Fashion Fridays: What to Wear for an Interview

For today’s Fashion Fridays we’re tackling Interview Fashion!  Heavens, I have seen some great interview attire, but I’ve also seen some really bad choices.  Short skirt – no.  Open toe red patent leather four-inch heels – no.  Jeans – no.  Low cut blouses – no.  If you are in any career job, sales, marketing, legal, administrative, banker, financial advisor, legislative, engineer, human resources, whatever, then I say wear a suit.  I do not think you can overdress for a job interview.  If you are interviewing for a construction job or a very artistic job, different standards apply, but for most fields you need an interview suit.  So go invest in one really classic suit.

Here’s a handful of tips for interview fashion:

  1. Wear closed toe pumps.  Not five-inch heels, but heels.  Leather.  Neutral colors.  Simple.  No chains or bedazzling.  No bright colors.
  2. If you are wearing a skirt suit, then wear stockings.  Make sure the skirt comes to your knee or very near it.  Why?  Because you are going to sit down in a chair across from me and I don’t want to see anything.  Please.  That skirt kicks up several inches the second you sit down.  Try yours out in front of a mirror at home.  Or wear trousers.
  3. Wear a suit.  Not a blazer with a pair of pants, but a suit.  Something that is obviously a suit.  In neutral colors.  Navy pinstripe.  Black.  Taupe.  Not red.  Not blue.  Really, you should never wear a matching colored suit anymore (e.g., pink, blue, etc.).  (Nor should you match colored shoes to a colored suit anymore, just FYI.)
  4. Manicure your nails.  This does not have to be a professional manicure.  Just file your nails.  Take off chipped polish.  If you wear polish, wear something neutral that does not day-glow across the room when you gesture with your hand.
  5. Keep jewelry simple.  Your signature aqua flower ring has another destination and it is not your job interview.  That charm ankle bracelet should not be displayed during an interview.  Gold or silver or pearls in tasteful proportion.
  6. Honestly, keep EVERYTHING simple.  Cover your tattoos with clothing or makeup.  Wear your hair simply and make sure your color has recently been done (if you color it).  Carry a professional handbag (if you need one – you can read more about finding a work handbag in a previous Fashion Friday).

Here’s some lovely looks if job hunting in a pant suit is in your near future:

suit1

And here’s some classic skirt suit options:

suit2

Just remember, wear something in which you feel comfortable.  If you sit tugging and pulling and adjusting during your interview, then it will distract from what an impressive candidate you are.  Wear something you love and that helps you exude confidence.  Those first impressions matter.  Good luck!

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