Suits & Ties?

25 May 2009

You think nothing of rolling out of bed for 2a and grabbing the first clothes you see.  At Carleton, that’s just the way it goes.  When you’re looking for a job – or if you’re wondering how to dress now that you have one – the rules are different.  Phyllis Korkki, who writes “Career Couch” for the New York Times, has a few pointers for “dressing the part.”

Korkki believes that clothes can make the man or woman: “In interivews and in the office, dressing appropriately may be a simple way to gain an edge.”  Here is a short list of her recommendations:

  • For interviews, dress conservatively.  Suits are always safe.
  • For a job fair, business casual is fine, as long as it’s not too casual.  Polo & khakis = good; board shorts & flip flops = not.
  • For the first few months on the job, stick to conservative wear and figure out the company’s dress code. 

All sound advice, but dressing for work poses more than just a fashion challenge – it can be expensive too.  Korkki suggests sticking to the basics: “A few pieces in matching and muted colors, perhaps bought at a discount, can go a long way and last a long time.”  However, don’t scrimp on the suit!   A classic interview suit, she says, is a must-buy.

For more of Korkki’s sound advice, read the rest of the column at

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