The definitions of business professional, business casual, smart casual, and casual vary between organizations and industries. However, each have a common theme and degree of expectation.
In all potentially professional situations, ALWAYS AVOID:
- Ripped jeans/pants, hoodie/sweatshirt, shirt that shows your stomach, see-through clothing, flip flops, shorts, and a ball cap/beanie.
Business Professional Tips:
- Wear a dark-colored conservative suit, generally in black, brown, navy, or gray.
- Solid colors or subtle patterns (e.g. pinstripes) look best.
- Pair your suit with a complementary conservative, long-sleeved collared shirt or blouse, belt, and shoes.
- Make sure your socks, shoes, and belt match your suit.
- Avoid jewelry except for possibly a watch and a wedding or fraternity ring.
- Make sure your hair and face are clean cut and any makeup is minimal.
It’s best to over-dress for an interview, networking event, or job fair rather than wear a casual outfit.