Interviewing definitely falls on the list of most nerve-wracking human experiences. While you may feel like you lack control in the process, there is one thing you have complete and utter control over: your confidence! While a good outfit can't guarantee anything, it can definitely give you a much-needed boost in your self-esteem.
Styling for an interview doesn't have to be boring, either. In this top 10 list, we've compiled a wide variety of our favorite interview-appropriate, stylish garments. We picked The Easy Blazer from Everlane as our top item, since a blazer always goes with anything, and that one is even more versatile with its relaxed but professional cut and fabric. Check out our other choices, and make sure to check out our buying guide to help you shop according to your industry or company.
Taissha helps women and men build functional wardrobes with essential pieces that are classic and versatile. She is based in Albany, New York, and she posts helpful tips on Instagram and her blog about how to style yourself.
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Table of Contents
Dressing for an interview doesn’t mean you have to lose your flair! We provided a large range of outfit options, but each outfit is subject to your own taste and industry. Here are some tips to help you find what that means for you.
Some general rules of thumb for all industries and interviews are no distressed (intentional or not) clothing or sneakers, stained clothing, low-cut tops, fabric tote bags, fur, or leggings. Even if the employees working there are dressed in T-shirts and jeans, it’s best to dress to impress unless you are specifically told not to.
Certain industries are more lenient on dress codes than others, so the first thing you need to figure out is how much dress freedom you have. Regardless of what the dress code is, though, you should always strive for a clean and well-dressed fit.
If you’ve done hours of research and still don’t feel confident in what the proper dress is, go with muted colors and a blazer!
Make your outfit a good mix of business casual and formal with a pair of stylish slacks and a nice turtleneck. You can adjust the formality of this outfit based on what you believe the dress code leans towards.
Knowing the dress code for the industry your interviewing in will make preparing less stressful. If you're ever in a pinch, go with a blazer. It straddles the boundary between business casual and business formal. Blazers are an easy and safe option for the workplace and are not only transitional but also offer a polished look no matter the environment.
In the creative fields, you have a bit more leeway when it comes to outfitting options. Rather than following the classic default, make sure your outfit reflects you and your style; you do want to show off your creativity, after all!
If you want to wear something patterned or bright, however, keep it limited to one item so as to not totally distract your interviewer.
It’s important to keep a good balance of formal and stylish, so some great garments to shop for are blazers, patterned dresses, skirts, or pants, statement accessories, suede or leather bags, and your perfect pair of heels or flats.
Business and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) industries tend to be stricter in their dress codes and prefer more conservative and business formal clothing. Some general rules to follow are knee-length skirts, minimal jewelry, closed-toe shoes, small heels, and muted tones.
Having a conservative dress code doesn’t mean you can’t add your own flair, though. Some ways to stay stylish and simple is through color schemes, ruffles, or uniquely shaped blouses. Invest in a proper tote and conservative heeled shoes of your choice to wrap the outfit together!
The company size can play a relatively large role in the dress code rules. Start-ups prefer more business casual clothes. In the office, they may go completely casual, but interviewees need to dress with a bit more formality.
Big corporations, on the other hand, will almost always be more impressed by a business professional look in interviewees.
Once you know the dress code, you can begin to adjust the outfit according to your personal style. Here are some tips for finding good clothes for different styles.
Dressing formally doesn’t automatically mean having to wear dresses and skirts! If you prefer a more gender-neutral fashion, then pants suits and slacks are a great option for you. They are professional, stylish, clean, and don’t force you into a feminine box.
And did we mention they're powerful? Figures who rock the pantsuit look include Michelle Obama, Blake Lively, and Zendaya.
If you are someone who revels in more feminine styles, then dresses and skirts are a great option for interview outfits. To be safe, you’ll want to keep your search to knee-length garments.
If you can afford some creative flexibility, then definitely play around with colors and patterns as long as they are still mature, neat, and refined.
For more conservative dress codes, you want to avoid patterns with the exception of classic patterns like houndstooth. However, the safest bet is solid colors and muted tones. Some ways to add a stylish flair to a conservative dress code is looking for garments with a slight slit, flattering silhouette, or putting together a monochrome outfit.
If you choose to go for a feminine flair during an interview, dresses and skirts are stylish yet refined. Dresses are appropriate, very versatile, and easy to layer during colder seasons.
Skirts are not as formal as they once were, and you'll have many comfortable options to choose from. If a skirt is your top choice, go for a ribbed pattern and stretchy material, or a slip/satin material midi skirt for a sleek look.
Every clothing piece is designed with the intention of fitting a specific way. Understanding what the different fits mean will help you to be confident in your purchase.
"Standard" when it comes to blouses and blazers means hip-length and fitted garments. They won't necessarily be skin-tight, but there won't be too much room for layering or excessive mobility.
Oversized tends to mean the garment hits about mid-thigh length. The shoulders are slightly roomier compared to a standard fit top, which fits your shoulders exactly.
Standard fit garments are the safest bet for business formal dress codes. The oversized blazer, while incredibly stylish, gives a bit more of a casual vibe than a standard fitted blazer. So for business casual, an oversized fit should not be an issue; it is still professional but with modern style.
The difference between slim-fit and relaxed-fit pants is obvious from the name, really. Slim-fit pants are more form-fitting and tend to have a more straight-leg cut. However, this doesn't necessarily say anything about stretch or mobility; there are plenty of slim-fit pants that are still incredibly comfortable!
Relaxed-fit pants have space between your skin and the fabric. Relaxed-fit pants tend to be more straight in the leg, but can flare out at the bottoms. These pants are usually comfier because of the roomy fit. Slim-fit pants are more classic and usually considered the safer professional option by many, since less fabric gives clean lines.
Be sure to take your body shape into account, though. If you're petite, a long, slim cut will keep you from looking shorter (or you can go with heels!) Many plus-sized women look great in a relaxed, straight leg, but if you carry your weight in your top half you may look more balanced by accentuating your curves with a tighter cut.
Knowing the right fit for your body type is crucial when choosing a pair of pants to wear for an interview. There are various fit options for women from slim to skinny, relaxed, and loose.
If the office environment is smart casual, you can get away with a relaxed or loose fit in bottoms. If your interview is taking place in a more formal setting, lean towards a slim-fit pair of trousers for a sophisticated and classic look.
Click to purchase
The Easy Blazer
A Modern Blazer but More Relaxed
The All-Day Pant
Wrinkle-Free Pants With a Comfortable Fit
Zala Block Heel Pump
A Comfortable Heel for Any Business Occassion
Spice up the Classic Blouse
A Pair of Statement Slacks
A Professional Crop With a Diverse Range of Sizes
Double Breasted Blazer
A Boyfriend-Style Blazer
Wide Fit Sinclair Square Toe Loafers
Stand Out With Elegant Loafers
Yours Satin Keyhole Blouse
A Patterned and Polished Option for Plus-Sized Women
Westwood Black Half Sleeve Sheath Dress
A Dream Dress for Interviews and Beyond
While this blazer falls under the relaxed category, it can be defined as in between standard and relaxed, especially when sized down. The slightly more loose rendition of the classic blazer will give you more mobility and possibly relax your nerves a bit as well!
While this is a "laid-back" blazer, it looks far from lazy. Pair with matching pants or your favorite neutral-colored bottoms and you'll be looking and feeling put together and powerful.
Reviewers suggest sizing down for a more true to size fit and to be wary of the wrinkle-prone fabric. Other than that, reviewers seem to love the blazer's versatility and how freely they can move in it.
These are the type of pants that you won't mind wearing to your Zoom interview. The relaxed fit and elastic waistband take the hassle out of business-appropriate pants while keeping the elegance.
They come in two neutral shades of black and deep green. The wrinkle-resistant fabric will keep you looking polished for the whole day. As for sizing, the description suggests sizing down, especially if you are in between sizes.
Some reviewers are not fans of the waistband and feel that the overall fit does not work on them. However, many reviewers are pleasantly surprised with the elegance and comfort. They say the pair well with anything, are breathable, and have a professional-looking cut.
These heels combine style and comfort by utilizing the block heel. The modest heel and pointy toe make this the perfect interview shoe for business formal and business casual dress codes.
These three-inch heels come in different shades and variations of leather, suede, or and mock crocodile leather. The more colorful options run a risk of being too bright and difficult to match, so we suggest looking more closely at the neutral tones.
Some reviewers with wider feet suggest sizing up, while some reviewers in between sizes suggest sizing down. Many customers report the heels being comfortable enough to walk in and work all day and some own several pairs.
This shirt, although straying from the traditional blouse, stays well within the realm of business formal. The muted tones of cream or navy make this an easy garment to pair.
Ruffles are a mature feature when used sparingly, which is why this shirt is a wonderfully stylish alternative to the classic blouse. Pair this shirt with your favorite suit combo, and you're sure to get plenty of compliments!
Some reviewers mention the material being thin and the white a bit see-through. However, many reviewers love wearing this shirt for work or for casual days. Many people especially like the uniqueness of the ruffles.
While structured like classic slacks, these have a stylish twist with the ankle zippers. The zipper option allows you to wear these pants traditionally, or more as statement pants with some flair.
With the skinny leg fit and fabric composition, these pants will always be a great business casual to business formal option. As a sustainable plus, these pants are made with recycled Japanese suit fabric.
This shirt, produced as ethically and sustainably as possible, provides the perfect business casual option. The frills are minimal, which adds a stylish flair without too much distraction. The natural linen is especially great for people who heat up or sweat from anxiety.
The slightly cropped fit will pair fashionably with a knee-length pencil skirt and modest heels. With the range of colors, you won't have trouble finding one that fits your taste. That being said, we would be wary of the patterned options for interviews to avoid too much busyness.
The oversized fit and classic houndstooth pattern makes this the boyfriend jeans of the blazer world. If you prefer less form-fitting silhouettes, this style of blazer will suit you well.
It can be dressed business formal or casual, depending on how you pair it. For an interview, you can complete the look with black slacks, a tucked-in fitted turtleneck, and cream or black heeled loafers.
While loafers for women tend to be more plain and casual, these loafers have an added elegance. The block heel, beige color, and gold chain make this a unique yet modest enough shoe for interviews.
The mock-croc faux leather adds interest without being too flashy. Top off a beige or pastel color suit with these shoes, and you'll go into your interview dressed for success.
This shirt is unique both in its structure and pattern, yet still business-appropriate. What makes this shirt work is the modesty of the keyhole cut with the high neck, the luxurious looking satin-style fabric, the non skin-tight fit, and the quietness of the pattern.
The secret to wearing patterned blouses to interviews is making sure the rest of your outfit is muted and modest. Paired with a black suit combo and short black pumps, this shirt will bring personality into professionalism.
This is a classic black dress with a few subtle details to keep things interesting. The asymmetrical skirt is stylish, while the half sleeves add a conservative balance. Together, they create structure and will help you stand out in the best way.
The forgiving mix of stretchy fabric makes it comfortable to move around in. Paired with pumps, this is a great interview outfit, but it can be worn for a multitude of situations.
While the product photo shows the dress at mid-thigh, most reviewers are pleasantly surprised that it falls more at knee-length, keeping it work-appropriate. Reviewers especially appreciate the thickness of the material. They say it's form-fitting but not too tight.
If you're more of a visual learner when it comes to putting outfits together or you just want to hear advice from a true professional, check out Linda Raynier's expert career-building advice when it comes to an interview. Hint: go for "classy and chic," and make sure everything is fitted!
Whether you're interviewing or not, your wardrobe should include ready-to-wear pieces that are versatile and can be worn in formal surroundings.
Your interview attire will depend on the type of job and industry you're applying for, but no matter the position, you should always look neat and aim to dress well. Stay away from certain clothing like ripped jeans as they appear unprofessional in most interview settings.
We'll return to our in-person offices one day. In the meantime, stock up your business wardrobe for your Zoom meetings!
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