Talking about professionalism can often be repetitive and boring. You always hear the same information about preparing your resume, being able to network, and dressing appropriately for the workplace; but the Career Development Center and the Office of Multicultural Affairs have found a way to make things more interesting. On Thursday, April 18, the CDC and the OMA partnered with Sisters United, Precise, Black Student Union, and the Black Latino Greek Council to present the Dress for Success Fashion Show. The main goal of the show was to let everyone know that it is possible to incorporate your personality and style into your workplace wardrobe.
The best part about the showcase was that the students controlled everything and made it as relatable as possible. It was refreshing to be at an informational event for the students that were given by the students. Not only did we hear that your wardrobe is important from the day that you interview to the day that you leave your job, but we saw its importance as well. Everything kicked off with mock interviews that informed everyone of interview tips such as these: show up with your resume in hand, be able to speak about all of your work experience, be able to name your strengths and weakness, and lastly, dress to impress!
The next portion focused on getting an outfit together that was both professional and personal. Janet Sackey, who also styled several of the outfits in the show, explained how color choice can help with both. Remember to do the following:
1) Steer away from wearing bright colors because they can be inappropriate and too loud in the workplace environment.
2) Since bright colors are a no-go, try to remain neutral. Brenden Sams from Precise said that light blues, greys, white, beige, black, and brown are good ways to do this.
3) If you want to spice up your otherwise dull work clothes, statement accessories can always make a big difference. For men, the tie, belt, or watch can spice things up, while women can rely on a statement necklace, ring, or bracelet.
Another significant point that was made was to dress according to the culture of a particular job. This point was best made by the models dressed from different professions. There was the IT employee in his relaxed khaki pants, collared shirt, and comfortable shos. Then it was fashionista’s turn.She wore a sleeveless burgundy halter dress with jewels on the neck. Members in the audience also had a chance to dress models themselves and talk about their personal style choices.
The most important lesson of the entire show was to be able to express who you are as a person wherever you go. If people cannot access who you are as an individual, then they will not be able to gather how you can help them, or the rest of their team. First impressions are often the most important and your clothes are a major part of that expression. So before you think about what you will say about yourself, think about what your clothes are saying for you.
Catia Rembert is a second-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at CR firstname.lastname@example.org.