Have you heard the one about Rutgers turning students away from a job fair because they wore dark blue suits instead of black? Oh, wait, that's right, this wasn't a joke. This really happened.

Students arrived on February 10th at a Rutgers career fair and were turned away for wearing dark navy blue suits instead of black. According to the dress code Rutgers issued for this job fair, only "dark gray or black professional suits" were allowed. Says one student, "I didn't go to show off my style, I went to show off my skills." Students were told they would have to leave and go change before being allowed back in. Many were too far from home to have that time. Others didn't own a black or gray suit.

Then there's the senior associate dean of the Business school, Martin Markowitz, who made this most arrogant comment on the situation. "While a very nice theoretical discussion, I used to teach science and specifically designating a particular color with chromaticity coordinates using a spectropolarimeter is not possible at a Business School Career Fair. To avoid any confusion, we do not permit blue suits."

What a pedantic loser.

People attending Rutgers are legally grown men and women but are being treated like children with this dress code. At this point in your life, you should be able to decide for yourself how best to present yourself, and if you make a mistake and show up in jeans with a facial piercing then you pay the price and you hopefully learn from your poor choice. But no, Rutgers decided to issue the following dress code and treat their students who have paid good money for an education like little kids.


  • Dark gray or black professional business suit; pants and jacket must match
  • White dress shirt
  • Conservative, professional tie with a solid or simple pattern. No bright colors or graphics
  • Dark socks that match shoes or pants; no patterned or white socks
  • Clean, polished dark dress shoes; no sneakers or boots
  • No facial jewelry; minimal accessories (dark belt, watch, ring)
  • Hair well groomed
  • Clean shaven or well-groomed facial hair
  • Clean, trimmed nails
  • Minimal fragrance, if any


  • Dark gray or black professional business suit; long sleeved jacket with lapels and matching knee length skirt OR full length dress pants
  • Solid light colored blouse or shirt; avoid plunging neckline
  • Clean, polished close toed dark pumps (low heel), no stilettos or ballet flats
  • Neutral colored plain hosiery if wearing a skirt suit; pattern
  • Minimal jewelry; watch, ring, small earrings
  • Minimal makeup, if any
  • Hair well groomed
  • Nude or light colored nail polish, if any. Clean, trimmed nails
  • Minimal fragrance, if any
  • Small purse, if any

How crazily specific this list is. When are young adults going to be treated like adults and be allowed to sink or swim on their own? Rutgers has since issued a formal apology for all this, but the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

More from New Jersey 101.5:

Sign up for the NJ1015.com Newsletter

Get the best of NJ1015.com delivered to your inbox every day.