Professional Dress

Eller PDC Coach's Corner

By Sarah Diaz, Director of Professional Development

While the term “professional dress” means different things in different occupations, one thing is certain: you must look polished when you are in front of employers. For students, the same rules apply for class presentations as well. As we enter into “interview time” internship and job seekers, and “presentation time” here in Eller, it is important to remind everyone about what professional dress really means.   

Below are a few tips on dressing professionally for interviews or class presentations. We recommend visiting the Eller PDC Pinterest page as it has some great visuals on appropriate professional attire for both men and women.

Professional  Not-so-Professional
  • Business suit in a conservative color (navy, gray, or black are preferred); women may wear suits with either a skirt or pants
  • For men: dress shirt and tie
  • For women: blouse that complements the suit; neckline no lower than collarbone; skirt hem should be no more than two inches above the knee
  • Appropriate undergarments. For men: a white undershirt for women: a camisole
  • Clothes clean and pressed
  • Shoes: for men—wing tips or loafers with dark dress socks; for women—low/medium closed-toed heels or flats.
  • Khakis, jeans, or sweats
  • Shirt tail not tucked in
  • Stains or wrinkles
  • Shoes run down at the heels, scuffed, or not polished
  • White socks
  • Colored hose or hose with runs or snags in them
  • Low necklines
  • Blouses that are lace or see-through
  • Hemlines on skirts more than two inches above the knee;
  • Too tight or too loose clothing without appropriate undergarments
  • Open toed shoes or sandals
  • Revealing or provocative
  • Necktie not properly tied
  • Clean and styled
  • Off your face
  • For men – short hair is preferable; facial hair should be groomed
  • Dirty or unkempt
  • Excessively long bangs
  • Playing with your hair
  •  Minimal jewelry: small earrings, necklaces, pins, etc.
  • Good-quality briefcase or portfolio to hold papers
  • Cell phone is turned off
  • Visible tattoos or piercings
  • Excessive or large jewelry
  • Disorganized materials
  • Cell phone rings during interview
  • Heavy or excessive scents