Dressing for the job: Interview style

James Murray

One sure way to put yourself out there and outshine your competition is with your look. Many times, an interview takes place between two individuals. The interviewer will be looking right at you for the duration of the interview. Other than judging your responses, they may be judging your appearance top to bottom to see how you care for yourself. Having worked in men’s suits for several years, I have assisted numerous gentlemen with their interview styling. I have helped pair countless shirt and tie combinations, belts and shoes combinations and distinguished what color suits to wear in the industry for which my client is interviewing.

Before one gets anywhere when determining what to wear, we must think about the industry in which they are interviewing. Some fields are more conservative and others may allow leeway when it comes to color choices.  If an individual is going into finance, accounting or sciences I tend to pair them up more conservative styles of clothing. If an individual is seeking employment in business, sales, communications, marketing and so forth, then that can allow for more creative ensembles.

For interviews, I stress the use of select different suit colors: Classic navy blue, medium blue, medium/light grey and grey. Tan, brown, charcoal or black suits should not be in consideration for an interview. The blues and greys are easily versatile for almost every job interview. In some fields, one could be so inclined to wear a matching suit vest to turn the suit into a three-piece. That is a quick way to “one-up” your competition. Three-piece suits are coming back into style and make a person continue to look dressy even when the suit coat comes off. When you are looking for the perfect suit make sure it fits your body properly. There are several fits that if you are not in the right one people will know at first glance. There is traditional, executive, tailored, slim, body fit, athletic and custom fit. If you are buying suit separates, be even more cognizant about the length of the sleeves, pants and jacket. Nested suits are tailored properly to one’s physique.

Dress shirts: there are predominately two colors to discuss to wear for interviews. Business light blue and the traditional white. Be careful with patterns; avoid them in most cases. Light blue signifies you are honest and calm. White signifies order. A way to spice up a dress shirt is to wear a French Cuff shirt. This type of shirt is top quality and requires cufflinks, a form of jewelry, to hold the cuffs together.  Cufflinks are a sure-fire way to extenuate style. A form of jewelry not to wear are earrings! Classic ties to wear are solids, pinstripes, or small dot ties that do not attract too much attention. Add a tie bar to keep it in place! Depending on the job, a bow tie could be an option to stand out. Other accessories would include wearing a watch, which makes you look responsible. Belts and shoes must match, be in good condition, and contemporary. Black, brown or cordovan shoes are all acceptable. One may wear suspenders in place of a belt to stand out, if they are not too flashy. Dress to impress; If anything it is good manners.


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