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Co-operative Education
Simon Fraser University

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No matter how rushed you are, you ALWAYS have time to put on deodorant in the morning. Those few seconds are worth it.

As almost anyone who's spent time in an office can attest, some people just do not know how to dress appropriately for their workplace or a job interview. We asked SFU students, staff, and alumni to share some of their real-life examples of what not to wear:

The Wrong First Impression
pictures of what not to wear

I don't have one especially horrendous inappropriate outfit story to tell, but in general, I would say the worst offenders for women are to dress as if they are going on a date. Short skirt, bare legs, stilettos, low cut silk blouse or lacy camisole...and sometimes they wear all 5 together. Yikes! This is often accompanied by heavy perfume, as well. Definitely not the right impression for a job interview.

- SFU Career Advisor

We interviewed a large group of students for an international organization that allowed us to make the initial selections. Most students wore suits. One wore a lumberjack shirt, jeans and hiking boots. He really stood out, but not in a good way.

- Co-op Student Advisor

Tops that are too tight and revealing.

- Co-op Coordinator


I still remember walking into a law office to see the person at the desk wearing spaghetti straps! Another was a young fellow I hired years ago who showed up wearing a muscle shirt.

- LinkedIn Member

So Close...

Do not wear sports socks with a business suit which I have seen...wear dress socks and ensure your shoes are polished.

If you are wearing nail polish ensure it is not chipped!

- Career Services Assistant


White athletic socks with a suit.

- Co-op Coordinator

My friend works the front desk at an office in Vancouver. She wore an oversized black sweatshirt with huge zebra heads across the arms and chest.

- Student

Hygiene Matters

An HR person from one of our big companies called me with some feedback that my student had not brushed his hair that day and it was sticking straight up and in all directions....then he crossed his leg over his knee and leaned back and all the interview team could focus on was his dirty, grimy, sweat sock  sticking out of his nice black trousers.  They hadn't been washed in a while.

- SFU Internship Coordinator

No matter how rushed you are, you ALWAYS have time to put on deodorant in the morning. Those few seconds are worth it.

- Student

Are You Kidding Me?
kids jumping on a trampoline with sweats on

Male reporter who wore baggy tank top and sweats. (He wore them in the office and to city council meetings.)

- Twitter response

Sweatpants. I've seen advisors wear sweatpants to work. Same thing with sandals. Sigh.

- Twitter response

Leggings and Uggs.

- Co-op Coordinator


Leggings as pants!

- Twitter response

Uggs during the winter. No joke.

- Twitter response


Agreed, leggings and jeggings are awful work attire. As is not changing out of your gym wear after lunch!

- Twitter response

(We received so many responses on leggings and Uggs we had to put them in twice - Get it together people!)

  • OLC Admin Oct 21, 2013
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OLC Admin

SFU Staff
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Co-operative Education
Simon Fraser University

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