Sprott Student Ambassador Coordinator: Tips to help you dress for success


Learning Logger Jacky
Sprott Student Ambassador


Read on for seven tips to successful dressing.

When dressing beyond our comfort level as university students, it may be confusing or even difficult to understand the best practices for appropriate dressing. It takes practice to become confident in dressing for different occasions. Even business professionals sometimes get it wrong. Here are a few tips to help you make a good first impression.

Students at Carleton participate in a wide range of events. Not all events require participants to wear a full suit; wearing a suit however, will always make a good impression. For formal events such as a gala or dean’s breakfast, it is advisable to wear a full suit. For business casual, it may be appropriate to wear a shirt and tie but not a full suit. When in doubt, it is better to be over dressed than underdressed.

Many students also attend networking events. Dressing correctly for a networking event is imperative and it can be confusing to understand the difference between business professional and business casual. Typically, business casual indicates that you dress a little more relaxed than a full business suit (which is seen as more of business professional attire). For business casual the blazer and pants do not necessarily need to match and a tie is optional.

Interviews are another occasion that requires the utmost attention to detail. You will want to dress in a way that does not offend the potential employer but still shows that you are stylish and polished. Having a full suit, white or blue dress shirt, and a dark tie will ensure that you make a great first impression.

The best way for men to make that perfect first impression is to invest in a grey or blue suite. In the past, it was common practice to purchase a black suit however; changing fashion dictates that a blue or gray suit is more stylish. A rule of thumb is to purchase a suit that is navy, light grey or charcoal (dark grey). These colours are versatile for different seasons and for a variety of events. If ever in doubt about the colour of your shirt, keep in mind that the shirt should match the suit. Choose white, black, variations of blue, and grey. These colour combinations are guaranteed to make you look stylish and appropriately conservative.

7 Tips for Successful Dressing

  1. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed
  2. Never wear white socks
  3. Match belt and shoe colours (black pants with a black belt and black shoes)
  4. Tie, shirt, and suit patterns should never be the same (polka dot tie should match with a stripe shirt)
  5. Tie should have colours that bring out the colour of the suit
  6. Colours should flow from one piece to another for the entire outfit
  7. Tie colour should be darker then the shirt colour, if the shirt is dark then go with a tie that is a bit lighter

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