Dress for success

photo by Alex Glazerman

Looking for success? Dress the part. The Weal asked three experts to share their tips on what to wear (and what not to wear) to work.

Business professional
Business professional is always best. When in doubt, always overdress, said Scott Van Berkel, Manager of Customer Service for Shell Canada. “There is something professional about dressing for work. It’s all about looking like you’re ready to work,” Van Berkel said.

FOR HIM > A two-piece suit, dress shirt, dress shoes, black socks, tie optional. Facial hair is okay, just ensure that it is trimmed and clean.

FOR Her > Dress pants or skirt, blouse, at least a one-inch heel, stockings for the fall and winter months, blazer optional.

Business casual

Business casual has become closer to the norm over the last 10 to 20 years.
Research the company you’re interviewing with to get a better idea of their dress code. “If it’s a younger company, chances are they will be more inclined to hire someone in a polished business casual look. Showing your own personal style is OK,” said Sophie Khorassani of Man Power, a Calgary headhunting company.
The most popular corporate hairstyles for this season include shorter hair for men, but if you aren’t ready to part with your longer locks then be sure to use a wax or gel-based product. A bob for women is a great professional look. “It’s a classy and easy look,” says Erin Bay, a stylist at HeadKandi in Bankers Hall.

FOR HIM > A blazer, dress shirt, dark denim, dress shoes, black socks.

FOR Her > A blazer, blouse, dark denim, heels.

Do not wear this look to an interview. Remember it’s not a night out at a club. This is the stepping-stone to your future. Keep the cleavage in, dye your roots, blow dry your hair, and polish your shoes. “There must be something wrong with them, coming to an interview looking like that,” said Van Berkel.

FOR HIM > T-shirt, hoodie, light denim, canvas shoes.
FOR HER > Mini skirt, tank top, stilettos, vests with no blouse underneath.

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