nude pumps.
When to wear: formal interviews, company recruiting sessions, conferences, business meetings, presentations, work
This is when you think Harvey Spector. There usually isn’t much variance between the suits you see around Sauder, but a little effort can go a long way to land you that dream internship. Remember, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
Do’s: Get it tailored. Ok, so if you can’t add another debt to your student loan, at least look for a few key things when buying a suit:
1. Fit: It may seem obvious,but it’s the key to an impeccable suit.The blazer should be form fitting, creating a silhouette with the natural lines of your body. Shoulder pads should be square with your shoulders, and jacket sleeves should never meet your wrist any lower than base of thumb.
2. Fabric: Suits are usually made of wool,and you’ll find the upper-end suits are blended with cashmere. Linen, cotton and silk are also available, but stick to wool.
3. Fineness: It’s usually reflected in the “super number.” Two things:First,larger the super number, the thinner, smoother and silkier the cloth. Second, wool gets more rare the finer it is, so very high supers (180’s and above) are expensive. But that doesn’t make them better, necessarily. They can be wrinkle-prone, show signs of wear, such as shininess, early.
Dont’s: Obsessively hoard any and all black blazers and pants. Grey, brown and navy blue suits can look just as sharp as a black suit. Keep accessorizing to a minimum, especially if you plan to go all out with a pocket square. A nice watch and cufflinks are more than adequate.
This means serious business. There are probably many things at stake when you gear up in this type of outfit, including your #selfie or #ootd before you head out the door. You make sure anything and everything that could possibly be considered sexually provocative is 100% covered, and lead with your confidence.
Do’s: If you want to be safe, stick with the standard dress pants and blazer. Simplicity is key here and you want to highlight your personality and knowledge. Ditch the House of Harlow necklaces, and keep your accessories classy, like a watch or small necklace.
Dont’s: Since we’re playing it safe, don’t go all over the place with your colour palette. If you are dying to spice it up from the traditional black, white and grey, try incorporating neutral or pastel colours into your base layer and pull it all together with a tailored blazer. Aside from the obvious no-cleavage, skirts and dresses should be at least a palm’s-length above the knee. Show your intellect, not your skin.
We hope that with our style advice you’ll look as good as your resume for your next interview. Keep looking dashing, Sauder.
This article is brought to you by University Fashion Club. Check them out at