Dressing Professionally

As your company's representative, you will be establishing a first impression--favorable or unfavorable--by your words, actions, and your dress and grooming. Since first impressions are often lasting impressions, it is important to you and your company that you dress in a professional manner.

The Corporate Male
In the United States, most male corporate officials wear traditional dark blue or dark gray suits. Research has proven that these suits give the businessman the most credibility. White, long-sleeved cotton shirts with button-down collars also give a good impression and are usually best for comfort and durability.

The most widely accepted shoe style for males is the laced, plain-toe oxford, but plain and tasseled loafers are acceptable as well. Black, cordovan, and brown are all acceptable shoe colors for daytime business wear, but brown shoes are not normally worn with evening wear.

Black, brown, or navy blue cotton or nylon socks are recommended for the professional businessman. Socks should be long enough to cover the calf when you sit cross-legged. White socks are never worn with business suits.

Conservative colors and patterns are also most suitable for neckties. The necktie should reach to the middle of the belt buckle.

It is recommended that wallets be kept in the suit jacket breast pocket.

On single breasted suits, coats should be buttoned when standing and unbuttoned when you are seated.

The Corporate Female
For the corporate businesswoman, the generally accepted look is the matched, skirted wool suit in cold temperatures and cotton or rayon in warmer temperatures. Dark, conservative colors are recommended. Hemlines should not reflect the most recent trend--the best skirt length is below the knees.

Shoes should be of good quality leather, comfortable, and easy to walk in. The best shoe is a closed toe pump with a medium heel. The shoe color should always be a least one shade darker than the hemline of the skirt.

Hair should always appear neat and controlled. Wild hairstyles may destroy the image that an aspiring professional is trying to convey.

Jewelry should be conservative and simple. Avoid wild earrings and bracelets.

Dress like a professional. Act like a professional. Be a professional.