Dress for business success

Emma Zomerman

What you wear showcases a big part of who you are to the world, being one of the first impressions you make. With so many styles and options, how do you choose the right thing to wear? This can be especially difficult when choosing the appropriate outfit to wear for an event. This issue may not be that common for most, but in the business world, this problem occurs often. Your outfit could be the deciding factor of whether or not you get the job. Luckily, Oregon State University’s College of Business has the right tools to help make this decision a lot easier.

One tool offered is a list of categories for dressing in the business world. Oregon State University’s College of Business has defined four classifications on how to dress for specific occasions.

According to Sandra Neubaum, Director of Student and Engagement for the college of business, these are the standards for dress codes.

OSU Casual

What you would typically wear to an OSU class.

Oregon Casual

Nice jeans and shirts; no athletic shorts/pants/gear; not what you would wear out on a Saturday night with friends.

Business Casual

Khakis or nicer pants; no jeans; polo shirts or button shirts; midi or knee-length dresses or skirts; nicer tops.

Business Professional

What you would wear to a job interview; nice pants, dress shirts, dress shoes, ties (suits).

Dale McCauley, the Makerspace Manager and a College of Business professor at Oregon State University, described how he interprets this dress code. McCauley said that business dress codes are typically broken down into business casual and business formal/professional. Business casual uses a pretty flexible format where you would wear slacks and a button-down shirt, but no tie. He then mentions about how with business formal attire, you would wear a suit and a tie, essentially “tightening things up” in the sense of becoming more formal. McCauley says “In both cases, you still want to look sharp.” Although business casual may be more relaxed, making sure clothes are ironed and looking neat is still important when dressing for the day. McCauley also indicates that these styles can differ depending on where you are. “On the East Coast, things tend to be a little more rigid. Here on the West Coast, things are a little more relaxed” McCauley said. On the West Coast, Oregon Causal is a common category that is acceptable here but would not be on the East Coast, where you would typically be dressing in the business casual or professional category.

Dressing for the business world can be difficult and expensive. Fortunately, Oregon State University offers affordable business attire for students at Benny’s Business Closet. Benny’s Business Closet provides a variety of clothing options from business casual to professional. The most expensive item is a complete suit for $15. However, if the price is still too much, Benny’s Business Closet is happy to negotiate and work with you to make sure you make the best impression you can. Benny’s Business Closet is located in Milam 027 and opens from 10 a.m to 2 p.m on Fridays. It is open to all students. For more information, visit http://bennysbusinesscloset.beaverbusinessmall.com/

Dressing for a business event can be stressful, but with these helpful hints, it can become much easier and a lot more fun. While there are rules to what you should and should not wear, always remember to dress like yourself and stay comfortable. With this new information, find your perfect outfit and go find success in your next business adventure. 

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