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University of Illinois Extension

Making Clothing Choices

Getting the Clothing You Need

You will not necessarily have to go out and buy a whole new outfit. With good planning you may only have to buy pieces that will complete your clothing needs. In fact you can consider your clothing as a uniform by having only one or two outfits that you set aside specifically for job interviews.

If you must purchase a new outfit or accessories, start with a definite plan. With a plan, shopping will be easier, mistakes less frequent, and you will get the maximum value for your money. Remember, the less you have to spend, the more important it is to plan your spending wisely.

Making Spending Choices

It is very important to plan your interview outfit ahead of time, especially if your budget is limited. The following activity can help you to plan a good outfit or two for interviews.

You have several interviews in the next two weeks. You want to make a good first impression. Decide how you want or need to dress for the interviews. By using the inventory below, decide first what you have on hand to wear and then determine if what you will need to make your outfit complete. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I have everything that I need to make a complete outfit?
  2. If I have items, do they need to be cleaned, pressed or altered or repaired?
  3. Do I need to purchase items to wear?
  4. How much money do you have available to make purchases?
  5. What other alternatives can I use besides purchasing items, i.e., borrow?
  6. How much time do I have to shop?

Inventory of Items Needed for a Complete Interview Outfit

Women Men
Suit/Dress Suit
Blouse Shirt
Shoes Shoes
Nylons Socks
Undergarments Tie
Purse Undergarments
Jewelry Jewelry
Hair Hair
Makeup Belt
Manicure Manicure
Hygiene Products Hygiene Products
Portfolio Portfolio
Other Other