Dressing for Success: The Do’s and Don’ts

We all have our own style, whether you realize it or not- hipster, preppy, grunge or glam? Fashion is always one of the best modes of self-expression.

As college students, we are able to dress any way we want, having just moved away from the high school phase and before entering the real world. But inevitably, there’s a time when dressing for the career you want becomes necessity. When it comes time for an interview, internship, or even a real job, toss aside those oversize vintage sweaters from Urban Outfitters and especially those favorite slippers you wear around the dorm, because during the work week, it’s time to transform into a professional!

Here are our DO’s and DON’Ts of dressing for interviews, internships & jobs…


DO be on the conservative side. No cleavage, sheer material, or bandage skirts.

DO go for a more natural & neutral look. Flashy colors are almost always a definite no. Makeup should also be applied to appear as natural as possible. Smoky eyes? Save that for the weekend!

DO go light on the perfume. You want to smell nice, not smell up the whole office.

DO try to retain some aspect of your personal style. This doesn’t mean rocking those long feather earrings and fringe purse. Try pairing your work-appropriate pencil skirt and blazer with a chic pair of heels instead.

DO check out stores like J. Crew and Banana Republic for work-appropriate (and stylish) clothing!


DON’T wear jeans or leggings. You’re going to work, not to class.

DON’T wear flip-flops. If you can’t walk in heels, try a pair of flats.

DON’T wear anything too tight. That body con dress will be perfect for the club, not the office.

DON’T be boring with your choices. We’re still young, so don’t give up on style all together! Tailored pants and a blazer over a white button up shirt every day is SO boring…try to mix it up!


Cute weekend look, but a DON’T for work…




Here’s a pretty good balance of style and modesty. This could be a DO for work (in most cases)…



Depending on what industry you’re going into, there may be more lenience to the rules of dressing. For example, a student who wants to be a lawyer is going to have to dress in more formal business attire than the future editor of Vogue magazine, who will need to retain a grasp on personal and trending styles when choosing outfits for work.

Basically, dress for the job you want. Don’t wear anything you would wear to a party or club, and make sure to always feel comfortable and confident in your wardrobe choices. Your clothes can make or break a first impression!


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