“What Not to Wear to an Interview” — students get schooled on business attire

Donna P. Crilly

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City College Students got dress tips from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising at the “What Not to Wear to an Interview” fashion show on April 14 in the school cafeteria.

The show included members of the staff and students strutting the catwalk and exemplifying professional standards of what to wear and what not to wear to an interview.

This event was a part of the annual Career Week at City College, which led up to the Career Expo on April 15 in Gorton Quad.

All the events of career week are designed to “prepare students for the next step,” said Joe D’Ambro, who works in the Transfer Career Center.

Emceeing the fashion show, John Browner, student from the television and communications department, critiqued each student and staff model on their outfits.

From wearing clothing that innapropriately accentuated the body to waltzing around in a baggy t-shirt and jeans, these were prime examples of what not to wear.

On the other hand, some members of the staff showed off their suit and tie along with their shiny close-toed brown or black shoes to be the professional role-models for students interested in professional careers.

Lisa Solis, a speaker from FIDM, gave a presentation and introduction to the fashion show that went into the psychological aspects of how people dress.

“Ninety percent of first impressions are built on visual impact,” said Solis.

This is built on the concept of “perceptual inference,” which deems people who are very well-dressed with many positive attributes including being well-educated, self-assured, worldly and more confident, according to Solis.

Suggesting that people who tend to dress sharply usually get more respect and get paid more, Solis geared her presentation generally toward corporate level careers.

Dressing professionally is supposedly geared toward delivering a message that one is detail-oriented, prepared, reliable and efficient.

“Don’t wear white, wear blue,” said Capresha Rose, criminal justice major at City College.

Rose was an onlooker at the fashion show and remembered that bit of dress advice more strongly than the other tips.

Research finds that wearing a blue suit suggests trust, which is often why one would see blue often worn in court. Black signifies power, according to the presentation.

The presentation was aimed to steer people away from showing elements of personality in a professional environment such as those in a financial or legal institution. Showing one’s personality in that sort of setting might send a message that could turn them off, according to Solis. “Order looks a certain way.”

Solis makes it clear that this doesn’t apply to every job in the market, which is why it is important to know the job one is interviewing for and is comfortable with it so he/she can dress that part. She suggests that different appearances work for different jobs.

“If the job requires a lot of creativity, then that would be a circumstance where one might dress to show their creativity such as graphic designer showing off a sleeve of tattoos,” Solis said.

Observation and “doing a test drive of the environment” before walking into an interview where one may be dressed inappropriately, whether it is a professional environment or not, is the best way to figure out what to wear and what not to wear.

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