The Business Suit Still Matters

by Joe Lavelle on May 10, 2011

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Many of us have become accustomed to the idea of “casual Friday,” which seems to be getting ever more casual by the year.  What started as the absence of a tie evolved into a polo shirt and khakis and now some men can be seen wearing flip-flops around the office as the week draws to a close.  There are arguments to be made for and against this shift in professional attire, but one instance at which formal dress is usually still expected is the job interview.

Experts say that in this tough economy, you need to come dressed to impress at every job interview–even if the job itself will involve serving fries and wearing a paper hat.  Showing your prospective employer that this position matters to you and that you take it seriously will go a long way when dozens of other people are vying for the same spot.

In a recent article posted on the Careers section of the MSNBC website, job recruiters recommend sticking with a dark-colored suit, crisp white shirt, and a solid-colored tie.  Avoid the neck accessory that features little footballs or smiling Santa Claus faces.

The reality is that prospective employers are developing an impression of you before you answer their first question.  From your eye contact to way you shake hands to what you are wearing, appearances do matter.  It is better to be overdressed in such an environment than to be the only person who is showing off his toes in the board room.

What are your thoughts on the need for a business suit at a job interview, no matter what the position may be?  Is the suit still the standard, or has our changing professional culture allowed for more options when you are presenting yourself to who you hope is your future boss?

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