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Professional Dress

Recommendations for how you can dress for an interview or typical workday will vary based on your job, company and industry. Dressing “business professional” is always the safest route, especially for interviews. We recommend you inquire about your prospective employer's policy, ensuring that what you wear to the interview and initial days on the job allows people to focus on your knowledge and skills rather than your clothing.

How do you determine what is the best attire for a given job, company or industry? Call the Human Resources office where you are interviewing or working and simply ask. You can also visit the company's office and observe the attire current employees are wearing, although make sure to check you are not there on a "casual day" or special occasion. When in doubt, the best recommendation is to wear a suit in solid, dark and neutral colors, like gray, black, navy blue or charcoal.

What does “business professional” look like?

  • A suit jacket and pants or skirt in matching colors that are solid, dark and neutral like gray, black, navy blue or charcoal. Make sure the suit is clean and neatly pressed.
  • Button-down shirts or blouses in light colors can be worn underneath the suit jacket. It’s best to avoid stripes or bright prints and any clothing that would need pulling or tugging. Ties are appropriate for business professional attire.
  • Closed-toe heel or dress shoes, typically matching the color of your belt or attire.
  • Neat and clean hair, makeup and nails in styles that make you feel confident.
  • Use minimal or mild cologne or perfume.
  • Carry a portfolio, professional bag or simple purse and bring essentials only, keeping personal items concealed and silencing cell phones when in interviews or meetings.

What does “business casual” look like?

  • Nice pants, slacks and dresses with button-down shirts, blouses, sweaters or long-sleeved shirts. A blazer, cardigan or sports jacket can also be worn. Ties are optional for business casual attire.
  • Skirts and dresses that are knee-length when standing.
  • Flats, boots, and closed-toe dress shoes, typically matching the color of your belt or attire.
  • Neat and clean hair, makeup and nails in styles that make you feel confident.
  • Use minimal or mild cologne or perfume.
  • Carry a portfolio, professional bag or simple purse and bring essentials only, keeping personal items concealed and silencing cell phones when in interviews or meetings.
  • No jeans, shorts, sundresses or athletic wear.

Looking for business professional or business casual attire for interviews, networking events, and days on the job? Shop the Wildcat Wardrobe.

The Wildcat Wardrobe is a service that provides free professional clothing to Villanova students. Professional attire from the Wildcat Wardrobe serves to provide you with the attire needed to a strong first impression when meeting with professionals and employers in networking and recruiting conversations.

To shop the Wildcat Wardrobe, you can schedule an appointment on Handshake or call the Career Center at 610-519-4060. All are welcome to try on clothing in the dressing room, located in the Career Center, and take items home free of charge. We encourage you to take your time when browsing the Wildcat Wardrobe to find items you like.

If you are interested in donating clothing, we will graciously accept gently used or new professional attire to be worn during interviews, career fairs and other professional events.

We welcome donations of the following attire in interview-ready condition:

  • Suits
  • Jackets
  • Pants
  • Dresses
  • Blouses
  • Skirts
  • Shoes

Donations may be sent to:

Villanova University Career Center

800 E. Lancaster Ave.

Garey Hall, Suite 117

Villanova, PA 19085-1603

How you dress can help you feel confident, and confidence is important factor for success. Whatever you’re wearing, it’s important that it helps you feel good. For interviews and workdays, gender-inclusive clothing is appropriate for anyone to wear. A critical factor in your professional attire is that it fits well, feels good and looks polished. It may be a good idea to wear your interview or on-the-job attire at least once prior to its intended use to ensure it fits you and feels good, and then you can combine more fashions that allow you to be yourself.

There are many places you may be able to shop and find clothing that fits for you. Some stores that sell gender-inclusive professional attire include:

• Qwear

• Haute Butch

• VEEA

• GFW Clothing

• Topman