In the last post on dressing for interviews, I touched on fabric, hair, makeup and jewelry. Let’s now take a look at style and fit.
6. On most first interviews the style that is expected is business professional. That basically means a suit, collared shirt, and classic details. Depending on what industry you are interviewing with, you can make the look more traditional or more fashion forward using patterns and accessories. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns! Plaids are big now, in shirts, ties and larger pieces such as suits and jackets. You can mix a large plaid or stripe with a smaller stripe or geometric, and vice versa. Just keep the color palette the same.
7. Similarly accessories can guide your outfit towards the trendy or conservative. Pocketsquares, textured ties and funky socks can look cool, while repp pattern ties and white/ecru shirts are conservative. For women a more conservative suit will be in a neutral color with fewer details; trendier styles either have a louder color, or extra details such a peplum, epaulettes, or decorative zippers/buttons. Consider the company, your personal style, and the age of the person interviewing you when choosing.
8. It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of good fit in building a flattering age-appropriate wardrobe. Utilize your tailor to check the sleeve length in addition to pant length and waist. Overextended sleeves will add on both years and pounds!
9. Make sure that your outerwear is consistent with your interview look. An overcoat or trench coat works a lot better than a down or ski jacket, and the “spring coat” look for women is back for those in-between days.
10. Try to bring in a trendy look as an accessory. This will keep you looking up-to-date! For men look for a plaid tie, patterned socks or checked shirt; for women a woven scarf or shiny belt would work. The key is to look effortlessly polished.
These suggestions apply just as well for networking situations and evening business events. Now that you are all dressed, go out there and wow ’em!