Photo by Michael James

As Monday and Tuesday passed by, droves of students walked around campus in their best “career outfits.” Despite the sweltering sun, suits still seemed to dominate the Stingers.

The Career Fair always bring out the question: “What exactly do I wear?” Sure, there are dictionary definitions of terms such as “business casual,” “business formal” and the more confusing ones like “dressy causal,” which is quite an oxymoron.

It is arguable that the absolute first impression on a recruiter, interviewer or employer will be based solely on appearance. It makes sense that appearance should be thoughtful and appropriate for the job that potential candidates hope to secure.

So how should students navigate through all these terms and clothes? After observing the assortment of nude pumps and fitted blazers, there were a few key takeaways from students’ career clothing choices.

Ladies: A formal suit is essential wardrobe piece. Be it a skirt or pants suit, pieces can always be worn separately to mix it up a bit. A suit will work in a formal setting and in a less formal setting; a blazer for a sweater. Students can also try a pop of color, for example, a bright blouse under a conservative blazer.

Gentlemen: make sure your suit fits. Am I suggesting it be three sizes too small? No, of course not. But a tailored suit is evident, especially if it is standing next to one that does not correctly fit, something a recruiter might notice. Suits also do come in more colors than black.

Sure, there will be some who will try to argue that their GPA is more “eye-popping” than their outfits or that their resume can speak for itself. However, nothing stands out more than an eye sore of a suit (especially when tennis shoes are involved).