Friday, April 16, 2010

career clothes lingo

During my 1L year, I saw a lot of us scrambling for our first suits. Many of us came straight from undergrad. We knew office work meant business casual, which was more easily defined by what we couldn't wear than what we could wear. Basically business casual means no jeans, no open toe shoes, no tank tops, no obnoxious colors or prints, no shorts, no miniskirts, no floor length skirts. Just about everything else is fair game.

Then there came the receptions with the "business" dress code on the invites. Business meant suits. We needed to have suits! Then came on-campus interviews (OCI). I noticed at public interest career day that some girls wore suits with a ruffled skirt or a ruffle on the jacket. They stood out, but not in a good way.

An interview suit is different from a non-interview suit. Interview suits are supposed to be as basic and as classic as you can get, preferably in a dark color. It's appropriate to stand out by wearing a shirt in a bright color, but usually, fussy looking details look unprofessional. I didn't learn this rule until later on in my first year, but it definitely made sense to me. Those cute, ruffly suits looked out place on our on-campus interview days, and my favorite suits were sleek and well-fitted.

To look good on interviews, look for a suit that fits you well. Save the cutesy details for other "business" occasions.

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