Standard interview attire for most industries is a professional, two-piece matching suit (recommended colors are gray, navy, or black). Research specific companies and industries beforehand, as some may be more relaxed in how they define professional dress. If you’re not sure, check with an NCA team member. The dress code for all noninterview employer events coordinated by NCA—including career fairs, information sessions, networking nights, coffee chats, and workshops—is business casual.
If access to professional or business casual attire is limiting your participation in career-related programs and events, we encourage you to explore 'Cats Closet, the Career Development Fund, or talk with an NCA team member about your specific needs.
Dresses and Skirts
At a minimum these should cover your thighs when you are seated and reach your knees when you are standing.
When wearing a suit, wear a blouse, shirt, or knit shell under your jacket. Choose white, light blue, or conservative stripes. It’s best not to wear tops that are revealing or high around the neck or that have many ruffles or frills.
Select a belt that matches or complements your shoes and has a simple buckle.
Wear patterns that are uniform and subtle, whether stripes or small dots. Deep reds, maroons, blues, grays, and blacks blend well with dark suits.
Wear socks that complement the color of your suit and are long enough for you to cross your legs without showing bare skin.
Always wear hosiery with a dress or skirt. Select a neutral shade or one that coordinates with your clothes.
Lace-up, wing-tip shoes and closed-toe pumps are the most conservative choices and are universally acceptable. Choose shoes in leather, fabric, or microfiber that allow you to walk comfortably. Make sure your shoes are clean and polished.
Limit to five pieces so as not to distract from what you’re saying.
Make sure your hair is clean and well groomed.
Business casual is more relaxed but still requires good judgment—the key is to maintain a professional presence. Common choices include:
- Collared button-down or polo shirt, blouse
- Knee-length dress or skirt
- Khakis, slacks, trousers
- Heels under three inches, flats, formal lace-up shoes, loafers
- Sweater, cardigan, blazer, vest
- Tie (optional)