Whether you’re seeking an internship or making post-graduate plans, there’s more to preparing for an interview than coming up with questions, researching the company in advance and getting that firm handshake down perfectly. The last piece of the puzzle? The perfect outfit! We all know how important first impressions are, so here’s a guide to looking your absolute best.
1. To suit or not to suit? Dress to impress, but unless your interviewer specifically requests for you to wear a suit, you’re allowed to have a little fun with your outfit—it’s a good way to stand out from the crowd. At the same time, while noting industry practices is important, it’s generally better to be more conservative than too crazy. You can play it safe by sporting a neutral or a colorful blazer over your outfit to add professional edge to your look. For a classic neutral, check out the Abbie blazer from Club Monaco ($99.00). It’s a splurge, but it’s an essential that you can rewear for a number of occasions. For a pop of color, try Forever 21’s classic shawl collar blazer ($32.80).
2. Formalwear doesn’t have to be frumpy. Starting from the top, opt for a silk or cotton blouse for a sophisticated feel, then replace the plain gray/black slacks with a detailed, colored pencil skirt or cropped or tapered pants. To achieve the look, we recommend a Uniqlo and Banana Republic pairing of this Georgette long sleeve bow tie blouse ($19.90) and slim ankle pant ($89.50).
3. Beware of plunging necklines and short skirts. Keep it more on the conservative side with a cardigan and knee-length skirts, ensuring that the focus of your interviewer’s attention is still on what you’re saying and not what you’re wearing. Achieve a classic style with Uniqlo’s extra fine Merino crew neck cardigan ($29.90) and its wool-blended flare skirt ($29.90).
4. Shoes are the easiest to please. Since summer is officially over, you should be covering up your toes, either with flats or with a 2-3 inch pump to boost your height and confidence. Here are a few options to choose from: Zara’s Patent Leather Moccasin ($49.90), ModCloth’s Writer’s Colorblock Wedge ($44.99), or Forever 21’s Patent Toe Ballet Flats($16.80).
5. Add some fun details. Accessories are great for subtly jazzing up a look, but be careful not to over-accessorize. Particularly, be mindful of noisy jewelry like bangles or charms that may draw too much attention. Keep it simple with a ring (maximum of two on one hand!), a watch to keep track of time, post earrings and a simple chain or pendant necklace. Try a combination of Forever21’s lacquered stacked ring set ($4.80), Club Monaco’s Christina stud earrings ($35.50) and Stella and Dot’s Odette infinity necklace ($39.00).