Professional Attire


Dress the part to make a great impression for professional networking, interviewing, career fairs, and most work environments.

There are many variables that influence how you should dress and those depend on the organization, specific situation, the industry, company "culture" or work environment, and your culture.

If you are unsure how professionally you should dress, it's better to err on the side of dressing more professionally.

General Recommendations


  • Tailored or fit well
  • In good condition
  • Wrinkle & lint-free


  • Neat and clean dress shoes and in good condition


  • Belts should match the color of your shoes and attire
  • Jewelry should be moderate

Hair and Makeup:

  • Hair should be well-groomed
  • Nails and makeup should be natural in style

Fragrance, piercings, tattoos

  • Fragrance other than deodorant should be avoided
  • Piercings & tattoos should align with company culture or standards

Business Professional

Same as the general recommendations plus the following.


  • Solid, dark, or neutral colors
  • Light colors can be worn underneath
  • No stripes or bright prints/colors
  • Suit jacket & pants/skirt should be matching colors


Closed-toe heel or dress shoes

Personal items:

  • Bring essentials only!
  • Keep phones turned off and out of sight with personal items
  • Carry a portfolio, professional bag, or simple purse

Business Professional Examples

Business Casual


  • Pants/slacks, dresses, and skirts
  • No jeans, shorts, sundresses, or athletic wear
  • Skirts and dresses should be knee-length when standing and thighs covered while seated
  • Ties optional
  • Blazers & cardigans


Closed-toe shoes, flats, boots, or comfortable shoes for walking in

Business Casual Examples

Things to avoid

  • Shorts
  • Sandals
  • Heavy Cologne/Perfume
  • Limit visibility of tattoos
  • Limit religious symbols
  • Tight and revealing clothing
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Dirty or wrinkled clothes
  • Stilettos (keep heels under 3" or wear flats)
  • Very bright colors or wild patterns
  • Large or busy jewelry/accessories
  • Shirts with lettering/graphics

Professional attire on a budget

  • Borrowed items from friends/family
  • Thrift stores
  • Humanix Career Clothing Bank
  • Inexpensive stores and clearance items
  • JCPenney SUIT UP event - Partnership between EWU and JCPenney for deeply discounted career wear and accessories. Happens yearly during the winter quarter. Watch for it in Handshake under "events".