Attire for Interviews & Corporate Settings


Half awake in the morning, you hit the snooze button on your alarm and start scrolling through the junk mail in your inbox and then find... an invitation to interview for your dream job! You jump up out of bed in excitement, but now you think. "Wait, what do I wear?"

First off, congratulations on your interview! But before going to the mall, consider your industry norms to see how often you'll be needing a suit. This will help you determine an appropriate budget for suits. For conservative work environments, the recommended attire is simple black or navy skirt or pant suits, with closed toe, 1-or-two-inch black heels.

In this post, I'll discuss proper interview attire for job interviews and formal corporate settings. I'll segment each category of clothing by high end and budget-friendly price points. Tip: you can save 15% off full-price items at J. Crew, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor (and LOFT) if you bring your student ID!

To view the items from their respective websites, simply click on the images.

Blazers

When shopping for blazers, I recommend trying blazers on in stores to make sure they fit your shoulders and arms correctly. Theory is my absolute favorite store for professional wear. I love the chic and petite-friendly designs. It is a bit pricey, but I wear suits quite often, so for me, it was worth the investment. My Theory pieces have lasted me for years.

Tip: Bustier women should usually have at least two buttons, because the fit is better and closer to the body.

high end
budget-friendly alternatives
Skirts and Pants

high end
budget-friendly alternatives
Blouses
Shoes
Go for classic, black heels, preferably in leather since leather is the best for quality. I recommend wearing heels over flats for interviews because they really do look much nicer. If you are short like me, try wearing two or three-inch heels. If you are on the taller side and don't want to tower over everyone, try half-inch or one-inch heels.

If you really hate heels, wear comfortable shoes on the way to the interview but bring your heels to change into once you are at the office.

Handbags

For more options, check out my post on work-friendly bags.

Jewelry

A simple necklace or bracelet will do. Pearls are always nice! I love the elegant design of Tiffany & Co.'s Diamond by the Yard collection, so if you can find a budget-friendly alternative for that, I would definitely recommend it! It goes with everything.

Additional Rules for Interviews
  • No perfume! Interviewers may be sensitive to fragrances, so be sure not to wear any perfume for your interview.
  • Use conservative colors for nail polish. To play it really safe, use clear nail polish or anything sheer pinkish. No crazy colors!
  • No chipped nails. It's all about looking polished.


I hope you found these helpful! Also, huge thanks to my friend Lauren for her tips!

Best,
Phyllis

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