Interview Outfits for Women

FT Contributor  | 

You don’t get a second chance at a first impression. This means what you wear to a job interview is extremely important. A job interview is your chance to make a great first impression on a potential employer and hopefully land a job.

Most businesses have a dress code in place that designates what is appropriate for their employees to wear. Even though you’re not yet an employee, what you wear to an interview will demonstrate your understanding of how the company operates and your desire to want to work there.

In addition to complying with the office’s dress code, what you wear says a lot about who you are. Believe it or not, your clothes say a lot about your personal drive and how you’ll behave at work.

Whether it’s a digital interview or a traditional in-person meeting, you should always ask the recruiter or hiring manager what the office’s dress code is. This will allow you to better prepare for your interview and ensure you don’t show up over- or under-dressed.

Whether this is your first time interviewing or you’re looking to get back out on the job market, these interview outfits are sure to make a lasting, professional impression. With the right pieces in your wardrobe, you can mix and match these items to create different looks for future interviews or even your weekly work wardrobe. Below, you’ll find a discussion of clothing that is appropriate to wear to interviews or in any professional setting.

Blazers

If you’re invited to an interview, there’s no way of knowing whether the office space runs hot or cold. That’s where layering pieces, like blazers, come in.

Blazers are a must-have in any closet. They are an extremely flexible piece of clothing that offers a wealth of benefits to the wearer, including:

  • Looking professional.
  • Layering.
  • Creating a multitude of looks.
  • Always stylish.
  • Versatile in color, size, and fit.
  • Create a slimming appearance.

Commonly, people choose blazers in shades of blue, black, or gray, as these are colors that can be worn with plenty of professional looks. Blazers aren’t solely for professional settings, though. While you can wear them to work with a pair of slacks, dresses, or skirts, they also fit with more casual outfits, such as jeans and a t-shirt. You can find blazers in other colors — such as red or green — that are suitable at work and beyond.

Button Downs

Button-down shirts allow women to create a professional appearance rivaling that of any big-time businessman. Women in button-down shirts portray a sense of confidence and poise.

White button-downs can be a staple in your wardrobe, but you aren’t limited to white. Button-downs are available in a variety of colors, patterns, and fabrics. In addition, button-downs add the following benefits to anyone’s wardrobe:

  • They’re a classic look that never goes out of style.
  • They’re easily paired with a variety of looks.
  • They’re easy to dress up or down.

Cardigans and Sweaters

Another great layering piece, cardigans and sweaters allow you to add pops of color or print to any outfit while keeping you warm. In addition to being comfortable and cozy, cardigans and sweaters can help anyone look professional and put-together in an interview. Plus, sweaters and cardigans are:

  • Easy to layer with a number of looks.
  • Great for accenting a dress, skirt, or denim style.
  • Extremely versatile — you can wear them three out of the four seasons.

Skirts

Wearing a skirt demonstrates the effort you put forth in wanting to appear professional. Sometimes, certain offices have a very strict formal dress code that requires women to wear dresses and skirts.

In addition to being a more formal option for an interview outfit, skirts are more elegant and professional than other bottom options. Plus, skirts are:

  • A cooler option to wear during the summer.
  • A more versatile way to appear professional.
  • Extremely easy to style, whether you want to dress them up or down.
  • Available in casual styles as well.

Black Dress

A black dress is one of the most versatile pieces any woman can have in her closet. The black dress is a timeless style that always looks professional and sleek, especially when you’re interviewing for a job.

From job interviews to nights out on the town, networking events, and beyond, there are so many places you could wear a black dress. In addition to being so versatile, black dresses:

  • Are easy to style with jackets, sweaters, jewelry, or accessories.
  • A classic look that will never go out of style.
  • Are available in a variety of styles, from sleeveless to long-sleeve.

Slacks

Some women don’t feel comfortable in dresses and skirts — that’s where slacks come in. These pants allow women to appear polished and professional in a more functional way than skirts or dresses ever could.

Because it’s not a great idea to wear jeans for your job interview, slacks give you the same comfort level as jeans but with a more professional appearance. In addition to giving you more flexibility, slacks allow:

  1. More modesty in the workplace.
  2. For easy styling with t-shirts, button-downs, and a variety of other looks.
  3. A more formal look than other bottoms, like leggings or sweatpants.

Interview Dress Tips for Females

Now that you have an understanding of the pieces necessary to look professional in an interview, find out how to use them.

Use Simple and Chic Clothes

Invest in simple pieces of clothing that are chic without being overly stylish. This will ensure that you’re always on-trend, never out-dated. Having staple pieces in your closet to work with will make styling your interview look easy and equip you to make the most out of your wardrobe.

Wear a Statement Item

While a job interview is a professional event, that doesn’t mean you can’t showcase a bit of your personality. A statement item will help you do just that. From statement hair accessories to statement jewelry or things like scarves, purses, or shoes, there are a variety of ways you can let your personality shine through your wardrobe.

Experiment With Colors and Patterns

Again, what you wear to an interview doesn’t have to be black, white, or gray. You’re allowed to experiment with colors and patterns in ways that add dimension to your outfit. For instance, if you have a white button-down shirt but don’t feel like it captures your creativity, dress it up with a patterned scarf or colorful piece of jewelry to easily update the look of your classic wardrobe staple.

Keep calm and confident for your job interview by looking the part.


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