Sycamore Career Link
Your Online Career Resource
  • Post resumes & jobs
  • Search for jobs & candidates
  • Register for Events
Upcoming Workshops & Events

Thursday, August 20
Career Center Open House

Wednesday, September 23
Fall 2015 Career Fair

Thursday, September 24
Baldwin & Lyons, Inc.

Dress for Success

There are three types of business attire.

  • Interview Attire
  • Professional Attire
  • Business Casual Attire

Interview Attire

What is Interview Attire?

  • Black, navy, and dark gray suits with little or no pattern (i.e., pinstripes or plaid). Well-pressed, long-sleeved white collared shirts (light subdued colors like pale blue may be appropriate, but classic black or dark colors with white is preferred).
  • Simple ties with minimal patterns and tame colors.

When to wear Interview Attire

  • Interview
  • Formal business meeting
  • Formal presentations
  • When a first impression is extremely important
  • When you are uncertain of the attire

Professional Attire

What is Professional Attire?

  • More expressive and unique colors and styles can be incorporated, as can more pronounced patterns (i.e., pinstripes and plaids).
  • May include skirt suits, pant suits, and blazers and pants that coordinate but are not matching colors.
  • Suit jackets are not required.
  • A nice shirt or blouse
  • Ties optional
  • Pressed pants or a skirt is appropriate.
  • Long or short sleeves
  • Less formal materials (such as tweed)

When to wear Professional Attire

  • An established job that allows more freedom in attire
  • Less formal meetings and presentations

Business Casual Attire

What is Business Casual Attire?

  • Polo shirts, khakis, and sweaters
  • Short sleeves
  • More freedom in colors, patterns and materials

When to wear Business Casual Attire

  • When the company dress code allows it
  • When it is clear that all members of an organization are wearing it

General Tips and Guidelines

Regardless of the type of attire, the following guidelines should always be followed:

  • Properly iron clothing (pants creased, shirts neatly pressed).
  • Have your clothing items for important interviews or meetings dry cleaned and ready to wear.
  • Wear properly fitting attire; avoid tight clothing or too big/loose
  • Walk and sit in your clothing to ensure comfort.
  • A black leather portfolio for note-taking or carrying resumes
  • A black or brown shoulder bag or briefcase is appropriate.
  • In the case of uncertainty, err on the side of too formal.
  • Once a part of the company, be sure to gather as much insight into your attire as possible through a company’s dress code and by observing what other employees are wearing.

Women's Attire

Guidelines more specific to women include the following:

  • Subdued hair, makeup, jewelry, and nails (becomes less stringent in business casual)
  • Skirts should fall at the knee.
  • If wearing a skirt, wear nylons that match your outfit.
  • Avoid knee-high boots, stilettos, and open-toed shoes.
  • Shoes comfortable for walking and standing
  • Belt and shoes that match
  • A small black or brown handbag is appropriate but consolidating all items into a single bag is ideal.

Men's Attire

Guidelines more specific to men include the following:

  • Pants that hit the shoe and never touch or drag on the floor
  • Socks that are calf-length and neutral colors matching your pants (black, navy, brown, gray, or tan)
  • No earrings

For more information about Dress for Success guidelines, click here for our Dress for Success brochure.

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm  A 231 North 6th Walkway

P 812.237.5000   TF 888.892.6044   F 812.237.4392