Career Services

Professional Attire

Are you close to graduation? Do you have an interview coming up? Do you know what you should wear? Many college students do not realize that business casual and business professional are two entirely different types of attire. Business casual is a lower threshold of attire than business professional and is usually less expensive to buy. Business professional attire, on the other hand, is more expensive and is often seen as an investment into your workwear wardrobe.

Business Professional

  • Typically a full suit, most commonly black, grey, or navy
  • Can be a blazer with a matching pair of slacks, a dress, or a skirt
  • Shirt should be a blouse or button-down dress shirt; should be a neutral color, like white, grey, or black. This should complement your suit or outerwear color.
  • Keep jewelry to a minimum
  • Ties, bow-ties, handkerchiefs, scarves, and other aesthetic accessories, should be in a solid color or conservative pattern. These should also complement your overall color scheme.
  • Closed-toe shoes are necessary and should be kept to black, grey, white, or brown, whichever matches your color scheme best.

Most jobs will not require business professional, but it’s a good idea to dress up like this for interviews, hiring events, or Career Services hosted events.

Business Casual

  • Can dress in more colors and patterns and is open to more customization in your attire
  • Includes blouses, button-ups, sport coats, polo shirts, khaki pants, skirts, and similar items. These items should be appropriate and clean. Jeans aren’t business casual.
  • Jewelry should be appropriate but can be worn more freely with business casual.
  • Typically, aesthetic accessories, like ties, bow-ties, handkerchiefs, and similar items aren’t worn for business casual, but some instances do allow for these accessories.
  • Open-toe shoes can be appropriate but no flip flops. 

Business casual is more relaxed than business professional and is much more common for workplace attire.

If you have any questions about what to wear to an interview or attire in general, feel free to stop by the Career Closet, located in Bruce Center room 216. Open hours are Monday through Friday, from 9 am until 4 pm. All students and alumni are welcome and can get two full outfits a year through this service. All items checked out are theirs to keep as long as they’d like.

Mallory Cain

Mallory Cain

I am Mallory Cain, from McGehee, Arkansas. I graduated from Southern Arkansas Fall of 2021 with my BBA with an emphasis in Marketing-Media. I'm currently working on my MBA, and I am serving as an SAU+VISTA fellow for Career Services in the Career Closet.

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