What’s the proper length of a tie? Does “dress casual” mean you can wear jeans to work? Should you ever wear white socks with a suit? How short is “too short” for skirts in the office?
Students at Miami’s G. Holmes Braddock High School learned the answers to these and other important “dress-for-success” questions during a recent business fashion show coordinated by the college’s Xi Sigma chapter of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. The event took place on January 12, 2007, in the high school’s auditorium, which was packed with several hundred style-conscious students.
“We all know that what you wear to work or for a job interview can leave a lasting impression,” said Michael Jadoo, a senior enrolled in the College of Business Administration who also serves as director of professional development for the fraternity. “We thought putting on a style show would be a fun, engaging way to show these high school students the proper way to wear both formal and casual business attire—and the kids just loved it!”
When not busy with Alpha Kappa Psi, Jadoo is focusing on completing a double major in finance and management information systems (MIS), along with a double minor in economics and Asian studies. He is slated to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in August, 2008.
Fraternity members team with high school leaders to put their best fashion foot forward.
To plan the style show, Jadoo and his fellow fraternity members collaborated with members of Braddock’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) student organization as well as with members of the high school’s Club de Mode fashion club.
“I worked closely with Michael Jadoo to coordinate the event, secure the models, select the clothes to be worn, and hold a rehearsal,” said Ana Ansola, a senior at Braddock who is an FBLA officer at the school as well as an officer of the Florida FBLA state chapter. “I also helped create the PowerPoint presentation that he gave as part of the event.”
The fashion show featured models from the FBLA high school chapter dressed in formal business attire and models from Club de Mode wearing business casual outfits. Models from Alpha Kappa Psi then demonstrated examples of “what not to wear.”
“We felt it was important to have the high school students model most of the clothing because we knew the other students would pay the most attention to their peers,” Jadoo said.
John Perez, a college senior and pre-med student pursuing a health services administration major, was one of the brave Alpha Kappa Psi models who walked the runway in what was definitely inappropriate business attire—a formal shirt, basketball shorts, white socks, and sneakers.
“The students had a blast,” Perez said. “They zeroed in right away on everything that was wrong with my wardrobe choice.”
Event leaves a lasting impression.
Ansola believes that her fellow students learned some valuable fashion lessons.
“We saw how business attire can be versatile and fashionable,” she said. “We demonstrated how to mix and match pieces and tailor outfits to different types of events. Everyone had a great time at the show. It was both fun and informative.”
Mary Hough, an accounting and information technology teacher at Braddock and the school’s FBLA chapter sponsor, praised the Alpha Kappa Psi event.
“I feel the fashion show was a huge success,” she said. “High school students often have a difficult time knowing what to wear, and when. This way, students got a visual sense of proper formal and casual business attire—and they loved seeing their peers on stage. I received several positive responses from my students who attended the show. I look forward to doing something like this again.”
Hough went on to say that “many of our students already plan to attend Florida International University, and this event may encourage others to consider attending college because of something they saw or heard during the experience.”
The oldest professional business fraternity in North America, Alpha Kappa Psi is recognized as a premier developer of principled business leaders. To learn more about the university’s Xi Sigma chapter, send an email to XiSigma92@gmail.com or contact chapter president Jackie Ginarte at 305-815-5077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.