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No matter if you're a recent college graduate, self-taught genius, or fledgling intern looking for an actual career in your particular industry, discerning what to wear to your job interview can be as stressful as the interview itself.
It all depends on the culture of a particular job, the whole of its industry, and how you're feeling, really. Certain styles, like white slacks or seersucker, are seasonal tastes that look great only when worn in the proper mode. Plus, it also comes down to timing.
As Kalei Carr details in her podcast "Beyond the Business Suit," more and more interview rooms are being filled with innovators of proper attire and color combination. Be bold, tact, creative, but always keep it primarily all-business, whether it be formal or casual.
Lucky for you, all of us at the Journal community ransacked the ole wardrobe, compiled a few attire necessities, and sprinkled some prep tips on top. So, don't sweat that big interview.
First, get dressed.
Viva La Businesswoman
Take a simple note from some of the best in the biz, these inspiring women know how to dress and how to flaunt their feminism wisely.
If you're going to pick a button down, get creative with the fabric, such as a sheer sick chiffon or silk. Keep them tucked, to stay classy and to avoid looking messy. Make sure the neckline is modest, and no cleavage, unless you don't want that job.
A navy blazer will always be reserved for the classic formal look, or if you're feeling a little spunk, wear a gray collarless jacket instead. Play around with the blouse and blazer combos, but don't get too creative.
"Statement dresses" are the backbone of style in business culture, but be careful — no short dresses or low cuts. For black dresses, wear tights or leggings to even your outfit and to hide skin.
Casual Formal Mix-Her
For the more formal interview, women can wear a nice argyle sweater with black slacks. And, if that's not enough for you, throw a navy blazer over it for some extra pronunciation.
Another exceptional example of mixing formal with casual is the blouse. Get one with a bow to add some style to your wardrobe, then get your hands on a khaki skirt for a hint of eye-catching flavor.
You can never go wrong in the casual sector with some V-neck sweaters or print cardigans and slacks. As for the print, try to choose a simple, easy-going design, don't overdo it.
Pay attention to prints: muted turquoise or deep reds are great! Add some jewelry, just don't go overboard on the accessories.
Guys, when gearing up for an interview, prepare with simple basics: a navy blazer with khaki slacks, tie if it's formal, no tie if its casual. Rule of thumb: just wear the tie.
If you're trying something a little more creative, throw on a light-colored jacket, or even a khaki blazer — this time, no tie. Like I said, get creative.
Make sure you know what to bring to a job interview before even reaching for the style guide. Creative, or not, don't oversell yourself while being unprepared.
A little less on the formal side, you could try a sweater and a button down. Use neutral colors, like brown, black, navy, then match with blue, pink, yellow, green. Add some dark jeans or grey chinos and you're in style.
Flavorful or Stylish, Colored or Texture?
There are ways of being interesting, too. You can stand out in the interview waiting area wearing bold button-downs, like blue stripes, plaid, polka dot, even floral.
Stick to subdued prints for the more formal interviews. Business formal should stay classy, ie classic. Use tact, always remember to match your belt with your shoes and your tie to your overall suit color.
Getting even more imaginative with your attire, try on some cool socks, but match with your suit colors. In addition, you can try textures: rope, birdseye, herringbone, pin stripes, or checks. This will add sophistication and flavor to the overall professional version of you.