The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Fashionistas speak at SMU

To tuck, or not to tuck? That is the question concerning dress shirts when many business employees awake the morning of their first day in the office and begin to assemble an outfit for the day.

The term “business casual” floats around the fashion world in an attempt to set a more relaxed standard of proper office attire.

“The emphasis on business casual is on the word business, not on the word casual. Save the casual for the weekends,” advises Heidi Dillon, founder and president of the Dallas-based organization, the Fashionistas.

Dillon was the featured speaker of the SMU Retail Club’s fashion show event held Tuesday night in the Ernst & Young Gallery of Cox School of Business.

The affair appropriately titled “Climbing the Corporate Ladder: Business-Savy-Couture Fashion Show,” included fashion tips from Dillon and a runway show of models displaying various types of business fashion.

The Retail Club sponsored the show for the second year in a row.

The club is sponsored by Cox and teams up with Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity for events such as the fashion show.

Vice President Susie Oszustowicz and Fashion Co-Chair Allie Shaffer greeted attendees at the front door with their personal fashion tips and gift bags full of various NorthPark Center coupons.

“Whatever you wear, wear with confidence,” Ozsustowicz said.

“A dark suit is typically a power symbol and key piece you want to wear,” Shaffer said.

Dillon began by outlining the Dos and Don’ts of appropriate office wear for men and women.

She quickly mentioned how guys have it easy in selecting business wear but then do it so wrong.

Common mistakes include wearing shorts or sandals, and Dillon feels both items are not suitable for the office.

The popular trend of un-tucked shirts should not be applied in the office as well.

“Don’t wear them to the office unless you work at Silicon Valley or Hollywood. It’s not an appropriate look,” she said.

Acceptable clothing items for guys include dark-colored suits, solid colored shirts, preferably white, and socks that coordinate with pants.

Ties should come a little below the belt, with the belt matching the color of the shoes.

Business casual for women is a bit more challenging, says Dillon, since they have so many choices.

However, she suggested a few Don’ts for women to keep in mind when selecting office ensembles.

“If you look down and can see your cleavage, so can everyone else.,” said Dillon.

“That’s inappropriate for business. Midriff tops are good for Britney Spears. They don’t work in the office.”

Strappy, high-heeled sandals should be kept for Saturday night.

Dillon feels toes are distracting and women should wear a closed toe shoe to the office.

Shorts and cropped pants are inappropriate and should be left to car pool moms, according to Dillon.

Any tops with sparkles, spaghetti straps, or are excessively shiny are all fun for weekends, but not suitable for business.

Women should wear long slacks, silk or cotton blouses, twin sets, and appropriate length skirts.

Dillon suggests wearing a covered high-heel shoe everyday.

“Guys are tall. The business world is still predominately a male environment,” said Dillon.

“They’re taller than we are as a rule, so you need all the advantage you can get. Wear heeled shoes but don’t make them too high,” she said.

Dillon recommends a similar business casual look for interviews.

Both men and women should keep it simple and professional looking.

Conceal tattoos and piercings and groom hair and nails accordingly.

This year’s models showcased business wear from a smattering of local retailers.

“We selected the clothes based on places that had appropriate business wear and attire,” Retail Club Fashion Chair Kate Hall said.

“We wanted to get different types of looks from the conservative to the more fashionable look,” said Hall.

Dillon also promoted her organization, the Fashionistas.

Fashionistas members raise funds to support the Texas Fashion Collection, which is currently housed at the University of North Texas.

SMU students are encouraged to join Fashionistas 2, the sister organization for high-school and college students.

The Fashionistas’ primary goal is to build a fashion museum in Dallas’ Fashion on Main district to house the entire Texas Fashion Collection.

Part of the Collection can be seen at Meadows Museum in the Balenciaga exhibit.

Dillon closed by reminding the audience of the important impact clothing selection has on other people.

“Fashion tells a story of who we are, and people can assess who you are in five seconds. Your first impression takes five seconds,” said Dillon.

“So every day when you get dressed, you’re telling a little story. Never underestimate the power of appearances.”

For more information on the Fashionistas and Fashionistas 2, log onto

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