Professional Dress Guidelines

Men’s Interview/Business Attire

Dark colored full suit and tie, but exceptions may include a collared shirt, tie, and slacks

Business suit- jacket and pants combination is the norm.

Overcoat- a solid color overcoat (mid to long length) may be used when needed.


Business Suit

  • Dark colors: black, navy, gray, etc. (avoid bright colors)
  • Jacket should fit comfortably on shoulders and can either fit over your hands or a little longer than
  • Pants should be fit and comfortable, but watch the length
  • Solid or stripes (avoid flashy appearance)
  • Include a long-sleeved button down shirt that is solid and coordinates with suit
  • A conservative solid color or even striped tie is a must
  • Dark color belt should go with suit and match your shoes


  • Must be leather, dark color and should match the suit
  • “dress shoe” or similar design


  • Jewelry should be kept at minimal or taken off
  • Briefcase or portfolio recommended

Women’s Interview/Business Attire

A conservative dark navy or gray skirted wool blend suit (beige or brown are also acceptable). Red is a power color. A blazer with blouse and skirt is a possible second choice to a suit. You should always wear a jacket.

Skirt length should be a little below the knee Avoid wearing a dress (unless accented with a jacket). Blouses should be cotton or silk and should be white, or some other light color. Shoes should be low-heeled.


Matched skirted suit- skirt and jacket in same color and fabric is traditional and the most formal choice.

Unmatched suit- skirt and jacket in coordinating colors and fabrics is only slightly less formal than a matched one.

Business dress- worn with or without a coordinated jacket creates a more relaxed, friendly message

Matched pantsuit- trousers and jacket in same color and fabric is a popular choice

Ensemble- fitted dress with long or short matching jacket is an elegant way to simplify business dressing.

Matched Suit

  • Solid colors are best, but stripes or light plaids are okay, should not cling or shine
  • The best basic colors for women are black, brown to camel, burgundy, blue to navy, beige to taupe, and all shades of gray. The darker the color, the more authority the suit will impart to the woman wearing it
  • A skirt is considered more formal but pant suits are more appropriate with less conservative organizations


  • Should be clean, pressed, and well tailored
  • White, ivory, or light blue are best, solid colors or subtle patterns are acceptable
  • Fabric should be cotton or silk and avoid lace, ruffles, and shinny fabrics


  • Choose basic conservative pumps, no strappy sandals and extremely high heels
  • Should be closed toe and heel and the heel should be between 1” to 3” high
  • Dark blue, brown, black or maroon. Should match the hemline or be darker
  • Fashion colors such as red or purple are impractical because it only goes with one outfit and it may be too bold for the boardroom.
  • Must match the conservative tone of the suit


  • Jewelry should be minimal and subtle such as pearls (not too big) or a simple silver or gold necklace
  • Use a briefcase rather than a purse
  • Hosiery should match your skin color not bright colors

Business Casual for Men


  • “Dockers” or similar, slacks, and dress pants are acceptable (dark, solid colored)
  • Pants should be pressed and well tailored


  • Sport coat
  • Blazer
  • Suit jacket


  • Collared (solid or stripped) and pressed
  • Long sleeve recommended
  • Collared polo or sweater is acceptable
  • Should be well fit but not too tight


  • Leather required
  • Dark color


  • Matching belt is required
  • Ties are optional
  • Head Covers used for religious purposes/cultural traditions are allowed
  • Jewelry should be minimal to none (remove sunglasses when appropriate)
  • Aftershave/cologne should be minimized

Business Casual for Women


  • Conservative pants, skirts, and dresses are acceptable
  • Skirts and dresses should be knee high or longer
  • Pants should be well tailored but not overly tight
  • A Varity of colors are okay but solid tones are safer; navy, black, gray, brown khaki
  • Avoid flashy, shinny, or revealing looks
  • For the most business-like appearance, pants should be creased and tailored; neither extreme of tight or flowing
  • Your skirt should come at least to your knees while you are standing. 
  • Slips should not be visible.


  • Creates a more professional look
  • Can be removed to have a more casual look
  • Solid shade or subtle design


  • Should be well fit but not too tight
  • Cotton, silk, and blend are the most appropriate
  • Pastel colors are recommended


  • Should be closed toe and heel
  • Color must match the outfit
  • Approach the slingback and open-toe with great caution because this may be inappropriate for the organization.


  • Use a briefcase instead of a purse. If you must have a purse it must be small and conservative. Something that is structured not floppy, canvas and straw are not acceptable
  • Jewelry should be minimal
  • Panty hose are recommended with a skirt or dress but not essential and should match your skin tone.




1 Comment

  1. Not going to lie. The policy is business casual at my work. When I went in for the interview, I noticed the HR guy was wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and a polo. This is typical of many of my coworkers and I have followed suit without an issue…but this is probably rare.

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