Dress For The Career You Want! with Heather Hawke from Off The Rack PR


Often throughout the PR program, we get told from our mentors that our image is everything and it plays a huge role when we’re searching for jobs. What we say on Twitter, and the pictures we post on Facebook and Instagram, reflects our brand. I never really took that advice seriously, but then it hit me that employers will Google you. Your personal brand is about who you are and what you want to be known for. Two months in, I cleaned up my Twitter, untagged a few pictures on Facebook, and started to watch what I say (kind of).

“You can tell a lot by the way someone is dressed, the crease in the pants, the knot in the tie, that wrinkles in the shirt. Don’t let the way you dress interfere with anything.”

Unfortunately, not a lot of people are taking this seriously. Their Twitter is ok, but when you go on Facebook or Instagram, that’s where it gets messy. There are a few people who really don’t know how to dress. I’m not saying you should wear a suit or dress shoes everyday, but don’t wear clothes that reveal everything, everyday… in front of your peers and teachers! When you have an interview at a PR agency, you will want to look your best because most of the people that work there are very fashionable.

Today on PRdrink PRvoker, I want to give you (men and women) tips on how to dress for the career you want! I also have a special guest blogger, Heather Hawke, creator of Off The Rack PR, who is going to be giving her personal tips and favourite styles for women, while I will be talking about my favourite types of casual yet business looks for men.


Dress For The Career You Want! – Men

My look is really casual, I love wearing jeans, sweaters, and oxford shoes. When I have to go for interviews however, I have a tweed blazer, some chinos, a white dress shirt, and a skinny casual tie. Depending on the weather, I’ll throw on my trench coat. Here are a few of my favourite items that you should have in your PR closet.

  • A tweed blazer: A perfect item that you can wear with just about anything in your closet. Looks great with a pair of jeans and some nice chinos. You really can’t go wrong with this type of blazer – wear to interviews, dinners, and casual weekend brunchs.
  • Brown Oxford Shoes: Guys, stop wearing those ugly running shoes. Invest in some brown oxfords because it looks good with just about any type of pants. Don’t wear running shoes unless it’s the weekend or if you’re going to the gym. Men, ladies do pay attention to your shoes first – so make a good impression.
  • Skinny or Straight Jeans: Stop wearing baggy jeans guys, it’s not the 90s. Levis and Ralph Lauren Denim has great skinny and straight jeans. Also buy jeans that fit not only your waist, but your length with a nice leather brown belt.
  • Chinos: If you’re getting tired of jeans, buy some chinos. You can wear them to your interviews, to a nice dinner, or even casually with a t-shirt. Chinos come in many different colours so don’t be afraid to play around with your look.
  • Touch up your outfit with a watch and/or tie: A good classic watch can always complete your look. You don’t want anything to flashy because it can be distracting so go with a leather strap watch. Depending on your outfit, you can clean it up with a skinny or regular tie. I love skinny ties with a tweed blazer and a regular tie with a black or grey suit. When buying ties, don’t get anything too bright – go for neutral. It’s essential for every man to know how to tie a tie; if you don’t know how please go on YouTube.

My favourite places to shop are Topman, Zara, J. Crew, Scotch & Soda, Levi’s, Johnston & Murphy, and Little Burgundy.


Dress For The Career You Want! – Women | by Heather Hawke from Off The Rack PR

There is no denying in the PR world the way you dress reflects the image of your agency and the style of clients you attract. Fashion is a form of self-expression and intentional or not, our sense of style does show who we are and ultimately could influence how we are perceived in the workplace. Suits and ties are few and far between in the PR industry, so where should we draw the line when it comes to casual chic? It comes down to fundamentals and knowing boundaries. A general rule of thumb is that you should be dressing for the job you want, not the job you have.

Here, I’ve outlined a few necessities when it comes to work-appropriate fashion for women:

  • A well-tailored blazer: You can throw it on over a t-shirt paired with slim-fitting jeans, over a blouse, or with a colourful dress – the options are endless. If you must only have one, go for black at first but don’t be afraid to be daring with white or bold colours for spring! A blazer is a PR essential: it’s chic, professional and polished.
  • The little black dress: This dress needs to be comfortable, yet versatile enough to go from day to evening. Just because you’re wearing black doesn’t mean you can’t add your own personal touch! Statement jewelry, a belt or a fun pop of colour will add a stylish dimension to your look.
  • Work-appropriate jeans: They are perfect for casual days at the office. This means NO distressed denim. I’m talking strictly dark washes in a flattering style. White jeans can also work for the summer; just make sure they are clean and crisp.
  • Flats: Although I wish I could say I run around in heels all day, they’re just not practical. Wear flats and bring heels to the office, your feet will thank you. You don’t need to break the bank for shoes, just make sure they are smart and well paired with the outfit. Worn-in and scuffed up shoes just present a lazy factor and they don’t look professional.
  • Accessories: Jewelry, belts, bags and shoes are as important as the pants you might be wearing. In a stricter corporate setting it can be a way for individuality to shine through.

It never ceases to amaze me how many women cross the line when it comes to work appropriate fashion. Ladies: save the mini skirt and cleavage for Saturday nights! Keep your undergarments well hidden and if you’re wearing a sheer shirt you need to wear a camisole underneath. By no means do I think your outfit should be boring. In fact, I think the opposite. Wear your favourite colours, styles and prints – just make sure you always look presentable and professional.

Read Off The Rack PR | Follow Heather Hawke on Twitter | Heather Hawke on Pinterest

4 thoughts on “Dress For The Career You Want! with Heather Hawke from Off The Rack PR

  1. Great post you two!

    I loved how you cover both men and women. Image is so important, especially when we’re facing a client. Regardless of what type of environment we work in, it’s always important to look the part and look professional. The way I see it, we dress for the job we want and not the job we have. How you put yourself together is the first thing most people will see so it’s really important to give off a good impression. You’ve provided some good tips for people entering the workplace for their internships!


  2. Pingback: To The New CCPRs On The Block | PRdrink PRvoker

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