Dress for a Job Interview

How to Dress for a Job Interview to Make the Best Impression

Dress for a Job Interview

Landing a job interview is exciting but it can also make you nervous, especially when it comes to figuring out what to wear. You want to make the best possible first impression on the interviewer and dress professionally while still feeling comfortable and confident. Follow this guide on how to dress for an interview and you’ll ace the interview fashion test.

Choose the Right Interview Outfit Colors

Sticking to basic neutral colors that are appropriate for a professional environment is your best bet for an interview. Here are some go-to colors that will help you look polished and put together:

Navy Blue

A navy blue suit or dresses is a classic interview choice. Navy blue comes across as professional and competent yet not too flashy. It’s a versatile neutral that pairs well with other neutral colors.


A black suit or dress is another traditional interview outfit color that can’t go wrong. Black gives the impression of authority and capability. It’s also slimming. Just avoid looking too somber by accessorizing with a colorful shirt or accessorizes underneath.


A gray suit is a modern alternative to navy or black. Different shades of gray work well for interviews, from light gray to charcoal gray. Gray comes across as refined and intelligent.


An all-white suit or dress can work for interviews if done tastefully. Stick to bright rather than stark white. All white gives a clean, fresh impression. Pair white with navy or black shoes and accessories so the outfit isn’t too harsh.

Interview Outfits to Avoid

Now that you know what to wear, here’s what not to wear so you don’t tank your interview fashion-wise:

Loud Colors/Patterns

Avoid loud colors and distracting patterns like neon colors, large florals, big plaids, or animal prints. You don’t want your outfit to be a conversation piece. Opt for simple and muted patterns instead.

Revealing Clothing

Steer clear of tiny hemlines, plunging necklines, crop tops, and anything too tight. You want to look professional, not provocative. Showcasing too much skin can come across as inappropriate or desperate.


While jeans can be acceptable in some casual work environments, traditional denim jeans are too casual for an interview unless you’re applying for a very unconventional position. Stick to dress pants or slacks instead.


Along the same lines as jeans, shorts should never be worn to an interview no matter how hot it is outside. Shorts are not business professional wardrobe.

Athletic Clothes

Yoga pants, leggings, sweatpants, sports jerseys, etc. are absolute no-nos for interviews. Wear tailored clothing even if the dress code at the company tends to be casual or sporty. You can ask about the dress code after you get the job.

Tattered/Dirty Clothes

Make sure the interview outfit you choose is clean, pressed, and in good condition without stains, holes, worn spots, wrinkles, or signs of wear. You want to make a polished first impression so tidy up your look.

Best Shoes to Wear for a Job Interview

The right interview shoes complete your look. Here are some tips on choosing interview footwear:

Closed Toe Pumps/Flats

For women, neutral closed toe pumps (around 2-3″ heels max) or flats are the best shoe options. Black or nude colored shoes work with most interview outfits. Make sure heels aren’t too high or they can look tacky. Avoid open toe shoes even if you plan on getting a pedicure.

Leather Oxfords/Loafers

For men, wear black or brown leather shoes such as oxfords or loafers. Make sure they are clean polished. Sneakers, sandals, boots, and heavy work shoes are too casual. Match your socks to your pants.

No Distracting Footwear

Do not wear shoes with loud patterns, bright colors, excessive embellishments, or anything that could distract in an interview. The focus should be on your face, not your feet. Also avoid shoes that are dirty, worn out, or have scuff marks.

Follow These Extra Tips to Ace Your Interview Outfit:

  • Iron or steam your interview outfit to eliminate wrinkles and look crisp
  • Go easy on accessories – limit jewelry to small earrings, wedding ring, simple necklace or bracelet
  • No loud perfume or cologne – keep scent very light or neutral
  • Neatly style your hair off your face and avoid dramatic hair colors
  • Limit visible tattoos and remove piercings beyond simple ear studs
  • Keep nails clean and neatly manicured if visible
  • Shine your shoes to look polished
  • Check your outfit in natural lighting before the interview to make sure it looks professional

By choosing a professional, conservative interview outfit in muted neutral colors, minimal patterns and accessory, and well-polished shoes, you’ll look pulled together and make a great first impression. Remember, your dress should complement but not distract from your qualifications. If you look the professional part, you’ll already stand out from other applicants. Use these tips to dress for interview success!

Dressing for Success in Job Interviews

Making a great first impression during a job interview is one of the most important things you can do to land that job. While your skills, experience, and personality are certainly key factors, what you choose to wear can significantly impact how the interviewer perceives you. The right outfit shows that you understand professional standards and attention to detail, and it displays your confidence and commitment to the role.

The Power of Color

When it comes to color, some hues simply instill more confidence and command more respect than others. Dark colors like navy blue, charcoal gray, and black are always safest bets. They look polished and convey authority without being too flashy or loud. Light or bright colors are best avoided as they can appear immature or unprofessional. Stick to traditional, conservative shades that won’t distract the interviewer from what’s most important – your qualifications for the job.

The Impact of Fit

Just as crucial as color is how well your clothes fit. Ill-fitting attire sends the message that you don’t pay close attention to details or presentation. Be sure everything is tailored appropriately – not too tight or loose. Pants should hit at your natural waist, and sleeves on shirts and blazers should end right at the wrist bone. Take the time to try on outfits ahead of time and make adjustments as needed. A tailored, well-fitted look displays pride in your appearance and self-respect.

Completing the Professional Look

Accessories, makeup, hair, shoes – all the smaller details add up to create a polished total package. Keep jewelry minimal, wear closed-toe shoes that match your outfit, and style your hair neatly. Light, natural-looking makeup helps you appear well-groomed without being flashy. Men should opt for conservative ties or no tie depending on company culture. Pay attention to grooming details – trimmed nails, brushed teeth, ironed clothes, etc. This demonstrates you understand what it takes to present yourself professionally at all times.

The bottom line is dressing the part gives you confidence and allows your qualifications and personality to shine through. With practice, you’ll learn to put together interview outfits that highlight your competency and make a great first impression with prospective employers. Remember – they’re not just evaluating your resume, but also whether you demonstrate the dedication, focus, and polished presence to excel in the role.

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