Career Services

Sucessfull Dressing Tips for Men


(tips compiled by Thom Brooks)


  • A white dress shirt is always a winner – clean, goes with anything
  • Straight collars on shirts are dressier
  • Use collar stays with dress shirts
  • Always wear an undershirt (not tank-type) with dress shirts
  • No short-sleeved dress shirts
  • Better to have sleeves that are too long than too short
  • Shirtsleeves should extend ½ inch beyond the wrist cuff of your coat
  • Make certain shirt is ironed – starch is your friend!
  • Consider having it professionally laundered and pressed for a couple of dollars before an important interview


  • Purchase the best suit you can afford
  • Dry clean less; air-out and rotate suits often
  • Always dry clean coat and pants at the same time for a matching suit
  • Coat lapel should be no wider than your tie (and vice versa)
  • Pants should touch the top of the shoe and angle just above the heel
  • Cuffed pants are nice – give straighter, taut appearance
  • Pleats are dressier; flat front pants have slimming effect
  • Clothes should fit; however, it is better for them to be too big than too small
  • No wire hangers; avoids wrinkles


  • Invest in one expensive, outstanding silk tie – this can compensate for a less expensive suit
  • Select a knot so that tie is in proportion to collar style
  • Tie material may affect choice of knots; thinner materials may require larger knots to look proportional to collar
  • Avoid clip-on ties (limited selection and cannot coordinate knot with collar size)
  • Tip of tie should extend to belt buckle – don’t show any shirt between your tie and pants


  • Suspenders are nice-dressy
  • Belt and shoes must always coordinate
  • Coordinate metal of belt buckle with shoe buckles and jewelry
  • Socks should coordinate with your pants
  • No white socks with dress clothes
  • Socks should cover your calves – don’t show any bare leg when sitting
  • Black dress shoes are essential – will go with most any business clothing
  • Rubber soled shoes are okay for sport coat and casual dress; leather soles are dressier
  • Leather dress shoes only; laces are dressier
  • Consider using waxed dress shoelaces – can be purchased for less than $1 at shoe stores and will stay tied
  • Keep your shoes polished and neat
  • Touch up scratches with polish, cream, or a felt-tip marker
  • Rotate your shoes daily to let them dry out
  • Place shoe trees inside your dress shoes when not wearing them (maintains shape)


  • No cologne on job interviews
  • Use cologne moderately at work; your scent should not linger when you are gone
  • Minimize jewelry; a ring or two is fine
  • Cleaned, groomed finger nails at all times
  • Dry hands for shaking – carry a handkerchief to dry nervous palms
  • Keep an extra razor in office for late meetings
  • Breath mints – keep ’em handy


  • Ultra Formal Dress (or White Tie) means tuxedo-style with white shirt, vest, and bow-tie
  • Formal Dress (or Black Tie) means a tuxedo
  • Business Formal Dress (sometimes called Semi-formal or Informal) means a suit (usually dark)
  • Business (Dressy) Casual means sport coat, dress shirt and pants, tie (optional)
  • Casual (Dressy) – Khakis, chinos, nicer clothing
  • Casual (Leisure) – Jeans and everyday wear