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So you think you know how to dress for success…

Black slacks, an appropriate blouse, and dress shoes, that’s the universal rule for most employers. Although that is accurate, there is so much more to dressing for success than I could have imagined. On October 3rd, the Business Fashion Society of Villanova University, along with the LEAD program at the university, hosted an event focused on how to dress for success. They provided useful and helpful information on why it is essential to dress for the part you want, and of course how to properly do it. They started with informative statistics, including:

  • 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look
  • 65% of hiring managers say clothes can be a deciding factor between 2 similar candidates
  • 75% of recruiters believe that how a person dresses for work affects one’s job, salary, and possible promotions

They then went into specifics of the differences between business casual and professional dressing. Business casual for women includes solid color slacks, a nice blouse (can we colored or patterned), and ballet flats or low pumps. Men can wear a button-down shirt, tie, and slacks. Business professional for women usually includes solid-colored, matching pants or pencil skirt and blazer, with a solid colored blouse, and pumps. Men can wear a matching, dark-colored suit, button-down shirt, and tie. They also had models that were wearing different styled outfits as examples. They looked a little something like this:

They also advised not to wear too much jewelry or large belts and accessories. Make sure your clothing is clean, pressed, and fits appropriately. Your shoes must be dark-colored, clean, and polished. Try to remain understated; however, it is essential to dress for the part you want, not for the one you have. Of course, everyone has a budget on how much they can spend on clothing, so it is helpful to think in advance and look for sales, as well as buy pieces that are versatile and can be mixed and matched.

Ladies, make sure your nails are painted a natural color, keep your hair out of your face, and keep your makeup natural. Gentlemen, keep your hair, nails, and teeth well maintained, hair should be kept short, and facial hair should be kept at a minimum.

It is important to remember that these are the universal rules for how to dress for work; however, your employer might have different expectations. Make sure you read your employer handbook to educate yourself on what your own office’s expectations are.

This event was highly informative and helpful because no matter what job you have, you always need to dress well! I hope you learned something new from this post!


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