Job interviews are important, especially for college students looking to start out in their dream career. With all the preparation you’ve done with school and building your resume, the last thing you want is to lose out on a great opportunity because you didn’t dress properly for the interview.
The Dress for Success Fashion Show hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion within the E.J. Ourso College of Business prepares students for the professional world by showing them the do’s and don’ts of professional attire so they can make a great first impression.
The fall 2018 event marked the fourth Dress for Success show since it started in 2014. It is an annual event held in the Business Education Complex Rotunda, but the 2016 show was canceled because of the flooding in Baton Rouge that summer.
Diversity and Inclusion Director for the Office of Business Student Success Angela Guidry came up with the idea for a fashion show featuring business clothes following a discussion with an accounting student on the difference between business casual and business professional clothing.
“We also wanted to make sure the students were prepared and were able to make that great first impression for their job interview, because that’s a big part of it,” Guidry said. “The moment you walk in, people are looking at you and your appearance.”
The outfits are pulled from either department stores or stores that specialize in work-wear. In the past, stores like Talbot’s, Jos. A. Bank and Banana Republic have provided clothes for the Dress for Success Show. This year’s show included clothes from White House Black Market, Dillard’s and JC Penney. Guidry said it’s important for them to feature a good balance of options for men and women in the show.
The show highlights the variety of options for students to make the task of shopping for a professional outfit less daunting. Models walked down the runway in purple, yellow, pink and bright blue, proving there’s more than just the plain black, gray and blue clothes that may come to mind when you think of businesswear. Even in the more conservative business professional outfits, a pop of color or a faint pattern on a shirt or tie can make the look more interesting and well- put together.
The models for the show are mostly students from the College of Business, so they get to put their Dress for Success skills to use. Guidry said the models get to have some input on what they wear in the show because it’s important they feel confident and can exude that confidence when they’re walking in the show.
“I look for a lot of really simple things, like right now I have on just a navy dress, but with something kind of funky about it,” said marketing senior and Dress for Success model Symone Lacour. “I like to be daring sometimes with color but keep it simple at the same time.”
Guidry said the difference between dressing business casual and business professional can all come down to how the outfit is layered. A business jacket like a blazer can take almost any business look from casual to professional. She said it’s important for students to go into any interview dressed in a business professional style, even if the day-to-day wear for employees is more casual.
“Get the dress for success part done and out of the way,” Guidry said, “so you can focus on doing the research on the company and preparing yourself for those interview questions that are going to come your way.”