Dress for Success

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Dress for Success
Career Services
Quick Tips
You got the Interview—Dress to get the Job!
Follow these simple steps:
• Research the company’s dress code.
• Dress two levels higher than the job for which you are interviewing.
General Guidelines
• Select apparel, fragrances, jewelry, hairstyle, etc. that do not detract from your professional image. The
interviewer’s attention should be focused on what you say and your qualifications.
• Make sure your hair is clean, neat and professionally styled. Avoid styles that cover over more than your
forehead or ones that you have to brush back.
• Remove facial and body piercings other than single ear jewelry.
• Tattoos should be covered to avoid distraction.
• Apparel should be clean and neatly pressed.
• Apparel should fit well and remain in place while sitting and/or walking.
• Choose professional apparel that you like and for which you receive positive feedback from people who are
knowledgeable about the industry standard or specific company policy.
• Less is more. Keep your look simple and successful until you become accustomed to the environment and
learn about the company’s dress code.
Guideline for Women’s Interview Attire
• Select a skirted suit, pantsuit or conservatively tailored dress that draws the eye to your face.
• Skirts are traditionally knee-length but those that are slightly shorter or longer are also acceptable.
• Select blouses or sweaters that provide visual interest but avoid ones that are transparent, tight fitting, or that
have low necklines, revealing waistlines or details that detract from your face as a focal point. Typically, arms
are covered at least to the biceps and often to the wrist.
• Always wear hose to interviews. Wear plain-style, non-patterned hosiery and select colors that flatter your
coloring. For traditional industries, wear a neutral color. For other industries, you may choose to wear hose
that coordinate with your skirt. Carry an extra pair in case of runs.
• Perfume should never be strong. A fragrance can cause an allergic reaction or offend the interviewer. When in
doubt, do not wear perfume.
• If you use makeup, use natural-looking products and clear nail polish. This keeps the focus on the interview.
• Do not carry a purse with a briefcase. Choose one or the other.
• Wear flat, low or medium heeled pumps. Be sure shoes are clean and polished. Avoid shoes that hinder you
from walking fast. Avoid open-toed shoes since they are associated with social agendas.
• Add accessories to express your personality and accentuate your best features. A scarf or necklace is an
effective way to focus on your face. Keep it simple!
• Some women wear too many accessories at the same time such as earrings, necklaces and rings. Jewelry can
accentuate your personality and can be an asset if worn in moderation. Avoid dangling earrings and wear no
more than one ring per hand and a dress watch. Be sure all jewelry focuses on the face.
Willard Administrative Center
Phone 303-492-6541
FAX 303-492-5723
133 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0133
E-mail: [email protected]
Guidelines for Men’s Interview Attire
• Wear a matching suit in navy, black or gray (pinstripe or solid) or wear a navy blazer and gray dress slacks.
They serve as a visual background that draws the eye to the face.
• Wear a white or light blue dress shirt that contrasts with the jacket and/or tie. Typically, arms should be covered
to the wrist. Exposing arms by rolling up your sleeves is less formal.
• A silk (or silk-like) tie should coordinate with the jacket and pants but strongly contrast with the color of your
shirt; selecting subtle or simple patterns enhances credibility.
• Socks should be calf-length or above the calf. Choose natural-fiber blends that allow a flow of air and do not
hold in perspiration and heat. Choose colors such as dark blue, black or gray.
• Wear conservative, clean and polished shoes.
• Select lace-up (not slip-on) dress shoes. The color should be dark or blend with pants.
• Select a leather belt that visually blends or matches your shoes.
• A professional hair cut is expected.
• Minimize jewelry. Avoid a necklace. Wear no more than one ring per hand and a dress watch. Be sure all jewelry
supports a focus on the face.
• A full-length coat can be worn over your suit; avoid casual coats.
• Cologne should never be strong. A fragrance can cause an allergic reaction or offend the interviewer. When in
doubt, do not wear cologne.
• Your briefcase is part of the visual effect; consider a simple portfolio as an effective substitute and try to select
a color that supports your visual effect.
* Much of this information is provided by permission from the University of Washington web site at:
University of Colorado at Boulder
(Revised November 2005)
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