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Inaugural business fashion show illustrates the importance of dressing for success

October 04, 2018, Rhiannon Pyle

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The Women’s Business Association collaborated with Alpha Kappa Psi and the Business Placement Center to bring its inaugural business fashion show to Southern Illinois University’s College of Business on Sept. 13. The fashion show, titled “Falling into the Business World,” was a unique and effective approach to informing students of the differences in business casual and professional dress.

The fashion show, which took place in the Student Center’s Ballroom D, even had a stage and a DJ. Alexandra Walsh, a junior accounting major who is president of the Women’s Business Association, was the emcee.

No fashion show would be complete without models and this show featured nine models: three men and six women, all CoB students. During the show, Walsh explained key differences between business casual and business professional attire. Appropriate color and style, for example, can be vastly different between the two kinds of dress.

“Business professional outfits should have neutral colors of black, navy or gray. Business casual outfits are able to incorporate more colors and accessories that the professional outfits do not allow for,” Walsh said.

“Business professional attire should include suits for men and women,” Walsh added. However, suits are not typically considered business casual wear, but khakis and other similar items can be worn.

The event utilized a true fashion-show format, including posing stops along the runway, which added a fun atmosphere. The outfit selections were from either the models’ closets or the Career Closet in the Business Placement Center.

The Career Closet invites students to check out business attire for interviews or any professional experience at no cost. This allows students to have access to a suit without having to worry about being able to afford one while in school.

The closet offers over 800 pieces to choose from and can be checked out individually or as a complete suit. Students who get a job after interviewing in a suit from the closet can keep the suit as a gift from the Business Placement Center.

One model dressed in all black for his business professional outfit, illustrating that he was able to incorporate his own style into the parameters of professional wear. Women models wore a combination of skirt and pant options to show how to properly wear both.

The event was a fun, fashion-forward way to show SIU students the important differences between business casual, business professional and other types of casual and daily outfits. Walsh said the fashion show will be held again next year, creating an annual occurrence at the CoB.