Thankfully, today’s company cultures are more diverse than ever. At our Center for Career Engagement, we believe in an inclusive definition of professional dress, and we acknowledge the unjust historical underpinning of professional attire within American workplace culture that is still, unfortunately, apparent today for many marginalized groups. For more information on this topic, please watch Is Professionalism a Racist Construct? by WashU’s Brown School.

Finding the right company culture is an integral part of your career search and landing a job. Attire will vary depending on the industry and company. Traditionally, however, there are some general rules to follow when dressing for an interview. Read our general tips below and do not hesitate to come in to ask an adviser about your specific circumstances.

You can say a lot without saying a word. Knowing what is expected at the organization is key. Few workplaces will require you to wear a suit every day, but the interview is a different matter. Err on the side of being overdressed, versus underdressed.

Consider wearing a suit in a neutral color like navy, black, or gray. Everything should be neatly pressed – no wrinkles. Consider wearing dark socks and dress shoes, or low heels/flats are a good bet, too. In a less-formal industry like tech, you might be able to skip the suit jacket for a sweater, contrasting blazer, scarf, or professional dress. Research the organization, mirror what they wear, and step it up a bit to impress.

In terms of accessories, piercings, tattoos, dyed unnatural hair dye colors, etc., consider your audience and the company culture. Determine how important self-expression is to you in daily work life, and if you’ll feel comfortable in a place that frowns upon your natural self-expression. Being your true self matters! Below are images that can give you an idea of generic, neutral attire.