Dress to impress

Make a stellar first impression by dressing boldly and confidently for your next professional interview.


Becker and Stribbling’s solid, dark-colored suits make them appear professional and well put together for corporate interviews. With a basic silhouette, you can add personality with a range of colors and styles. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES

Janelle Mejia, Writer

In the professional world, first impressions are crucial. I am sure we have all experienced interview jitters. On top of that, finding something to wear can become unbearably difficult without preparation. Here are some tips on how to dress professionally while staying trendy at the same time.


Women in the workplace should glow with confidence and authority. The best way to do this is with a professional outfit. Our model SGA president-elect Taylor Stribbling, a junior sociology major, is in a matching black two-piece. You can never go wrong with pants and a matching blazer, which was featured in Gucci’s Spring 2015 line. Retail stores like H&M and Target carry blazers and pants for an affordable price. With an outfit of this kind, you will seem confident and ready to tackle any situation that is thrown at you. Just make sure the blazer and pants are not too baggy and look like you are swimming in them or going to trip at any moment.

Stribbling’s lack of accessories helps to avoid distractions from the professional lines of her outfit. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES

Women of the Elle staff have advised their readers to stay bold with the outfits they choose, but to remain true to themselves as well. If a pantsuit is not the look for you, another option is a blouse and midi-skirt, which was seen on Pamella Roland and Altuzarra’s Spring 2015 lines. You can also get this outfit at H&M or Ann Taylor.

Depending on the weather, trench coats are also appropriate for the professional world. Natalie Matthews, the associate editor for Elle Magazine, says trench coats make women seem more trustworthy and dependable. Nordstrom and Macy’s, as well as ASOS’s online catalog, include a large diverse selection of trench coats.


Accessorizing for interviews is also important because it provides outfits with more character, showing your personality. The most popular accessories in the professional world and on runways are structured purses and statement earrings or bangles. Jewelry of this kind can be found at stores like Forever 21 and H&M. It is better to take the simpler route, so be sure to stay subtle when choosing colors. Structured purses can be found at almost any women’s retail store. The most popular are Target, Forever 21, H&M and Nordstrom. A purse is the biggest accessory you will have, so make sure you choose one that ties the whole outfit together.

Becker pairs a printed shirt with a solid tie and suit to liven his outfit. Pairing a color palette can add interest to an outfit. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES


For all the job-seeking men out there, a traditional suit and tie still goes a long way for appearing neat, professional and well put together. Do not get too fancy and rent a tuxedo, you do not have to dress up that much — you could even wear a cardigan with khaki slacks. If you want to avoid looking like you borrowed your suit from your grandfather, get professionally fitted or go for a slim look which is featured in Vince Camuto, Ralph Lauren, Armani and Dolce and Gabbana’s Spring 2015 lines. Our model sophomore political science major Taylor Becker is wearing a blue slim-fitted suit that shows off his shoes nicely and makes him look fashionable. If you are wearing a solid-colored suit, you can wear any print dress shirt underneath as long as it matches the color of your suit. But if your suit has a print on it then make sure your dress shirt is a solid color that matches. Becker’s shirt is a fun red, white and blue gingham pattern that looks good with his suit. You can get suits at Men’s Warehouse or Nordstrom and cardigans and slacks at H&M.

Stribbling’s tan heels add spunk and variety to her black and white outfit. Neutral colors can balance an outfit. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES

For shoes, square toe is out. It is all about the round toe and wing tip or cap toe. Taylor’s shoes are cap-toed. For suits, wear oxford or derby shoes and for the cardigan and slacks, you can go more casual with chukka boots. You can get nice shoes from Steve Madden and Aldo or H&M for chukka boots.

Becker’s hickory-colored shoes compliment his classic blue suit and the red in his shirt. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES

If you do not want to wear a tie, that is okay. But if you plan on wearing a tie, make sure you do not wear a patterned tie with a patterned shirt. Also make sure your tie stops at your belt to check if it is the right size. Nordstrom and Macy’s have nice ties. With the right outfit you can show them you are the whole package, killer on paper and killer in person.

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