Style of Cox: fashion’s role in the business world

Dress to impress, SMU students of the Edwin L. Cox Business School share how fashion plays a vital role in the business world.

Although in the business world fashion may not seem to be a priority, there is a true etiquette in dressing appropriately for interviews. An interview is the first face-to-face contact with a company, so how one dresses does add to one’s first impression in their workplace.

Cox teaches students to ask about the appropriate attire to wear before an interview, if its not already communicated. The dress code for women and men share common characteristics, like sticking to simple well-fitted wardrobe pieces and semi-neutral colors.

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“They typically recommend for women to either wear a pant or skirt suit in dark colors like black or navy, and a neutral colored blouse underneath. They also emphasize the importance of wearing low heels that match with the suit and that skirt is at least knee length,” said Katie Bonds, a senior finance major, sharing what Cox recommends students wear on interviews.

For female students entering the business world, having a set of staple pieces in your closet is a necessity. Maggie Poxon, a junior accounting major, shares a list of key pieces she believes every business woman needs: “a black business professional suit, nice looking/well kept heels or flats, a pencil skirt that fits well/is tailored, and a white blouse.”

“I recommend a suit. Also shoes and belt should usually match, and the tie has to be pretty conservative, “said Jackson Deny, a junior finance and economics major, sharing how male students should dress for interviews.

Most interviews require business professional, however business casual is another option. Business professional means a full matching suit pant, or skirt set option for women. A blazer is also mandatory for business professional, while business casual is more relaxed and does not require one. Women can wear a nice dress, or a blouse with pants and a skirt for business casual.

For most companies and industries in corporate America, business casual is the day-to-day office attire, said Poxon.

“It’s important to dress conservative to make sure that it’s your personality being noticed, not your outfit”, said Bonds.

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