Long gone are the days when women’s interview attire included boxy blazers, straight-leg pants, and dowdy pumps. In this day and age, the working world has welcomed a more modern look – and in many cases, dressing to impress can be key to securing the job.
Although that’s not to say you have to be a fashionista to find a job, incorporating some modern style tips into your outfit can be a good way to update your look in a competitive job market.
Here are some examples of fashionable interview clothing for women, including fashion tips and where to buy stylish business clothing.
A New Take on Blazers
If you’re tired of the same old two-button black or navy blue blazer, mix it up with something more unique. Whether it’s a chic, lapel-less blazer, a version in a bright color, or an interesting print, there’s nothing wrong with wearing an edgy jacket so long as you keep the rest of the outfit simple.
Check out the women’s clothing retailer, Zara, for modern, edgy and glamorous blazer options.
Act the part, too: Before the interview, analyze the job to figure out what exactly the employer is looking for a candidate. That way, you’ll know what aspects of your own experience to emphasize.
Simple and Chic Can be the Best Way to Go
You don’t need a personal stylist, or even a stylist’s eye, to put together a chic interview outfit. Sometimes, keeping it simple is the best way to go. In fact, if you’re shopping on a budget, you’re much better off investing in a simple sheath dress than buying a bunch of low-quality two-piece outfits.
Banana Republic sells high-quality dresses that are tasteful and classy but still style-conscious.
Act the part, too: If you want to impress the employer, consider bringing a portfoliocomplete with your cover letter, resume, recommendations, and examples of your work.
If you’re bored of black and blue, lighten up your closet’s color and mood. Consider a unique take on a business formal dress code, borrowing some casual elements – khakis and cardigan – but with the detailed top and black pumps, it can pass as a dressier outfit.
ModCloth is the go-to source for interesting tops and whimsical work attire.
Act the part, too: Practice makes perfect, so they say. Review this guide to interview questions and answers, so you know what to expect, and how to respond to even the toughest questions.
Vary Colors and Styles
An easy way to update your interview attire is to look for a basic piece with an unexpected touch. It is a good example: you might layer a mandarin-collar button-down under a sweater lapel-less blazer, then wear a subtle skirt on the bottom.
Club Monaco is a good place to buy chic business basics.
Act the part, too: In an interview, specifics go a lot farther than generalities. Rehearse a few key anecdotes about your past experience and prior successes.
Texture and Pattern
Another way to add dimension to your interview wardrobe is to play with textures and patterns, like in the photo above. It is a good way to mix-and-match, as you can pair a variety of different top options with more basic bottoms.
Try ASOS for unique blouses, blazers, and skirts.
Act the part, too: Give yourself extra time to get to the interview. Although you don’t want to be excessively early, plan on arriving five to ten minutes before you’re expected.
Fun Yet Formal Dress
If you want to add some spunk to your interview wardrobe, consider a dress like in the photo above. It’s a lot more fun – and a lot less stuffy – than a typical blazer and pants combination, and also a lot easier since all you need is the dress and shoes.
Try Lulu’s for similar options.
Act the part, too: You want your introduction to be just as impressive as your outfit – read about how to introduce yourself during the interview.
If you’re interviewing at a startup company or somewhere with a relaxed dress code, don’t feel obliged to don khaki pants and a polo shirt. It’s all right to express your personality, and as long as your outfit looks polished and neat overall, don’t be afraid to dress outside of the box.
Try TopShop for hipster, “indie” clothing similar to the example above.
Act the part, too: You can use non-verbal communication to impress the interviewer, too. Here’s how.
If you’re a grab-and-go type of girl who doesn’t want to put too much thought into your outfit, there’s an easy solution for you: invest in a few interesting blouses, and pair them with a suit, basic slacks, or a nice pencil skirt. It is perhaps the simplest way to add some life to your work attire.
Check out The Limited for a selection of chic, high-quality blouses.
Act the part, too: So, you know what you should do in an interview – but what about what you shouldn’t do? Learn from this list of top interview mistakes.
Some types of job interviews, including non-professional positions and part-time jobs, lend to a more casual look. If you get the sense that you don’t need to dress up, though, you should still put some thought into your ensemble. Keep it classy and go for a tailored look, with pieces you might find at a store like JCrew.
Act the part, too: Don’t be left silent when your interviewer asks if you have any questions for her or anything to add. You should always have a few questions on hand to show your interest and enthusiasm.
Another way to inject some style into your interview outfit is to play with the cut and fit of your clothing. Forget the boxy button-down and shapeless knee-length skirt; instead, try a sleek top with a tailored look and a slim-fit pencil skirt, as shown above.
Express has a good selection of basic work wear with a flattering fit.
Act the part, too: Your last impression is just as important as your first. Follow up with a thank you note immediately after the interview.