What to wear for an interview


You got the interview! That is great!  Now, what do you wear? Of course every work environment is different.  The safest and easiest way to dress for an interview is conservative (playing  it “safe”)  What does that mean exactly? Let's review.


Conservative Wardrobe


  • Blazer - Navy, Black, Grey, Brown/Tan
  • Blouse or dress shirt (pressed - not too low cut, we don’t want anything to fall out now do we) - white, cream/ivory, light blue/ green, purple
  • Dress pants or Dress skirt that is a little above the knee to floor length -black, navy, grey are great!
  • Small earrings – studs like or pearls are great!
  • Small single line Pearl like necklace is ok or a bare neck is ok as well
    Dress shoes - 1 to 3 inch heels. Flats are ok. 7 inch party shoes are a no go!
  • Natural makeup 
  • NO PERFUME – You never know how much you put on, as you may get overly excited for the interview. Also, people are allergic to perfumes. A mild hand lotion is ok.

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Dry cleaners are your friends!  Yes, my friend, they are great when you are in a pitch for time.  Dry cleaning a jacket, skirts or pants usually doesn't cost too much and it is well worth it.  




  • Blazer or vest - navy, black, grey, brown/tan
  • Pressed dress shirt - white, light blue/green
  • Tie (matching tie) - blue, silver, grey, tan, navy, purple, mild stripes, small polkadots are ok, but not too flashy)
  • Dress pants
  • Dress shoes – make sure you throw on some polish. A little extra effort makes the difference.

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It always helps to get your suits, jacket, shirts, tie, and pants dry cleaned a day or two before the interview. You will be prepared with clean and nicely pressed clothes. Fresh is wonderful thing my friend.




  • NO COLOGNE or AFTERSHAVE– You never know how much you put on, when you may get ready and are excited for the interview.  Many people are allergic to cologne. You don’t want to give the impression that you will be “stinkin” up the place every day at work, my friend, oh no. This will affect your interview process - guaranteed.

Here is a realistic graphic that provides a detailed look of how to dress, and reviews basic hygiene for an interview.

interview clothes women and men fashion

Graphic by: myjobhelper.com

Artistic/Creative/Fashion/Music Environments/Some Tech

For these environments, make the following adjustments.

Women and Men

  • Colorful blouses, shirts, jackets, vests, or ties – These colorful items accent your wardrobe and definitely gives a message of your style.


  • Shoes – A higher heel is ok (2 to 4 inches)
  • Jewelry- An interesting/colorful bracelet, watch, earrings and necklace is great. Not too BIG and distracting.


Shoes – Mildly colorful shoes are ok, such as a deeper dark shade.

In general, for women and men, a strong red, yellow, purple, green, pink, and orange really spices up your wardrobe, my friend. You must be a little spicy if you are going for a interview in a creative environment.  Exciting!

What NOT to wear 

This list, of course, varies depending on the type of job you are applying for and/or industry.

  • your pajamas or swimsuit (unless you are going for position that requires that uniform)
  • too flashy everything
  • clothing with sports teams, logos, or t-shirts
  • too much jewelry – a wedding/engagement ring is ok. Rings on every finger, not a good idea
  • clothes that are too tight and uncomfortable – You may be in the interview longer than expected
  • For tattoos – cover them, just in case (even though they are great, tats are cool!)
  • perfumes/colognes/after shave – This is important. This can be the thing that disqualifies you, my  friend
  • jeans (unless the interviewer states to wear them – wear a blazer or a vest with your jeans to dress it up)

What is the dress code?

If you are not sure what a company’s dress code is, you can enter the following into a search engine: “(enter company) dress code”. You will be able to get a sense of the corporate culture and dress code through forums and articles.  


Just as a rule, check out the dress code before the interview and adjust your wardrobe if needed. Usually jeans with a vest/jacket are good for a more casual environment.  For the business and office type positions, a conservative wardrobe will do the job (no point intended).  It is important to include a portfolio or folder to keep your resume straight and unwrinkled.  This will give the message that you are somewhat organize and care about presentation.  You never know what other positions that they may consider you for - positions that pay more.  Just something to keep  mind.    Cosmetically, you are now ready for your interview.  You can do this!


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