How to Dress for Class
The Travel Academy expect all of our students to dress and act professional, therefore you must look the part as well. Please view the remainder of this page for tips and rules about our dress code.
Most Travel Industry careers are very strict about what they will allow their employees to wear. Many companies require their employees to wear the uniforms provided and no other. They are very strict about it as well. You may easily be written up for not following the uniform standards provided by your employer. It is very important for you to get used to wearing what you might not want to, and during our class is a perfect time.
By NO means do you need to go shopping and buy a new wardrobe for our classes. We expect our students to dress business casual, however, we DO NOT permit jeans, sweatpants, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies or tennis shoes. There will be days where casual wear will be allowed per your instructors allowance. All students will need to bring an interviewing suit with them to class or purchase one once you arrive. The Mall of America has many stores where you can purchase interviewing suits. A main focus of our curriculum is career developement and as companies come to The Travel Academy to interview students, you must be prepared. Please view How to Dress for an Interview for more ideas on your interviewing suit.
For a professional appearance and interviewing purposes we highly recommend ladies to bring a black pair of 2-3 inch heels that are closed toe and are NOT sling backs.
The Travel Academy will not force any student to remove any unusual facial peircings but we are here to inform you that this industry does not allow them. If you have gaged your earlobes or have nose, eyebrow, lip or any other pierced area that is visual with your clothing on, then you may want to consider removing those peircings before attending The Travel Academy or while attending.
Tattoos can easily be covered up by clothing but if you have a tattoo in places such as your hands, neck, arms, legs and they are not covered by your clothing, we can easily find solutions for you to cover them before you begin your application and interview processes with Travel Companies. If you are considering a NEW tattoo before you attend The Travel Academy you might want to reconsider if they will be visable with your clothing on.
*Specifics for men's business casual
Ties are generally not necessary for business casual, but if you are in doubt, you can wear a tie. It never hurts to slightly overdress; by dressing nicely, you pay a compliment to your host. You can always wear the tie and discreetly walk by the room where the function is held; if no one else is wearing a tie, you can discreetly remove yours. (Then put it in your bookbag or other discreet place. Don't stuff it in your pocket and let part of it hang out.)
Long-sleeved shirts are considered dressier than short-sleeved and are appropriate even in summer. Choosing white or light blue solid, or conservative stripes is your safest bet. Polo shirts (tucked in, of course) are acceptable in more casual situations.
Wear dark socks, mid-calf length so no skin is visible when you sit down.
Leather shoes should be worn. No sandals, athletic shoes or hiking boots.
Just as with interviews: Facial hair, if worn, should be well-groomed. Know your industry and how conservative it is; observe men in your industry if you are unsure what's appropriate or are considering changing your look.
Wear a conservative watch. If you choose to wear other jewelry, be conservative. Removing earrings is safest. For conservative industries, don't wear earrings. Observe other men in your industry to see what is acceptable.
Watches/cell phones/checking the time:
If you use your cell phone as a watch, just be careful that you don't look like you're taking calls/texts while speaking with employers. Your attention should be directed on the people with whom you are physically present. Be discreet when checking time; frequent checking sends the message that you are bored.
*Specifics for women's business casual
Don't confuse club attire with business attire. If you would wear it to a club, you probably shouldn't wear it in a business environment. Also, most attire worn on televison is not appropriate for business environments. Don't be deluded.
Pants / skirts:
Women can wear casual pants or skirts. Neither should be tight. Fabrics should be crisp; colors should generally be solid; navy, black, gray, brown and khaki are always safe bets. For the most business-like appearance, pants should be creased and tailored; neither extreme of tight or flowing. If you are pursuing a conservative industry and are in doubt, observe well-dressed women in your industry on the job, at career fairs, at information sessions, etc.
Skirt length and slits:
Your skirt should come at least to your knees while you are standing. 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 might be 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 a stair climbing — are acceptable. Slits to facilitate a view of your legs are not appropriate for business purposes. Slips should not be visible.
Shirt / sweaters:
In addition to tailored shirts or blouses, tailored knit sweaters and sweater sets are appropriate business casual choices for women. Cotton, silk, and blends are appropriate. Velvets and shimmery fabrics suitable for parties are not appropriate. Fit should not be tight. Cleavage is not appropriate to business and job search occasions.
Jewelry / accessories:
Wear a conservative watch. Jewelry and scarf styles come and go. Keep your choices simple and leaning toward conservative. Avoid extremes of style and color. If your industry is creative, you may have more flexibility than someone pursuing a conservative industry.
Keep makeup conservative and natural looking. A little is usually better than none for a polished look. Nails should be clean and well groomed. Avoid extremes of nail length and polish color, especially in conservative industries.
Should be leather or fabric / microfiber. Appropriate colors are black, navy, brown, tan, taupe (to coordinate with your other attire and accessories); white and pastels are not appropriate. For the most conservative look, toes should be covered. Sandals which are neither extremely dressy nor extremely casual might be appropriate. Thin straps and spike heels are not appropriate. Chunky heels and platforms are not apropriate. Your choices reflect your judgment. Make certain you can walk comfortably in your shoes; hobbling around a job fair in shoes that are pinching your feet does not convey a professional image and does not convey good judgment.
Not essential for business casual, but are recommended if your skirt is knee length (rather than calf length) and in more formal environments such as hotels. Climate and weather can be a factor. Hose may not be expected in hot climates/weather and in less conservative industries. Hose may be expected in more conservative industries. All your choices send a message about your judgment; if the weather is extremely cold/snowy/icey, and you wear a skirt with bare legs, you won't look like you have good judgment.
Purse / bag:
If you carry a purse, keep it simple, or carry a small briefcase or business-like tote bag in place of a purse. A structured bag tends to look more professional than something soft or floppy. Purse/bag color should coordinate with your shoes. A briefcase is certainly not necessary for most business casual events. Leather, microfiber and fine wovens are appropriate. Casual canvas and straw are not appropriate.
*Grooming tips for men and women
Should be clean and neat.
Should be in polished condition. Make sure heels are not worn.
No missing buttons, no lint; and don’t forget to remove external tags and tacking stitches from new clothes.
Clothes should be clean, neatly pressed, and fit properly, neither tight nor baggy.
Perfume or cologne should be used sparingly or not at all.
No odors on clothes.
Don't smell like smoke. Neither your breath nor clothes.