One of the most important steps in preparing for an interview or job fair is to make sure that you have the proper attire to wear when you meet your possible future employer. First impressions truly can make or break you, so be sure to put your best foot forward; here's how to do just that!

The most basic yet essential wardrobe element is the business suit. When shopping for suits, it is manimportant to consider the quality of the suit. It is always best to purchase the highest quality garments you can afford. It is worth the higher cost to have a higher quality suit that fits and cleans well and that will last for a long time.

Men should purchase a conservative 2 or 3 button two piece suit in black, navy or dark gray. Men should have a white long-sleeved dress shirt along with a white undershirt. Men will also need a tie that matches the color of the suit in either a simple pattern or a solid color. Bowties are not appropriate for an interview or job fair setting. Shoes should always be polished and in good condition. Black shoes, not loafers, with laces are preferred with a leather belt that matches your shoes. It is also important to remember to wear dark socks that are high enough to cover your leg when you are sitting.

WomanWomen should also purchase a dark conservative two piece business suit in black, navy or charcoal with a 1 or 2 button jacket and a knee-length skirt that is at least 25 inches in length. Slacks are appropriate as long as they are tailored and dark in color. Women should wear a white or lightly colored long-sleeved blouse that is not too sheer or low cut. As for shoes, they should be black, well-polished shoes. Heels should not be more than an inch and a half heel and they should be without an open toe. Along with the shoes, it is important to remember to wear either natural tone or sheer black pantyhose to complete the look.

There are also some important accessories that go along with a business suit. Men and women should have a leather notebook, portfolio or briefcase that is large enough to hold resumes and notepads without folding them. Women can wear a conservative necklace or bracelet with one pair of earrings. Men should be clean-shaven with a nice haircut. For both men and women, nails should be trimmed and neat, and body piercings and tattoos should not be visible. The key is to look clean and smart, but not overdone. The final accessory is your smile. Smiling will make you look confident and will actually help make you less nervous for your interview.

If you have any further questions on how to dress to impress, contact the Career Center at 301-447-5202 or at