Dress Your Way to Success

Posted on October 04, 2012

Dress Your Way to Success

By Sherri Simmons, President and CEO

For young twenty-something’s, understanding appropriate dress for professional interviews may be a daunting task – especially given the sometimes not-so-buttoned-up looks accepted in today’s office settings. 

For soon-to-be or recent public relations/communications grads entering the professional world, it can be even more confusing given those in our field generally have more freedom in clothing options – unlike our legal counterparts who consistently don traditional suits. However, when it comes to interviews, it’s best to go more professional than not. In other words, err on the side of “too professional” rather than “too casual.” 

Keep in mind the following when choosing your first interview fashion:

  • Obey the “law” – Our legal friends may seem stuffy, but a suit remains the most appropriate choice for an interview – even in communications. Don’t stray too far from the tried and true. Girls, pair a great suit with a classic top underneath or – as an alternative – go for a classic Jackie O-style dress. Boys, button up and wear a tie! You may not have to think like a lawyer in your PR profession, but you need to look like one in your interview.
  • Keep shoes and neck accessories classic – Girls, you may be a huge fan of stilettos or today’s popular “hipster” scarves. Or, if you’re a guy, you may love flashy shoes or ties that reflect your individual style. But for the initial interview, keep such items simple and non-distracting. Once you are hired and experience a particular office’s culture, then you can start to integrate your unique flair.
  • Don’t accessorize to the point of distraction – Keep earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, etc. toned down. Again, you may love chandelier earrings that go past your shoulders, enjoy feather accents, or have a watch the size of the sun, but in a first interview, go for elegant and simple. You don’t want your potential employer focusing on your bling instead of what you bring to the table professionally.
Above all else, remember that an outfit doesn’t need to be expensive to look professional. There are enough store bargains available to ensure you easily find something that works on a budget. For more ideas on first interview attire, visit the Duffey Pinterest fashion page and enter for your chance to win a $250 gift card. The real world is coming for you; be sure to dress the part! Disclaimer:  Although the outfit in the above photo is not a good example of interview attire – it works very well when hiking the Scottish Highlands --- and great day-to-evening attire for a stop off at the pub.


How to Dress for an Interview


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