Fellow Villanova students, have you ever questioned if what you were wearing to a professional development event, interview, or an important meeting was appropriate? Have you ever been confused about how to dress for an event? Have you worried that your lack of knowledge in how to dress would jeopardize your chances at acquiring an internship or job? If so, keep reading.
On October 3rd I attended an informational session at Driscoll Hall run by Anne Fink (assistant dean of the nursing school), as well as the president of the Fashion in Business Society. Dean Fink spoke about the proper attire for different situations. She used pictures to illustrate her points. I am going to recap the different categories of attire below:
Casual attire includes such things as sweaters, jeans, sneakers, and a t-shirt. Most likely, if you have an internship or job you will not be dressing casual to go into the office. However, you might dress casual to the office Christmas party or to a company charitable event. Even when you dress casually, you should make sure the clothes are in good shape, don’t have any tears or rips, and are clean. Here are some pictures of casual attire:
Business casual attire is a little narrower than casual attire in terms of what is acceptable to wear. For men, business casual includes khakis, a dress shirt, dress shoes, and an optional tie and/or blazer. For women, business casual means a dress shirt/blouse, a dress or skirt, dress shoes, and an optional tie/blazer. When you wear business casual you can be creative with your tie, but you should stick to neutral colors (blues, blacks, whites, grays). The colors you wear should complement each other, and you should avoid one article of clothing that stands out from the rest due to a bright color or intricate pattern. The images below are examples of business casual attire:
Business professional attire is the fanciest you will have to dress for a corporate role. Women can wear a skirt/pant suit with optional high heels, but definitely a pair of shoes on the dressier side. Men should wear a blazer/sports coat, dress shoes, tie, button-down shirt, and suit pants. You should wear neutral colors. The two pictures below are examples of what a man and woman should wear in a business professional setting:
How do I know which category to dress in?
First off, the attire you wear is greatly determined by the situation and the company you work for or are interviewing to work for. Some companies have a more laid-back policy in terms of dressing up for work, some don’t. It is relevant to note that in general workplaces are trending towards becoming less strict on employee attire as more employees are telecommuting than ever before anyway. You should wear casual clothing when perhaps it is an event outside the office or one not directly related to your line of work (company fundraiser, corporate party, lunch with a colleague). Although some companies differ, dressing business casual on a normal work day is usually accepted. If there is not a big meeting or event going on, business casual is usually safe. Business professional should be worn to internships, meetings with management, events with customers, and any event that will be televised/widely broadcasted. Additionally, it never hurts to ask what the recommended attire is beforehand. Better safe than sorry!
For additional questions, consult Villanova’s website for more detailed help: https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/provost/careers/plan/tips/dress.html
Additionally, check out Villanova’s Wildcat Wardrobe program, which can lend articles of clothing to students that they forgot at home or don’t own: https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/provost/careers/plan/tips/wildcatwardrobe.html
For further questions or to contact me about this blog post, you can reach me at email@example.com
Thanks for reading!
Keep dressing for success,