Dressing to Impress

Dressing to impress

The importance of proper attire can't be overemphasized when it comes to a job interview. In fact, according to a survey by the recruiting firm Adecco, 75% of managers believe the top interview mistake is inappropriate attire. Your appearance can send messages to potential employers about your motivation, judgment, professionalism, and "fit" within an organization.


  • Neat, tailored suit in a neutral color.
  • Professional shoes that match your outfit, no sneakers or open toed shoes.
  • Dark or neutral socks or hose.
  • Make sure that each item has been cleaned and, if needed, ironed.


  • Keep it minimal, e.g. watch, wedding or school ring, and/or earrings.


  • Shoes should be polished.
  • Fingernails clean and appropriately manicured.
  • Hair neat and clean.
  • Moderate makeup.

When in doubt, conservative clothing is the safest choice. Be memorable for your unique abilities and accomplishments, not for being inappropriately dressed.

A note on corporate culture: Today’s dress codes and corporate cultures vary greatly from company to company and industry to industry. Casual business dress is now the norm in many industries, but it is still not the norm for interviewing. Unless you are told otherwise by the interviewer, be sure to wear professional business attire to the interview.

Other suggestions:

  • Carry a briefcase or portfolio.
  • Avoid fragrances-the interviewer may be allergic.
  • Accessories are great but should not be distracting.
  • If you are invited to hang up your coat, do so. The less you have to encumber you, the better off you are. 

Dress to Impress (located in The Exchange)

The Exchange maintains a professional clothing closet on campus available at no cost to students and alumni who need interview and presentation attire. Whether you’re looking for one piece or an entire outfit, we can help.

Schedule an appointment on MU Handshake or stop by The Exchange.

Donations are accepted during regular business hours at The Exchange.

We are seeking any contemporary, gently used or new professional attire that has been cleaned or dry cleaned, including:

  • Dresses
  • Pants
  • Shirts/blouses
  • Suits
  • Blazers
  • Shoes
  • Belts, ties, and scarves

We do not accept:

  • Undergarments
  • Socks
  • Jewelry

Thank you to all our faculty, staff, alumni, and friends in the community for your generous support!

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