Professional Image

Tips on self-presentation

Your professional image is a key part of your personal brand. It also reflects on the Rotman community. Here’s how to look sharp and make a good first impression.

In this section

Dress codes for events and interviews

While at Rotman, you’ll have frequent opportunities to meet with potential employers, engage with fellow students and alumni from a wide range of degree programs, and discuss ideas and questions with faculty. For all of these interactions, it’s important to dress professionally and be well groomed.

Employer events

At employer events such as industry panels, information sessions and small group meetings, the dress code ranges from business casual to formal business attire, depending on the event type and industry. The dress code is often noted in the event invitation; if it isn’t, check with Career Services.

Interviews and employer information sessions

We strongly encourage formal business attire for your Rotman interviews and employer information sessions, unless otherwise stated. A well-fitting dark suit is always an appropriate choice.

What to wear

Business casual attire

  • Masculine looks: dress pants and button-up shirt; a tie and blazer are optional.
  • Feminine looks: dress pants or knee-length skirt, blouse; a jacket is optional.


Formal business attire

  • Masculine looks: dark suit, light dress shirt, tie, dress socks, dress shoes
  • Feminine looks: dark suit with pants or knee-length skirt, blouse, closed-toe flat or low-heeled dress shoes

Building your business wardrobe

If you’re new to business attire, which garments are the best investment? Here’s how to start building your professional wardrobe.

What to buy first

  • Dark suit: The core of any business wardrobe is a well-tailored, well-fitting black or navy blue wool or wool-blend suit — for masculine looks, a jacket and matching trousers, and for feminine looks, a jacket and matching trousers or knee-length skirt. This suit is very versatile. It works with any shirt colour and is appropriate for any professional setting.
  • Sports jackets/blazers: A sports jacket or blazer in navy or medium blue adds polish to business casual looks.
  • Dress shirts: Buy two or three classic button-down dress shirts in white or light blue. Blouses also work for feminine looks. Men will also need a few neckties — look for dark colours and discreet patterns.
  • Dress shoes: For your first pair, choose black or dark brown leather. For men’s shoes, choose a lace-up shoe with an elegant profile and a plain or cap toe. Avoid brogues (they’re more casual). For women’s shoes, choose a closed-toe black flat or low-heeled pump.
  • Accessories: You’ll need a black or brown leather belt. Dress socks and/or nylons are appropriate for dress shoes.

What to buy next

  • A second suit in a different neutral colour — grey is a good choice.
  • More dress shirts, perhaps with different collar and cuff styles.
  • A second pair of dress shoes, perhaps in a different style.
  • A dressy overcoat in navy or grey wool. A three-quarter-length coat is flattering without being too heavy.

Next steps


Next: Online etiquette