Clothes for an interview – Dos and Don’ts for women

Learn about suitable interview attire and the importance of dressing professionally to make a positive first impression on potential employers. Be ready and wear attire that shows your professionalism and seriousness about the job opportunity.
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How many seconds does it take to get a job? If you know the answer, you have got the job! I am not joking. Countless studies have told us that interviewers usually decide to hire within the first 90 seconds of an interview. Enough time to impress them with your clothes and how you carry them.

A good dressing style conveys to the interviewer that you consider the meeting and the job important. So what you wear is an important element in the selection criteria for a job. Your personality and your suitability for a job are indeed the most important elements, ofcourse, but a brilliant first impression with the right clothes can help a lot.

So? Suit up? Not necessarily. You can still make a good impression without being too obvious about it or choosing the most expensive dress or suit. The mantra of good interview dressing style is ” Keep it simple”.

how to dress for an interview

What clothes to wear for a job interview?

Dress for the position and company

Do your research. You have to dress for the position you are applying for and the company you are going to work for. The interviewer may assess whether you will fit into their groups. So you have to ‘dress the part’ while attending an interview.

Do some background checks on whether the organization has a formal dress code. If they have, it will be too much to hope to nail the interview in jeans and a casual t-shirt. But for a start-up with youngsters, it would be overkill to go in a suit.

Here are some pointers on how to ace the interview with your conservative and professional dressing style.

Interview Clothes for Women

A dark colored top, pants and moccasins for interview
  • You can choose trousers matched with a solid color blazer. You can also wear a knee-length skirt.
  • For trousers or skirts, go for dark shades, and tops can be of pastels or any subdued colors.
  • A simple blouse in a neutral color, with or without a collar – this is the best.
  • Too many frills or loud, flashy prints and lacy or sheer fabrics are all distractions from a neat, professional look.

Button-down shirts with a modest neckline need not be uninteresting. Instead of going for the usual white, grey, or blue, play with pastels or other neutral colors and interesting fabrics. Avoid flashy or shimmery colors. Also, avoid too tightfitting styles, heavy embroidery, large prints, flowy materials, tassels, etc.

A well-fitting dress can also give you a neat professional look. A quality dress that skims the knees with a structured fit gives a modern look.


Choose closed-toed shoes like moccasins, bellies, pumps, etc. You can also wear sandals. Wear heels only if you are comfortable with them. A small heel of 1 1⁄2 – inches is alright.

Make sure your choice of footwear is quiet on the floor. An interviewer may not be impressed by your heels clicking on the floor.

Also, remember to clean and polish your shoes.

Jewelry/ accessories

Wear simple jewelry and not big, loud fashion statements. 
Wear a wristwatch that is simple and elegant.
It is better to avoid too much jewelry.

Hair and make up

  • If you have long hair, wear it in a ponytail or bun or keep it plaited. Do not wear flashy hairpins or clips.
  • While leaving the hair short, you should ensure it does not fall on your face. When you touch your face now and then, it may be construed as nervousness or lack of confidence.
  • Subtle makeup with a moisturized face, thin eyeliner, and lightly applied lipstick is more than enough to enhance your looks. Avoid bold, bright lipstick and dark mascara.
  • Manicured nails and light-colored nail polish (if you are applying any) are plus points. Avoid bright glittery long nails.


Use a file folder to keep all your important documents.
Carry a small handbag that is roomy enough to hold your personal things.

Dos and Donts of Interview clothes – a checklist

Dos for Women’s Interview ClothesDonts for Women’s Interview clothes
Wear a Professional Suit or Blazer in a neutral color like black, navy, or grey.Avoid very casual clothes like jeans, t-shirts
Select blouses or tops that are not too low-cut and in subtle, solid colors or minimal patterns.Avoid overly bright colors, large prints
Ensure skirts are of a professional length, and pants are well-fitted but not too tight.Keep jewelry minimal and professional – simple earrings, a watch, or a modest necklace.
Keep makeup light and natural-looking
Carry a neat, professional bag large enough to carry your documents and essentials.
Ensure your hair is tidy, styled neatly, and doesn’t cover your face.

You cannot underestimate the importance of dressing on an interview selection, so give as much attention to this part as you would for polishing your resume or sharpening your knowledge for the big day. If you wear clothes that smell nice, look clean, and are well-pressed, half the job is done.

Above all, ensure that you look confident in whatever clothes you are wearing. When your job is at stake, every clothing choice can seem like a fashion faux pas. But I have heard some one say that confidence is your no.1 accessory, and may even be the only thing you need, in some cases. But we can’t take chances. So wear your best clothes. Best wishes.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
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