Walking into the Student Center Ballroom Wednesday evening, students would have thought they were walking into a fashion magazine photo shoot, but as the “Dress for Success Fashion Show” began the models were not dressed in today’s latest trends, but in their best business attire.
Business attire is different from environment to environment, so some looks that were on the runway ranged from initial interview suits, casual Friday wear, and business travel wear, to even proper workout gear when in the corporate gym.
“I worked in the corporate world and I would see girls coming in with sundresses on, and students who just do not know how to dress for the office, “ Lisa Weinzetl, Director of the Office of Conference Services and the adviser behind the fashion show event, said.
This fashion show gave students the chance to learn something that they truly need to know, according to Weinzetl. She said students will never know what is most appropriate in different situations until they are told that they need to know this.
In its third year at SRU, “Dress for Success Fashion Show” received very positive feedback from attending students, and the show was at maximum capacity for attendance, according to Weinzetl. Weinzetl explained that in previous years they focused mainly on women and how to dress in a corporate world, but this year they have expanded to men’s wardrobe as well.
“When looking for a business wardrobe, invest in investment clothing,” assistant general manager at the Grove City Premium Outlets Michele Czerwinski said.
The best way to start creating a professional wardrobe is to invest in an interview suit, explained Czerwinski. She said that when walking into an interview, both men and women should keep their look clean and simple. This means wear neutral dark colors, keep jewelry to a minimum, have a clean-shaven face, and do not go over the top with nail polish, makeup, and perfume or cologne.
“I think that in order to look professional, wear proper dress pants, a nice simple shirt, and a dark blazer,” junior sports management major Emily Wakelee, 20, said.
Czerwinski said once both men and women have obtained a simple, well-fitted suit, they should then find pieces of clothing that would be perfect and comfortable for different occasions, like casual Friday and business trips.
When it comes to developing a personal business style, junior biology major Dane St. George said personal flair should be tasteful and minimal.
“Simple is always better, and you can never go wrong with a bow tie,” George, 21, said.
Casual Fridays are a time for the worker to show some personality, so a shirt with a bold pattern or cardigan that has a pop of color would be perfect for such an occasion, explained Czerwinski.
“When traveling with your boss, never look like you are going on vacation,” Czerwinski said, suggesting instead to wear a more comfortable suit with more of a stretchy fabric, and to wear shoes that are easy to move around in, but are still professional.
“When traveling on business, stay on business,” Czerwinski explained.
Companies with corporate gyms are becoming more and more common, but this forces employees to also be professional, according to Czerwinski. She said the
best approach with these working environments is to continue to wear clothes that are professional and flattering. One’s clothing should be fitting, not oversized or a crop top, and should cover your body, from cleavage to underwear, explained Czerwinski.
“Do not go to the corporate gym with a beer stain on your shirt, it will not give off the right impression,” she said.
While some of the advice is clear and self-explanatory, Czerwinski shared many tips that will make the best first impression and prepare a student for any job.
For an interview suit, she said it’s best to go for a darker suit because a navy or black suit gives off a more conservative look, and gives no reason to distract the interviewer. She added that it’s best to also invest in a coat that will fit properly over both a work shirt and a blazer, and when wearing pants, always wear a belt.
As far as developing one’s wardrobe, she said improving upon one’s look can help them feel a little more relaxed before the big interview.
“If you work out all the problems with your wardrobe and outfit before the interview, it is one less thing to be nervous about when walking into an interview for a job,” Czerwinski said.