Business Casual

The term “business casual” is subject for interpretation and depends upon the companies’ work environment. Business casual usually means charcoal or khaki pants, a nice dress shirt and casual dress shoes for men. A collared shirt (short or long) or polo shirts are acceptable for men. For ladies, a conservative sun dress may be appropriate. Consider a blouse or shirt - it should come off the shoulders. Looking neat and tidy should be a top priority. This phrase may lead a few applicants off track. Tacking the phrase business casual to mean dress down will foster a poor impression. Once within the company, observe what other professionals are wearing.

Suggested Attire for Men

Suits -Men are encouraged to wear traditional business attire to most interviews. This means a dark conservative suit - navy blue, charcoal or gray - and a white long sleeve shirt. If you do not have a suit, consider this dress style a worthwhile investment. A suit will last many years and will be used throughout your professional career - including many other social occasions. When your suit becomes tight in fit, replace it.

Shoes - Use polished black or brown lace up shoes.

Socks - Wear comfortable dark socks. Depending upon the slacks you wear, use black, dark blue, or dark gray sock. Never use white socks.

Ties - Ties can make a statement about who you are. Conservative silk ties are best. Be sure your tie coordinates well with your suit - avoid flashy patterns. Be sure your knot is neat and the tie comes to the top of your belt of slacks. Ojectively, review your tie for style, expression and cleanliness. This item must be dry-cleaned as well.

Belts - Wear a dark belt - conservative in style. The belt should have a clean, functional buckle. Do not use a buckle which is overbearing and flashy.

Suggested Attire for Women

Suits - Women should choose conservative attire with skirted suits or slacks and using the same colors as suggested for men although brown, camel, and beige are acceptable. Fashion, retail and advertising often allow for a more creative approach than more traditional careers. The hierarchy of conservative dress for women is as follows: dark suit, lighter suit, dress with dark jacket, then mixed color skirt and blazer. Hemlines should be appropriate for a professional environment - no short skirts - not shorter than two inches above the knee. Individuals should always project a professional image.

Shoes - Shoes should also be conservative with a closed-toe style - low to medium heels are best. Keep you shoes neat and polished. Navy and black shoes are conservative and blend with most selections. Women should avoid sandals or exaggerated high heels.

Accessories - Make-up should enhance your professional appearance not seem overwhelming. Natural is key. Your eye makeup, blush and lipstick should be subtle. Avoid wearing any clothing, accessories or jewelry which might detract or draw attention to yourself rather than reinforcing your professional look. If you wear finger nail polish, use a subtle color and neat in appearance - no exaggerations. Ear rings should be conservative and business-like - no large dangling styles. Purses and handbags should be basic, not bulky. Use only a small amount of perfume.