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What to Wear

boston college career center

First impressions count, so dress appropriately any time you meet with a prospective employer.

A suit is the proper attire for any business-formal event, including interviews. Business casual is appropriate for career fairs, information sessions, and other networking events on campus. However, some industries, such as technology, may be less formal. We recommend you do your research to find out what’s appropriate in your specific field.

The goal is not to make an impression or express your individuality through your attire, but to stand out through your professionalism and the content of your answers. Dress in an understated way so as not to distract the interviewer from the content.

 

General tips:

  • Make sure your clothing and accessories are fairly comfortable. 
  • If you are unsure about what to wear, ask the recruiter what office norms are. It is always safer to be overdressed than underdressed.
 
What does business casual mean?
Business casual includes pants/slacks/skirts with a shirt/blouse or a dress. Do not wear jeans, shorts, sundress, or athletic wear. Ties are optional. Blazers and cardigans are appropriate to wear over shirts and blouses. Closed-toe shoes, boots, and flats are all appropriate. 

Attire:

  • A jacket with pants/skirt or a dress is appropriate for a formal interview.
  • Wear shirts and blouses with a modest cut.
  • Skirts and dresses should fall below or just above the knee and tights are always a safe bet.
  • Clothes should be dark or neutral colors. Blue, black, gray, and brown are the safest colors to wear. Light colors can be worn underneath, but refrain from wearing stripes or bright prints/colors. 
  • Choose conservative patterns and darker colors for your tie.
  • Suit jackets and pants/skirts/dresses should be matching colors and materials.
     

Shoes:

  • Wear closed-toe, fairly low-heel or dress shoes. 
  • Shoes should match the color of your belt. 
  • Shoes should be polished and comfortable. 
  • Wear sneakers and change into dress shoes upon arrival to avoid pain.
     

Hair and makeup:

  • Hair should be neatly trimmed and well groomed, including facial hair.
  • Makeup and nails should be neat, neutral, and understated.
     

Accessories and more:

  • Jewelry and hair accessories should be kept to a minimum.
  • Tights and pantyhose should match your skin tone. 
  • Cologne, perfume, and aftershave can be worn but should be used sparingly.
  • Tattoos and piercings should be aligned to company or culture standards. 
 
 

Need help?


For one-on-one advice on what to wear, schedule an appointment with a career coach or stop by during drop-in hours.