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Successful Men's Dress Attire

The primary goal in dressing for an interview is to feel great about ones appearance, while projecting an image that meets the requirements of the position and company. Learn to analyze the public image of the companies one desires to work for. Later, your own plan begins with an analysis of the position, the type of company, and what one personally wants or needs to say through dress.

Some interviewers will decide in the first sixty seconds whether they are interested in you or not (based on personal impressions) and will then spend the remainder of the interview validating their snap judgment. Your appearance and dress are perceived as a statement of who you are. Professionalism is your goal. The language of dress may speak without words, but it is never silent.

Suits:
Style: Conservative or classic 2 or 3 piece matching suit. No sports coats.
Color: Navy blue, brown or gray. Black least preferred. Muted pinstripe is acceptable. Darker tones express higher rank and lighter tones express lower rank.

Shirts:
Style: Classic style, long sleeve with button-down, spread or straight collars. If it was not designed to wear with a tie, it was not designed for business.
Color: White is best. Very pale blue or very pale yellow is acceptable. Subtle pin- striping is allowed.
Fabric: 100% cotton or polyblend.

Ties:
Style: Classic silk business tie with conservative pattern: no wide or skinny styles.
Color: Burgundy or red background is most preferable. Gray, blue, brown, light yellow background acceptable. Men can work non-business colors into their business wardrobe in the patterns of their ties.
Length: Tip should hit the middle of the belt buckle.

Socks:
Style: Over-the-calf is preferred length.
Color: Plain/solid colors of black, navy, or dark brown matching suit and shoe.

Shoes:
Style: Classic, conservative, leather, clean and well polished. Plain lace-ups, wing tips, or slipon. Lace-up preferred.
Color: Black with blue or gray clothing. Dark brown or Cordovan with brown clothing.

Hair:
Style: Hair should be short and conservative in style. No facial hair is preferred. Mustache is allowed.

Jewelry:
Avoid “fussy” jewelry. Only a watch is best. Watches should be conservative and professional in style: gold or silver preferred with simple, straight forward slim lines.
Cologne: Cologne is acceptable but should be very light.

References:

Allen, Jeffrey. How to Turn an Interview Into a Job. Simon & Schuster, 1983.
Golden, N. Dress Right for Business. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1986.
Cantore, Jean Ann. If the Suit Fits. Graduating Engineer, A Peterson’s/COG Publication, April 1994.



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