Dress for Success: Your First Day on the PR Job
January 9, 2013 | by

‘Samantha Jones, PR.’

The saucy character in the infamous Sex in the City series gave us the vision of the PR professional.  She wore great clothes, planned fabulous events, and gave us great eye candy each episode.  While we may not have agreed with her choices of men (she broke up with Smith), she did give us a glimpse into the dream closet of a PR professional.  But is this really what we should be wearing if we are working in PR?

Leslie Campbell, former CL intern and current PR employee gives this suggestion, ‘Play it conservative on the first day. I’ve worked in the same PR company offices in both NYC and Austin, and the dress code is completely different. It’s always better to be overdressed! You don’t need to wear a suit necessarily, nice tailored pants and a conservative shirt is safe. And wear closed toe shoes!’

Samantha’s wardrobe may be a bit out of our budget and slightly flashy, she followed the rules of dressing for success all classy co-eds (SEO)  can follow.

Outfit 1:

While you may be in school for the next five months and the Forever 21 sale is difficult to pass up, begin to purchase clothes that fit your body, not the latest trend.  Samantha’s PR wardrobe consisted of pencil skirts, plenty of button ups, standout accessories, and jackets.  When fitting your selections, follow these basic guidelines:

Skirts.  Select pieces with the length at the knee or one inch above.  Your job will have you literally running place to place, filing, and reaching for items.  You want to make sure you have proper coverage when lifting, running, and filing.

Flatter your body type with these specific skirts:

  • Curvy.  Flatter with pencil and A-line skirts.
  • Short.  Flatter with pencil and A-line skirts.
  • Tummy.  Conceal a tummy with a tapered pencil skirt.
  • Heavy bottom.  Conceal a heavy bottom with a wrap or draped skirt.

Jackets/Blazers.  Select pieces where the hem at shoulder rest on the shoulder and the sleeve length is no more than an inch past your wrist bone.

Flatter your body type with these specific jackets:

  • Curvy.  Select a fitted style that hits where the hips begin to flare out.
  • Short.  Select a shorter or cropped style.
  • Fuller bust.  Select a single breasted fitted style more open around the neck.
  • Smaller bust.  Select a fitted jacket nipped at the waist.  Go for double breasted or belted styles.

Shirts.  Select the traditional button up, cardigan, and boat neck styles.  Say good-bye to t-Shirts and sweatshirts.


Shoes.  While a sexy stiletto is right up Samantha Jones’s ally, it is not realistic in this work atmosphere with all running around you will be doing.  Look for a 1-2 inch kitten heel.   Any higher and your feet will not be too happy.  NOTE – See below for the fabulous shoe sale at Nine West!)

Jewelry.  While this is your area to add your own personal flare, avoid layering on too much jewelry.  Look for one staple piece, a menswear watch (link to Michael Kors in our boutique), a great necklace, or a great bracelet.

Michael Kors watch

Bag.  The tote is the best bag for the office.  Make sure you can fit your lap top, papers, and smart phone you may be out on the road and can do a quick check of email while waiting in a line!

Finish up your semester by mastering these online resources for PR majors.

About Author

Shelly Marie Redmond, MS, RD, LDN is the founder and CEO/Editor in Chief of College Lifestyles. You can follower her on twitter @shellymarierd.

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