What is Appropriate Interview Attire?

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  • Written By: Steve R.
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
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  • Last Modified Date: 26 January 2020
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An individual only has one opportunity to make a good first impression on a job interview. While a person’s interview attire will likely not be the final determining factor, having a neat appearance will enhance one’s chances of landing the job. Appropriate interview attire suggests a person takes the process seriously and is professional. When in doubt, a person should overdress, but not have the clothes be a focal point. Suitable clothing for a job interview for men and women include a two-piece matched business suit in conservative colors that is clean and pressed.

Even if the interview is at a place where suits are not worn to work, an individual’s interview attire should still consist of a suit. Appropriate solid colors for a suit include navy or dark gray. In addition to the suit, attire for men and women include polished, conservative shoes, and a white or light colored long-sleeved shirt or blouse.

For men, interview attire should include a matching suit jacket and pants, along with a black belt. A silk necktie, which is always in fashion, is an essential part of the interview attire. Ties should be conservative and provide a subtle accent. Ties with wild patterns, writing, or cartoon characters may be distracting during the interview.


Men’s shoes should be polished and accompanied by socks that are long enough to cover the skin when sitting down. Socks should also be conservative in color, such as blue, black, or gray. The amount of jewelry worn should be limited. Watches, cufflinks, and wedding ring or college ring are appropriate.

Like men, women should wear a matching two-piece conservative suit of colors including maroon, navy, brown, gray, or cream. In lieu of a matching suit, a fine tailored jacket, along with a blouse and skirt is appropriate. Blouses should be buttoned to avoid showing any cleavage. The length of the skirt is important; it should fit at or below the knee. Hosiery should be light in color and contain no runs.

Women’s shoes should contain be made of leather or fabric, with conservative heels and be comfortable to walk in. A woman should wear minimal makeup. If a woman wears nail polish, a clear, conservative color is appropriate. Nails also should be trimmed and and no more than one ring should be worn on each hand.

Accenting interview attire for men and women, hair should be clean and neat. Perfume or cologne should be kept to a minimum or not worn at all, since some people may be allergic. If a person smokes, he should refrain from smoking before the interview to avoid having attire smell like cigarette smoke.


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