The following is a quick reference guide to business attire during your time at Smeal. This guide outlines
appropriate attire for most settings and events at Smeal from the classroom to interview room. During your time
here, you will hear different terms regarding appropriate dress. Plus, there are many definitions and an entire
range of outfits for what can be classified as “Business Casual”. The following chart defines each term and gives
examples of appropriate outfits.
What to Wear and When to Wear It:
When the event is… Women Men
Casual Shorts/slacks/jeans with a t-shirt or Shorts/slacks/jeans with a t-shirt or
No ripped jeans or short skirts No ripped jeans.
Business Casual A good “business casual” outfit is a A good “business casual” outfit is
pair of dress pants with a blazer or button down shirt with sport coat (or
nice sweater or a skirt with a blouse, sweater), khaki pants with belt, dress
both with appropriate hosiery and socks, polished shoes (loafers). A tie
polished shoes. will dress this up a bit.
The following is a range of outfits The following is a range of outfits
starting with more casual to more starting with more casual to more
1. Khaki pants and polo shirt (or 1. Khaki pants and polo shirt
button-down shirt) 2. Khaki pants and button-down shirt
2. Dress pants and sweater set 3. Khaki pants, sport coat, polo shirt
3. Skirt and sweater set 4. Khaki pants, sport coat,
4. Blazer and long skirt button-down shirt
5. Matching pant suit 5. Dress pants, sport coat/blazer, tie
For business casual events, women For business casual events, men
should not wear tennis shoes, should not wear tennis shoes, sweats,
sweats, jeans, casual pants, short jeans, casual pants or shorts.
skirts or shorts.
Business Professional Professional events require a Professional events require a
business suit. For interviewing business suit. A good “professional”
purposes, it’s more conservative and outfit is a dark blue or gray suit, a
“safer” for women to wear skirt suits. starched white shirt, a coordinating
Pants of any kind can be perceived tie, leather belt, dress socks, and
as less conservative and some polished dress shoes.
employers do not deem pantsuits as
Business Professional Men should not wear khaki pants or
any separates (i.e. sport coat and
A good “professional” outfit would be khaki pants).
a suit in a conservative cut and
color, a silk or linen blouse, hose,
polished pumps with a 1-2 inch heel
and simple earrings and necklace.
There is a category of dress, Business Formal, which is seldom required while at Smeal. When “Black Tie” attire
or Business Formal is indicated on an invitation, it means the event is very formal. For men, these events
typically require a formal suit or tuxedo. For women there is more flexibility, but an elegant black dress is always
a good choice. Examples of events that require Business Formal include: a charity auction, a formal company
ball, or special event.
Important Reminders about the Job Search and Dress Attire:
Interviews arranged through Smeal MBA Career Services (SMCS) are always Business Professional
unless otherwise noted. Business Professional attire is also required at Career Fairs
If you attend a company function sponsored by SMCS and are not dressed appropriately, you will be
asked to leave.
Each student is representing Smeal and maintaining a conservative, appropriate image is critical.
Important Basics for any Event:
Use perfume, cologne and aftershave sparingly or not at all for an interview or company event. An
overpowering scent can negatively distract the employer.
As a general rule, it is not recommended to wear a baseball cap. Depending on the setting, you may be
asked to remove it.
Remember to use a good deodorant when preparing for an event – any stress can increase perspiration.
When attending any function, BE ON TIME! Tardiness is almost always perceived as rude by the
presenters and your fellow students. It can also be extremely distracting and inconsiderate. When Smeal
hosts corporate or academic speakers, late arriving students can create a negative image of all Smeal
It’s good practice to know something about the event that you are attending and the dress that is expected. The
following table is a quick guide to events you will encounter in your next two years at Smeal:
EVENT RECOMMENDED ATTIRE
Orientation As noted each day on your schedule
Company Information Sessions Business Casual unless otherwise noted
Job Fairs Business Professional
Company Interviews (on or off-campus) Business Professional
Company Dinner (prior to a day of interviews) Inquire about the attire; Business Professional when in
When in doubt, never hesitate to ask about the appropriate dress code. You only have one chance to make a first
impression. It is always better to inquire in advance rather than make a fashion faux pas which may not be