What is Business Professional?

Picture this: you walk into a room and everyone seems to have gotten the “memo” about what to wear… well, everyone except you. You are there, standing in jeans and a polo, thinking you knew what business casual was, but feeling extremely underdressed. Whether we like to admit it or not, we have all been there at one time or another. Even myself, a tried and true business major who’s worked in Corporate America has been in that position before. So, what is the difference between everyday wear, business casual, and business professional? Well, the answer, short and sweet, is easiest when you think about a suit and instead of adding to it, subtracting from it. A suit, which should be dark black, navy, or gray, will consist of dress pants, a blouse for the ladies versus an undershirt and dress shirt for the men, and a matching suit jacket. Did you catch the most important thing there? Matching. Yes, sometimes this means having to use the harsh lighting at the local department store to make sure the blacks match each other (if you are buying suit separates), but trust me: DO IT! The worst feeling, besides being underdressed, is thinking your suit matches, when it doesn’t. So there you have it, business professional is a suit, an undershirt with a blouse or dress shirt, paired with a matching tie (for men), dress shoes, and dark-colored socks. For women, heels or flats, typically black, are the best way to go. Then, to create a business casual look, simply discard the suit jacket! And voila, you are ready to dress to impress! And by golly, you will!

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