Afiya Francisco of LouLou Magazine

According to Afiya Francisco, fashion plays a major role in a professional setting.

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo

According to Afiya Francisco, fashion plays a major role in a professional setting.

LOULOU Magazine’s former fashion editor and founder of The Style House blog will be utilizing her love of fashion at the Turret on Nov. 5 when she hosts the “Dress for Success” event, which will outline dress codes for job interviews and in the workplace.

“People make a first impression within seconds of seeing you and they form an idea, whether it’s accurate or not, and you can help direct what that conversation is and what it is that you want it to be,” she said.

“That’s what I want people to take away from [the event]. It will help them look their best and perform their best for it and achieve success. It’s obviously not the only part of the equation, but you don’t want to work against yourself and undo any negative impressions by wearing the wrong thing.”

Dress for Success — organized by the Student Alumni Association and the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association — will address some of the common mistakes people make when dressing for the interview , as well as some people’s pitfalls when dressing in the workplace.

Francisco said she always urges potential employees to dress professionally when going for job interviews — regardless of how their interviewer may dress — and to do research into the company’s dress code beforehand.

“Even if your boss comes into the interview wearing shorts, that doesn’t mean that you should be,” she said. “If you know somebody in the office, you can ask them about the fashion culture there and look at what you can [wear in the office] online and get a sense of the level of professionalism and transfer that to your wardrobe.”

Francisco emphasized that jeans and shorts may be appropriate in the office space, but should not be worn during the interview stage or the first week in that job.

“I think that when people get the job, they get very casual and blasé about it. I understand that this day and age, most people are not going to wear a full piece suit every day to the office — that’s just not the landscape of most professional offices anymore, with the few exceptions of finances and banking.”

One of the aspects Francisco will be focusing on in her presentation will be distinguishing the dress code differences of business casual, business formal and business smart. These terms often throw off many interviewees, she said.

“Business casual is a very loosey-goosey term right now,” she explained. “It is important to read the dress codes of your office because everyone is going to interpret that differently.”

A perfect business casual outfit, according to Francisco, can include trousers with a shirt or a fitted skirt. She also said business casual should include proper maintenance, such as making sure clothes are pressed, potentially dry-cleaned and clear of stains or tears.

Although some may find shopping for a new professional wardrobe to be a daunting experience, Francisco encouraged young adults to view it as an exciting new chapter in their lives.

“We sometimes take fashion very seriously and it really is meant to be fun,” she said.


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