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University of Illinois Extension

Clothing for Interviews - Women

Different jobs require different styles of dress. However, there is basically one universal code of dress for a job interview. That is to dress conservatively. Traditional styles are most important for a job interview, regardless of the type of job that you are applying for. Following are some "dos and don’ts" for selecting the right type of interview outfit.

Formal Professional Wear

Do wear a simple tailored skirt, matching jacket and blouse. This is always the best choice. A tailored dress is acceptable if it is worn with a jacket, but it is still the second choice to a good suit.

Examples of Jobs

Informal Professional Wear

In jobs that are not so formal, like factory or maintenance work, plan to dress a few notches above the clothing you might normally wear on that job. A skirt, slacks and a blouse or a dress are the best choice.

Examples of Jobs

Do’s and Don’ts for Interview Dress

Best color choices for an interview outfit

Grey or navy – An excellent color especially for conservative organizations.
Blue – A favored color especially if being interviewed by a male.
Black – Can be perceived as being "too strong" for an interview. If black is worn, soften the color by using white or pastel accents.

Accent colors

White, cream, light grey or blue – Good neutral colors for blouse or shirt.
Yellow – Gives impression of a productive and creative person.
Red – A powerful color for small accents such as a scarf.
Orange – A good accent color encourages conversation.