A few weeks ago my friend Cristina asked me to help her shop for interview clothes. She just graduated from college and is applying to jobs in several industries, so the pieces had to be professional, versatile, and affordable, while fitting Cristina’s personality. None of her interviews required a suit so she decided to go with a skirt and blazer. A black blazer and gray pencil skirt (or vice versa) is a great combo because is looks sharp yet not too stuffy, and the pairing flatters everyone. You can mix and match these pieces many different ways so finding quality items that fit you perfectly is a worthwhile investment. The skirt should be longer than your fingertips when your hands are down by your sides, but hit above your knee caps. If you don’t like skirts, you can never go wrong with a pair of well-tailored, wide-leg pants.
For Cristina’s outfit we went to Banana Republic. Theory, J.Crew, and most department stores are also good places to find these basic items. Cristina chose a classic blazer and a gray tweed skirt. She tried on many different blouses before she settled on this pink silk shell with an interesting ruffle detail. Sleeveless is fine for an interview as long as your shoulders remain covered. I love the pop of color on Cristina and jewel tones are perfect for fall. A subtle print could work nicely too, just pick something that reveals your style and personality.
Cristina accessorized the outfit with a black patent leather hobo and a pair of black, pointy-toe pumps. I recommend wearing heels to interviews— they’ll make you feel more professional and stand up straighter. Remember my shoe-shine post? Make sure your footwear is in good condition and scuff-free. Do a test-run of your outfit the night before to make sure everything works together and feels comfortable. If you look in the mirror and feel confident, you’ve chosen wisely.
I prefer black and gray over brown for interviews. There’s something about brown that can feel more casual.
Solid colors like these allow you to play with your accessories a little more, but steer clear of big earrings and bunches of bangles.
A print blouse can be a good way to show your style, especially for a creative job interview. I love mixing prints right now, but an interview is not the place to experiment with that look. The skirt on the model above is too short, but I do like the turquoise top, and it’s only $21 from Forever 21! Yumi Kim designs great print blouses too.