Selecting what to wear to an interview is one of the most nerve-racking outfit decisions, right up there with first dates and meeting your S.O.’s folks for the first time. Though your ensemble is not a deal maker (or breaker), what you wear can be a crucial factor in creating a great first impression.
We all know the basics: Black and blue top the list for best color choices, inappropriate hemlines are a big no-no and, if you must wear a loud color, tone it down with neutral basics. But before you start sweating these details, first do your homework. From the company culture right down to your interviewer, these factors are monumental in choosing your attire. If you’re interviewing for an editing job at, say, Brit + Co, bright colors are applauded, whereas if you’re trying to land a gig with a corporate giant, a more classic approach is highly recommended. Keep in mind that even in creative fields, you still have to convey a sense of professionalism. The key point is to strike the perfect balance between polished and fashion forward, giving the interviewer a glimpse into your work ethic and personality.
Armed with this knowledge, we figured we’d help take the stress off your next interview with beyond-basic wardrobe staples to keep on hand the next time you find yourself at a loss for what to wear to an interview.
1. Kate Spade Saturday Mini Satchel ($165): A bold handbag can add the right amount of edge to any look. Since this crimson purse is already eye-catching enough, you can skip the high-end designers or reach for a diffusion line instead when it comes to your clothing. (via Stockholm Street Style)
2. Equipment Signature Shirt ($208): Classic white shirts are a no brainer, but even so, too often we find ourselves ripping our closet apart looking for a chic interview blouse. Let’s all stop that! We’re huge fans of Equipment’s spin on the classic. Just be careful of any sheerness and do a check in natural lighting before you head out the door. (via Gastro Chic)
3. Windowpane Ankle Pant ($80): Get away with a bold windowpane print by restraining the color palette to black and white. If you’re feeling a little daring and interviewing in a non-corporate environment, try mixing prints. It shows off your creative side! (via Collage Vintage)
4. Cleo Stripe Ponte Dress ($43): Forget being nervous about taking the print plunge. Stripes are a safe way to introduce pattern into your interview ensemble. Plus, you can quickly trade out your blazer for a chambray button up to head to a post interview lunch! (via Mr. Newton)
5. Faux Leather Herringbone Jacket ($70): Swapping out your blazer in favor of a moto-style jacket is a gutsy move, but when done tastefully, it can really make you stand out from the pack. Make sure the rest of your outfit is classic and refined and keep in mind, this look will only work in a more fashion forward job environment. (via Grazia Daily)
6. Leather Envelope iPad Case ($167): It may be a small detail, but your iPad case can be a standout element to a prospective employer. Be prepared and dress your tech in a stylish case that doubles as a clutch. Or better yet, why not make your own?! You’ll not only impress your interviewer with your killer digital portfolio but with your savvy DIY skills, too. (via Star Style)
7. Reiss D’Orsay Pumps ($131): The classic pump gets an update with an electric blue wash. This is the ultimate heel to pair with an understated pencil skirt or cropped trousers. (via Harper’s Bazaar)
9. Theory Rhin Austell Skirt ($190): Nothing makes us ooze confidence quite like the timeless pencil skirt. Take a cue from your favorite street-style blogs and try rocking the season’s midi version instead. Pull the whole look together with a crisp button up and nude heels. (via Collage Vintage)
10. Collette Dinnigan Tango Shift Dress ($251): Go for a poppin’ print if your interview is at a creative office. A killer graphic print on a shift silhouette will show off your taste for aesthetics. Tone down the burst of color with a solid, dark-toned blazer and heels. (via The Sartorialist)
11. Resort Chain Necklace ($34): Don’t get too complicated with arm candy stacks and layered necklaces. A simple bib necklace is always a surefire bet. Kudos if there’s an impressive story behind the piece (ahem, like that you made it!).
We’re sure your knockout skills will land you your dream job, but we like to think this style guide will give you that extra oomph of confidence you need! Still have style questions? Don’t sweat it, ask us in the comments below!