What not to wear: PRSSA Edition

By: Caroline Silva

I don’t know about you, but last year I spent way too much time wondering if my cute outfit could pass for business casual before a PRSSA meeting. I can’t tell you how many times I changed from dresses, to skirts, to black skinny jeans with a silky top, to slacks and colorful blouse. And I can’t tell you how many times I considered skipping a meeting because I simply did not know what to wear. 

Well we have some great news for you….

We are a “come as you are” chapter for this school year! This means we are making our dress code casual. We hope this will encourage more of you to attend our meetings, since you’ll be able to come straight from class, study sessions, internships, coffee/errand runs and whatever else you have going on. You are busy people, and we get that. So come as you are!

However, if you are interested in networking with the speaker after the meeting, we encourage you to dress in business casual attire.  

So what does ‘business casual’ actually mean?

Neutral colors tend to work best, but if you add a little bit of color, it will show off your personality.

Skirts & dresses:

  • Pencil
  • A-line
  • Pleated

These can be solid or have patterns! Colored skirts are great, but try to stay away from neon/bright colors. The necklines in your dresses should be appropriate. Make sure you are not showing any cleavage. Both dresses and skirts should be only a few inches above the knee.


  • Wool
  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Polyester
  • Colored denim

Blouses & tops

  • Pastels
  • Jewel tones
  • Plaids
  • Muted florals
  • Prints (paisley, geometric, polka dot) are all acceptable
  • Fitted Sleeves

Neckline should be conservative – boat neck, turtleneck and square neck. If you choose to wear a V-neck make sure it is appropriate. For a more fitted look, consider tucking in your shirt. However, you can totally rock out an untucked shirt if it covers your waistband. This should be a no-brainer, but if your blouse is sheer ALWAYS wear a bra, and a tank or camisole.

Sweaters, jackets & blazers:

  • Can be worn with pants, skirts and dresses
  • Cardigans (If you plan on wearing a longer cardigans, make sure to add a belt. This will add a little bit of structure to your outfit)
  • Stick to neutral tones


  • Flats
  • Wedges
  • Heels
  • Boots (preferably leather)
  • High heel sandals

Now, I’m no expert when it comes to men’s fashion. But I came up with a small list of what could be acceptable. Here are some simple guidelines for business casual for men:


  • Button-up without a tie
  • Blazer
  • Cardigans
  • Thin sweaters


  • Loafer
  • Oxford
  • Derby
  • Brogue
  • Dress boots


  • Slacks
  • Khakis
  • Dark wash denim

Of course, there is so much more you can do with business casual. This is just to get you started. Check out this Pinterest board for outfit inspiration for both men and women: http://pin.it/B3n44qq

Whatever you decide to wear, we are so excited for you to be a member this year. Come one, come all. And come as you are!