On April 20, First Gen Fellows hosted UW Tacoma’s first Business Fashion Show, showcasing a collection of business casual attire.
The show ran from 5 to 6 p.m., with 10 models hitting the red carpet — including a special guest appearance by Hendrix the Husky. The models came from a variety of majors including: business, law, economics, healthcare, and information technology.
Marketing and economics major, April Lai, and Matthew Park, a criminal justice major, were both naturally drawn to the event because of their involvement with the Associated Students of UWT and background in business.
“As a cadet in ROTC, an officer in [a] RSO and a candidate running for the director of outreach position for ASUWT, I realized that I should not replay the same tape over and over again,” Park said.” Instead I should be me, a gregarious student leader who loves being around people and learning to serve and have a festive time.”
Each model presented their own idea of business attire, mixing different prints and accessories, showing that it’s possible to look professional and have fun at the same time.
“Many students may have access to the internet for aesthetics choices, but being able to witness the different options in person can help with deciding for future choices,” Park said.
Instead of the traditional black pantsuit and dress shoes, you could opt for chinos, a button up or even a solid color polo shirt — something that is different yet appropriate, depending on the occasion.
Women could also consider wearing a simple blouse paired with a long tan kimono-like cardigan, similar to what Lai wore on the runway. This look gives a little life to the outfit and incorporated her personal style.
“I don’t always believe that business clothing has to be pantsuits, especially for the expectation of women to dress,” Lai said. “I believe that you can still showcase your personal style and look professional.”
When it comes to the business world, you must know how to dress appropriately. This usually includes black, gray, navy and white — just about anything that isn’t flashy or vibrant.
“Try to look put together, but show a little bit of personal style,” Lai said. “You can do that with a print that you like or your favorite shoes.”
To fit into the workplace, employees wear the standardized clothing that is expected, which doesn’t allow them to stand out or show individuality. This can become a little bland and tedious, especially when you want to be remembered in the interview room.
In a competitive job market, everything matters, including your appearance and first impression. While you could spend a small fortune on work clothes, you don’t necessarily have to with all the options now available. Forever 21, Amazon and H&M all have a great business attire selections for good prices, making it achievable to dress professionally on a budget. There’s also things you can do for free to enhance your professional look and show that you mean business, like having a wrinkle free shirt, freshly brushed hair and a smile.
“A tip I can offer is to ensure that your pants zipper line, the right side of your belt buckle and your dress shirt line all align,” Park said. “Basically make sure your entire outfit is aligned from your pants, belt, to your shirt.”