Prepare to make an impression

Fashion Focus – Interview Attire & Business Attire

When it comes to interviews, first impressions definitely matter. Many teens at Armijo will be looking for jobs this summer, and may wonder how they should dress appropriately for interviews. The solution– business casual and professional wear outfits.

Christian Ordonez makes professional wear his everyday go to.

What is business casual & professional attire?

According to Whitney Headen, business casual attire is “…broadly defined as a code of dress that blends traditional business wear with a more relaxed style that’s still professional and appropriate for an office environment.”

On the other side, what is professional attire? Hanne Keiling wrote, “Business professional is a traditional form of attire used in more conservative settings or companies with strict dress codes. You might wear business professional in industries like finance, government or law. Business professional clothes should be well-fitted and may be tailored to fit you specifically.”

Christian Ordonez, who wears suits to school, said, “[Professional wear] makes me look good. It makes me feel confident about myself. It makes me stand out, you know. I want to stand out more, visually.”

What should one wear to an interview?

Really, it all depends on the job one is applying for. Not all jobs have the same dress code, and because of this, job applicants need to research what people wear at the job. Sandy Anderson, the College and Career Center adviser, said, “The standard is this–you need to dress above what they’re dressing at the place of employment. So, a lot of times for fast food [places], they wear uniforms. But the simple answer–if you’re doing office work–would be business casual. And a lot of times, places will have a dress code, and so you need to find out what that dress code is.”

Dress codes are relevant at school and at work. For this, we can look to Ordonez who steps up his game with dressing for school. He wears dress casual and elegant clothes to school, but dresses for work. “I have a job at Men’s Warehouse which is a suit place. Dress code for Men’s Warehouse? For more casual clothes, you can just wear a polo and some dress slacks, but I usually just wear suits,” he said.

Ms. Anderson said, “A lot of the time, I tell students to wear a nice blouse, skirt ,or pants–no stilettos, flat shoes, a lot of times I’ll say no open toes. I always tell them that if you have jewelry, piercings, if you can take them out, take them out. As long as it’s not distracting. If you had a stud in your nose, I would say that would be okay, but if you had piercings all over, or if you have a big hoop in your nose, things like that, then take that out. Same with boys or men, they need to wear khaki pants and a nice shirt. Of course no shirts with graphics on it, that sort of thing.

“If you’re going to go for a very professional job, I’d wear a blue suit. I’d wear navy blue–it’s kind of the standard, blue or black. The standard is a blue suit or a black suit.”

What should one NOT wear to an interview?

It’s best to keep in mind that there are restrictions one should follow in order to make oneself have the best impression possible. Ms. Anderson said, “[No] shorts, tank tops, miniskirts, sweatpants. For men–I get asked this all the time, ‘Can I wear even if they’re nice jeans?’ and my answer to that is no.”

Accessorizing & Hairstyles

Of course, hair styles and accessories are just as important as clothes. Ms. Anderson said, “Keep it simple. For example, no big gaudy jewelry, no big hoops. A necklace is okay, small earrings are okay, no perfume, no heavy makeup, just keep it very simple and light. Just nothing that is going to be distracting.

“Grooming is important, hygiene–it should be combed, not messy, not distracting. Messy buns are not appropriate. Just nicely groomed.” Hygiene is most definitely an important aspect, since if a job candidate can’t take care of himself, how would the employer expect him to take care of the work?”

Ordonez provides insight, and said, “Things you should not do [when wearing a suit]? Don’t mix and match patterns too much. You could do patterns, but don’t do loud patterns when something is as equally loud as the pattern you’re wearing. If you’re going to wear a loud patterned suit, wear something like a minimal pattern shirt so that it fits well with the outfit that you’re wearing.”


Shoes for an interview are important as well, and for this, Ms. Anderson said, “[Wear] dress shoes. For women, no flats. No flip flops of course, and for men or boys, I’d say a nice dress shoe. Kind of think of it in terms of how you would dress for church. But let’s say you were going to get a job at Target–you could get away with a nice shirt and khaki pants and nice shoes. A lot of men don’t have dress shoes, but for Target, nice gym shoes or sneakers would be fine.”


Where the arrow points is where the pocket square goes, right next to the lapel.

Ordonez has additional insight. “I have knowledge about suits that I would like to share. Tuxedos and suits. They are different because of the lapel. This is the lapel. Tuxedos have a shiny lapel and a shiny pocket lining. This [what I’m wearing], is just a regular suit. If you’re looking for a vest and you’re looking for your size, just go for what size you usually wear for a shirt and just go from that. If you’re wearing a leather belt, always match it with the color of the leather shoes.” The lapel is further accented by a pocket square that fits into the small pocket by the lapel and brings a splash of color to the entire outfit.

Since prom season is coming up, Ordonez said, “Shop at Men’s Warehouse for good quality suits and rentals for prom!”