Students Learn about Professional Attire on a Budget

Students from two professional communications classes teamed up with Turn Style Consignment for an applied learning project. They competed by putting together professional, interview-appropriate outfits for their professional etiquette unit.  

The teams met and received a brief presentation from industry experts where they were able to see a few examples of appropriate professional attire as well as get a basic layout of the store before the competition began.

Each team had one hour to pull together a professional outfit for a team member and then present it to the experts at Turn Style.

Once the “Champion Outfit” was selected, the students were asked to add up the cost of all the items in the outfit to find out which team put together the lowest cost professional ensemble. The students were surprised to learn that they could buy a professional outfit for less than $30.

“After this project, I feel better prepared for an interview, because I now know what a lot of companies look for in terms of professional attire,” said Gina Lemay, Globe University-Woodbury student. “I may return to Turn Style for interview options because I feel like they had more high-end and nicer clothing than other thrift stores.”

According to Brenna O’Connor, instructor of the professional communications class, her class learned about affordable, professional clothing options as well how to apply a variety of guidelines to appropriate interview attire.

“This project also gave the students a hands-on experience in teamwork, professional etiquette, and a variety of other communication skills that were practiced and developed during this activity,” said Brenna.

Student Megan Nelson commented that she thought this was a great project because they were able to work in teams and they had a lot of fun. “This was a great experience because now when I go for an interview, I can easily go into a store and look for what I need and what will get me that job.”

Professional Attire DOES Matter

Did you know that first impressions are usually formed within the first 30 seconds? According to Brenda Ferguson Hodges, a California-based image consultant and career coach, appearance affects hiring decisions and plays a major role. Hiring managers need to be able to visualize you in that position they are trying to fill.

“This applied learning project taught me that almost 70 percent of good communication is non-verbal. Therefore, if I wear the right attire for an interview, I should be on track to have 70 percent of the communication in place,” said student Daniel Mitre.

It is very important to make a good impression in a job interview. Click here to learn more about the top reasons hiring managers and human resource personnel give for not hiring an applicant.