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WHAT TO WEAR: Presentation

March 2nd, 2015 at 2:00am

Stress and anxiety are natural side effects of in class presentations, but that doesn’t mean your outfit should contribute to it. Public speaking should be about content not appearance, and a perfect outfit should add professionalism without distracting the audience.

Many students make the mistake of assuming that “professional” automatically means a dress or shirt but there are multiple problems with this assumption. Just because something has a skirt does not automatically make it appropriate for presentations. Pencil skirts that rise too high above the knee or short skater dresses are unprofessional and can look childish while presenting to peers and professors.

If you choose to wear a skirt or dress it should be modestly fitted. After all, the last thing you want is to be tugging down the side of your skirt while talking in front of a crowd. Shirts should fit properly for similar reasons. Anything that has to be adjusted should be avoided because fidgeting is extremely unprofessional.

Another option, exemplified by this week’s Fashionista, is dark pants for a tailored and mature look. Paired with a patterned shirt and jewel toned cardigan, the look is dressy but not frumpy, exactly what a college student giving a presentation should aim for.

For people who feel dress pants are too mature for them, this Fashionista’s dark wash jeans would be the perfect final touch to a presentation outfit. Other options are tapered dress pants or black jeans.

This Fashionista paired her look with angular jewelry to give the outfit an (albeit subtle) edge. She chose a cardigan over a more tailored blazer, but the sharp earrings made up the difference. In a presentation outfit at least one item should have structure, whether it’s the jeans, jacket or jewelry.

The most personalized look of the Fashionista’s outfit is the shoe choice. A chunky pair of Dr. Martens is distinctly collegiate and like the earrings, makes the look less soft and more edgy. Not to mention, they keep her feet warmer in the freezing snow! However, they are clean and neutral and do not detract from the outfit’s professionalism.

One Simple Change: If your style is more on the feminine side, add some glitz with a pair of fun ballet flats and a floral statement necklace.