Gemrick’s Guide: Let’s talk professional attire
Whether the occasion is an interview, career fair or a networking event, every professional occasion requires a different look. Knowing how to dress appropriately for every situation is crucial to entering the business world.
Most event invitations will let one know what type of attire it requires. If not, it doesn’t hurt to ask the host, and sometimes just knowing what type of event is enough to make an inference.
It can be confusing. Do I wear a suit? Can I get away without wearing a jacket? What exactly is “business casual” anyway?
In the business world, these rules are universal. Depending on what industry background one has, there might be a few leniencies.
Dressing in business formal attire implies dressing to make a good impression. If the event is in the evening or is an award ceremony, upgrading the normal everyday outfit will put you in the clear. For men, these events usually call for a dark colored suit and a dress shirt paired with a silk tie.
Further the dressier part by adding a silk or linen pocket square. Bow ties are also popular alternatives to the regular tie for the fashion-forward gentleman. Cuff links, tie clips and an expensive watch will help define your look.
For women, a suit and skirt with closed-toe pumps are acceptable business formal attire. High heels, no matter how cute you think they are, typically aren’t considered business appropriate. Save for formal parties or events outside of the work life.
Business professional attire generally consists of what people would wear on a day-to-day basis. A step down from business formal, this means that no one is breaking out their best shoes and suits.
Blazers, suit jackets, button down shirts and a tie are all appropriate as business professional attire.
Business casual attire simply means that you do not have to wear a suit.
According to Forbes, men can wear trousers, khakis and a collared shirt. For women, trousers, a knee-length skirt paired with a blouse or collard shirt are also acceptable.
Although some companies allow jeans, they are not generally considered appropriate business casual attire. It is completely dependent on the company and its dress code policy. Shirts without a collar are generally unacceptable.
According to GQ Magazine, men have a few options for the new business casual look: navy blazers, tweed sport coats and corduroy are good alternatives to the suit jacket. Bold, solid colored sweaters and cardigans are great replacements for jackets.
What not to wear
Any business setting calls for conservative attire. Do not, under any circumstances, wear anything that remotely resembles lingerie. That colorful, frilly top that you just absolutely adore is not professional attire.
Anything with lace or embellishments should not be a part of your professional wardrobe. Women should not wear shirts that are low-cut or show any cleavage.
Everyone wants to be looked at and admired for good reasons. Your attire can reflect who you are and your personality, but you’re here to work and reflect your professional side.
Opinion columnist Gemrick Curtom is a public relations senior and may be reached at [email protected].