Dress for Success: What to Wear Based on Where You're Interviewing


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You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Dress for success with carefully crafted interview outfits for women designed to accomplish a professional and polished look.

If you're wondering what to wear to an interview, picking the right outfit will largely depend on the type of role and company you're interviewing with. Learn how to dress appropriately for the industry and job you're interviewing for with the following workwear style tips:

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Finance, Law and Politics

The first judgment a prospective employer makes will be based on your overall appearance. In a business professional environment, suits are the standard. Put together a sophisticated look that commands attention by opting for a power suit and heels. A great skirt suit or pantsuit in a neutral color is a fantastic addition to any interview wardrobe.

If a suit doesn't match your sense of style, consider investing in a versatile blazer in a traditional color and texture to wear with a knee-length pencil skirt. While a blazer is a chic interview attire staple, be mindful of what you wear underneath it. A no-fail option is layering a blazer with a button-down blouse. However, if you're planning to wear a camisole or shell with your blazer, make sure it covers you appropriately.

Media, Arts, Advertising and Creative Positions

For a job in a creative industry or less formal work environment, opt for a business casual interview outfit that's more relaxed than a power suit but more professional than a sundress and sandals. Business casual interview attire options include:

  • A conservative dress
  • A blouse or sweater with black dress pants or a skirt
  • Tailored khakis and a button-down shirt
  • Dark-wash jeans and a nice top
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Tech, Startup or Silicon Valley Roles

When interviewing for a position in a casual business setting, make it your goal to strike a balance between maintaining more of a relaxed style without compromising on a professional appearance. While wearing a suit won't be necessary, send the message that you take your potential role seriously by wearing an appropriate interview outfit. Consider these options:

  • A work dress
  • Nice pants and a collared shirt
  • A pencil skirt and a button-down shirt
  • Relaxed-fit khakis and a fitted top

Create a fashion-forward but tasteful look with peep-toe heels, or dress down your appearance with sensible ballet flats or loafers.

Additional Tips about What to Wear to an Interview

Preparing for an interview involves much more than simply choosing a style of outfit. Make sure you avoid common interview attire mistakes by keeping the following considerations in mind:

Keep Bright Colors to a Minimum

Be mindful when selecting the color of your interview outfit. Avoid flashy, distracting colors, and make sure the overall design of your ensemble is conservative. If you opt to wear a bold color, do it tactfully.

Refrain from Over-Accessorizing

When you're dressing for an interview, the way you accessorize is highly important. Try to keep accessories to a minimum, and choose pieces that will enhance, rather than overwhelm your interview outfit.

Don't Overdo Your Makeup

Make an effort to keep your look as natural as possible by avoiding dark eye shadow, too much foundation or bright lipstick. Aim for a refreshed and alert look by sticking to a light coat of foundation, powder, mascara and neutral lipstick.  

Assemble designer interview outfits for women to present yourself in the best possible light as you take the next steps down your dream career path.