Last night, the Multicultural Women’s Forum and National Association of Black Accountants hosted the second Dress for Success Fashion Show, which was sponsored by Macy’s. The night was filled with food, refreshments, raffles, giveaways – and style.
“[The two groups] came together for this fashion show because we are brother and sister organizations, and we wanted to bring out diversity students within the Smeal College of Business,” says Kalyn Flournoy, president of the MWF. “This is also a fun way for great companies like Macy’s to get involved with student organizations.”
Fuad Ligali, president of NABA, says, “We noticed that students are not dressing appropriately or fully prepared for interviews with recruiters, and we are pushing efforts to increase awareness, so diversity students can have that same edge for internships or full-time placement.”
The fashion show demonstrated the do’s and do not’s of what to wear for different business occasions:
For guys, it’s important to wear a complete suit, and to make sure your belt and shoes match. Also, wear socks that match the color of your pants.
For girls, a blazer and skirt work well. It’s important to completely avoid cleavage, and to make sure that your skirt is not too short –knee length is appropriate. Flats and close-toed shoes are the best for comfort and professionalism. Also, be conscious of jewelry. You want recruiters to be listening to you, not just staring at your large hoop earrings or over-the-top accessories.
For business casual, guys have the option to not wear the suit jacket. However, it is still necessary to wear a pressed collared shirt and tie.
For girls, tailored slacks with a nice top can work perfectly. Open-toed shoes are appropriate for business casual, but make sure either you have clean toenails or a fresh pedicure (and please, skip the glitter).
For charity events or galas, it’s important to dress formally. A black suit and white shirt with either a black bowtie or tie can look totally sharp for guys.
A full-length dress is great for girls. Keep the jewelry to a minimum, and make sure you can walk comfortably in your heels. Leave your clubbing (or fratting) dresses in the closet.
Everyone loves Friday’s. It’s the start of the weekend, and the most casual day of the week. However, there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. A great casual Friday outfit for guys is a pair of khaki slacks, worn with a nice polo and a pair of Sperry’s.
For ladies, a pair of flare jeans – with no rips, of course – a button down and a flattering blazer. Absolutely no leggings; save those for post-work comfort.
Most of all, wear confidence.
Photos by Jonathan Hsieh