Dress Codes

Guidelines for Business Casual and Professional Attire

Beta Alpha Psi is a professional organization. As such, members and candidates are expected to dress appropriately for meetings aimed at professional development. For technical presentations, dress code is business casual, though business professional is welcomed and encouraged. Meet the Firms is strictly business professional for all students.

Your attire should play a supporting role to your conduct, your interpersonal skills, and your ability to articulate intelligent and well thought out responses to questions. If in doubt, err on the side of dressing better than you might need to. 

  • Clothing should be clean, neatly pressed, and fit properly (not too tight nor too baggy)
  • Underwear, lingerie and slips should not be visible.
  • Make sure all tags have been removed from new clothing; also remove any tacking stitches.
  • Ensure that clothes do not have lint, dangling threads, open seams, missing buttons, etc.
  • Shoes should be clean and polished. Heels should not be worn.
  • Keep perfumes and colognes mild, or avoid altogether. No odors on clothes (including the smell of smoke)
  • Body piercings and tattoos should not be visible.
  • Hats are not appropriate
  • Hair should be clean and neat
  • Fingernails should be clean.
  • Fresh breath is always good – however, use a mint rather than gum
  • Backpacks are acceptable at events (you are a student!)

Women's Attire

Business Casual

Pants should be similar to Dockers and other brands of cotton or synthetic material pants, wool pants, flannel pants, and nice looking dress synthetic pants are acceptable. Pants should break at the top of the foot or shoe.

Casual skirts (appropriate length) are also acceptable as are dresses. Dresses should not be something that is for church, a wedding or a party. They should be professional and avoid showing cleavage.If you choose to wear hose, avoid a high contrast between your outfit and hosiery color. Skirt should end at the knee when you are standing (or slightly above or below the knee).

Button-up shirts, blouses, polo shirts, sweaters and sweater sets. Cotton, silk, and blends are appropriate. Velvets and shimmery fabrics suitable for parties are not appropriate.

Flats, dressy sandals, loafers, and pumps are examples of acceptable footwear.  

Jeans, leather pants, leggings / yoga pants, sweatpants, shorts, skorts, short skirts, sundresses, beach dresses, spaghetti-strap dresses, tank tops, halter tops, cropped tops, tops with bare shoulders, t-shirts, low-cut tops, sheer tops, most sandals, flip-flops, sneakers, platforms, Hiking boots, Uggs, Stilettos.


Women's Attire

Business Professional

A two-piece matched skirt or pants suit is the best option. Suits should generally be dark in color – solid colors or very subtle weave patterns, pinstripes or plaids. However, women can also look professional in lighter colors than men (e.g. light gray or slate blue). Suits should be made of wool, wool blends, or very high quality blends with natural fiber.

Wear a tailored blouse or button-down shirt in a color or small print that coordinates with your suit. Nothing sheer or see-through. A fine gauge, good quality knit shell is also appropriate underneath your suit jacket.

Shoes should be leather or fabric / micro fiber. Closed-toe pumps are most appropriate for business professional attire. Regardless of what is in style, avoid extremes; no chunky platforms or stilletos.


Additional Tips for Business Professional Attire

  • Your skirt should end at the knee when you are standing (or slightly above or below the knee). Longer skirts are professional too; just make sure they are narrow enough not to be billowing, but not so narrow that you can't climb stairs comfortably. While you are seated, your thighs should be covered. If your skirt comes to just below the knee, a slit to just above the knee is usually acceptable. A very long skirt should not be slit to above the knee. Generally, slits in the center back of a skirt — to facilitate walking and stair climbing — are acceptable.
  • Colors can be bright, but not shiny.
  • Make certain you can walk comfortably in your shoes. Hobbling in uncomfortable shoes is not professional.
  • Keep jewelry to a minimum. Avoid jewelry that might jingle or swing when you move. A general rule is to wear no more than 13 accessories, including scarf, belt, jewelry, buttons, etc. There should be no more than one ring on each hand and no more than one earring in each ear.
  • Keep makeup conservative.
  • Nails should be clean and well groomed. Avoid extremes of nail length and polish color (e.g. avoid fluorescent green nail polish or 2-inch long fake nails).
  • If you carry a purse, keep it small and simple, especially if you also carry a briefcase. Purse color should coordinate with your shoes. Leather, microfiber and fine wovens are appropriate. Canvas and straw are not appropriate.

Men's Attire

Business Casual

Dress slacks, “Dockers” style slacks or Khakis, gabardine or cotton pants.

A long or short-sleeved dress shirt (e.g. collared shirts such as button-down shirts, polo shirts or turtlenecks) and/or a sweater.

Professional business shoes, oxfords or loafers are acceptable. Wear dark socks, mid-calf length so no skin is visible when you sit down.

Ties and sports jacket are generally not necessary for business casual. If you are in doubt, you can wear a tie and/or sport coat. (It never hurts to slightly overdress).

Jeans, Sweatpants, shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, denim jackets, sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, hiking boots, work boots, hats


Men's Attire

Business Professional

A two piece suit is always the best and safest choice. Suits should generally be medium to dark in color – either solid color or a very subtle weave pattern, pinstripe or plaid. They should be made of wool, wool blends, or very high quality blends with natural fiber. Sports coats, if worn, should always coordinate with pants.

A long-sleeved dress shirt is most appropriate (even in summer). Many people prefer white, light blue or conservative stripe shirts; however, other colors are certainly appropriate. You should avoid fluorescent colors, loud patterns, etc.

Silk or a good synthetic or blend (no cotton).

Professional business shoes. Socks should be dark and mid-calf length so no skin is visible when you sit down.


Additional Tips for Business Professional Attire

  • Shirt should always be tucked in
  • When wearing a two or three button suit jacket or sports coat: When standing, depending on the number of buttons, button either the top one or top two buttons - leaving the bottom button undone. When seated, all buttons can be undone.
  • The tip of your tie should end at the top part of your belt
  • Belts are always required and should be the same color as your shoes

Beta Alpha Psi -Beta Chi Chapter
Lam Family College of Business
San Francisco State University
PO Box 27131
San Francisco, California 94127

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