How to Dress to Impress at the upcoming Expo!

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Professional Dress Guidelines: How to Dress to Impress at Expo and Beyond!


            As students and budding professionals, you may find yourself in a situation where you have to decide what to wear. Should you wear a business suit to your first day of internship or business casual? What are the guidelines when it comes to selecting the appropriate attire for the occasion? Career Services wants to help you make deciding easier with these guidelines. These are just general guidelines, and variations may exist depending on specific workplaces, regions, or industries. It is essential to adapt your attire to the requirements of the event or the environment.

  1. Business Professional attire is the most formal and is typically worn in corporate or professional settings. It conveys a polished and serious image and is expected in an interview. Business Professional attire includes:
    1. Masculine: a well-fitted, dark colored suit (blazer and trousers), a long-sleeved dress shirt with a conservative tie, dress shoes (oxfords or similar formal styles), a leather belt that matches the shoes, minimal/classic accessories, and a briefcase or leather portfolio.
    2. Feminine: a tailored pant or skirt suit in a dark/solid color, a button-up blouse or conservative top, closed-toe pumps, or classic heels (flats can also be worn), minimal/elegant jewelry and conservative watch, and a structured handbag/tote or a leather portfolio. Hosiery in neutral tones can make the look polished.
  2. Business Casual attire strikes a balance between formal and informal, creating a professional yet comfortable look suitable for many workplaces, networking events, and other after business hours events. Here is what business casual typically includes:
    1. Masculine: dress slacks or chinos in neutral colors, a button-down dress shirt or conservative polo shirt, optional tie (solid or with subtle pattern), leather shoes (loafers or oxfords), a leather belt that matches the shoes, and minimal/understated accessories.
    2. Feminine: slacks, dress pants, or knee-length skirt, a blouse, knit top, or conservative sweater, closed-toe flats, low heels, or dressy loafers, minimal/elegant jewelry, a simple leather/fabric belt, and a structured handbag/tote.
  3. Smart casual attire combines elements of both casual and formal wear, striking a balance between comfort and style. It's a versatile and popular choice for various social occasions and some workplaces. Smart casual allows you to look put together without being overly formal. The key is to select high-quality, well-fitting clothing that showcases your individual style while respecting the event or venue's formality. Here are some guidelines for smart casual attire:
    1. Masculine: slacks, well-fitted chinos, or clean and stylish jeans, a collared dress shirt, a casual button-up shirt, or a fine knit sweater, a leather belt that complements the shoes, dress shoes, loafers, or clean, fashionable sneakers, optional blazer or sports jacket for a more polished look, and minimal/understated accessories, such as a wristwatch.
    2. Feminine: blouses, tailored tops, or stylish knitwear, well-fitted trousers, dress pants, stylish jeans, or a skirt with a smart cut, closed-toe flats, low heels, or fashionable sneakers, a stylish belt, or accessories to enhance the outfit, a casual blazer, or a cardigan for added sophistication, subtle/elegant jewelry, and a coordinating handbag.
  4. Snappy casual is a slightly more relaxed dress code, often associated with stylish, trendy, and fashionable clothing. It's perfect for events that are informal but still require a bit of flair and personality in your outfit. Snappy casual allows you to showcase your fashion-forward choices while still maintaining a degree of comfort. The key is to stay on-trend and express your unique style. Here's what snappy casual typically entails:
    1. Masculine: slim-fit jeans or well-tailored, trendy trousers. a fitted polo shirt, or a casual button-up with a unique pattern, trendy sneakers, fashionable boots, or well-maintained casual shoes, layering with a stylish jacket, cardigan, or vest, and statement accessories, like a distinctive belt or watch.
    2. Feminine: fashionable skinny jeans or a trendy skirt, a trendy blouse or a statement top, stylish flats, ankle boots, or trendy sneakers, layering with a fashionable jacket, denim or leather, statement jewelry, and a chic handbag.
  5. California casual is a relaxed and easygoing style inspired by the laid-back West Coast lifestyle. It's perfect for leisure activities and informal settings. Here's what "California" casual typically entails:
    1. Masculine: light-colored jeans or shorts, a comfortable T-shirt, casual button-up shirt, or a graphic tee, sneakers, flip-flops, or casual slip-on shoes, a sunhat and sunglasses, and minimal accessories, like a wristwatch.
    2. Feminine: denim jeans or shorts, a tank top, T-shirt, or a casual blouse, comfortable sandals, espadrilles, or sneakers, a sunhat, sunglasses, and a colorful scarf, minimal, natural-looking jewelry, and a crossbody bag/tote.

It is all about the first impression. Be sure you also, prioritize grooming, mind your footwear, wear tasteful accessories, adapt to the company culture, and balance your personal expression with professionalism. Not sure how to do this – reach out to your Career Services team to get more assistance in professional attire.

            Need help finding some professional attire? The best places to go are department stores in your local area, thrift stores and consignment shops, boutiques, and other local stores. Online shopping is also a good option but remember to buy early so you can return/exchange for another size or tailor your items to fit your body correctly. Lookout for deals at these stores as well. If you are a Daytona Beach Campus student or live in the Central Florida area, the Daytona Beach Campus Career Services Office will be hosting their Spring 2024 JCPenney Suit Up Event on Sunday, March 3rd from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the Volusia Mall JCPenney located at 1700 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114. Shuttles will run from JCPenney to the Student Village on campus from 4:45 p.m. – end of the event. Reach out with questions.

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