Business Casual vs. Business Confused [Infographic]

At work, you never get another first impression and your appearance can say more than your vocal chords.  When attire calls for business casual, follow these tips to make sure you do not appear “business confused” to employers.

How do you decide what is appropriate in the workplace? What common dress mistakes do you see frequently?

This is a guest post written the Vice President of Professional Development, Jessica Noonan, and designed by FORUM Design Editor Sarah Thacker.

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11 Responses to Business Casual vs. Business Confused [Infographic]

  1. Samra Bufkins, MJ, APR July 31, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    As a university faculty member, I supervise all of our school’s Public Relations interns. This past semester nearly all of them got dinged on professional appearance by their professional supervisors. I polled their supervisors and got this: Too much cleavage (this is NOT Jersey Shore), muffin tops (if you’re overweight, conceal it), shirts too short, jeans with holes (men and women), visible tattoos, too many piercings, and generally sloppy dress, in that order.

    When I spoke to students about it I got these answers: “Sometimes I went straight from class to my internship and didn’t have time to change.” My response: “Then wear your work outfit to class — you should be getting used to dressing professionally.”

    Students need to look at senior employees in the firm they work/intern in and try to dress like them. Your party wardrobe isn’t your work wardrobe, and neither is your class wardrobe. Even at my advanced age, I have multiple wardrobes. Deal with it.

    [Reply]

  2. Anne Veltema August 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    My dad always told me to dress for the position I want not the one I have. That does not mean $300 suits but it kept me in check when getting dressed as an intern and now as a professional. I would reframe thinking on the earlier comment. Overweight professionals can be successful without hiding it, rather package what you have in the best way possible.

    [Reply]

  3. Chelsea Grint August 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    As a recent graduate with multiple internships under her belt, it boggles my mind that both students and working professionals need a reminder on business dress code. During a professional class photo for an advanced public relations course we had young women show up in strapless dresses above the knee and stiletto heels meant for night clubs. I was shocked.

    Everything in the blog above should be common sense. Please girls, stop wearing spaghetti straps or strapless shirts and skirts that are mid thigh. Use your mind, not your body, to get ahead. If you are ever not sure if your outfit is appropriate or not, then change it. Dress for the job you want, not the job your have, some saying are cliche for a reason.

    [Reply]

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