One should never have to add any more stress to preparing for an interview than necessary. The least of your worries should be deciding what to wear. A timeless, classic look is fail-safe – all you need to do is add your personal touch and you’re ready to go.
Dress codes and expectations depend on the company (so do your research) and there is truth to the statement that the first impression is everything. For women, a blouse and pencil skirt combination is the go-to professional option, but how do you make it your own and stand out from the crowd? Let’s start from the bottom:
Color Palette: Black, White, Grey with Blush/Nude Tones
Footwear: Black shoes are versatile and professional. They must be clean and you have to be able to walk in them!
Left to right: Gianvito Rossi pointy-toe pumps / Yves Saint Laurent embellished pumps / Yves Saint Laurent high heel booties
Skirt: A grey or black pencil skirt that hits at the knee or five to seven inches below the knee. Anything shorter or longer is either too risky or too hipster, respectively.
Left to right: Proenza Schouler black skirt / Victoria Beckham calf hair-paneled felt pencil skirt / Victoria Beckham pencil skirt / DKNYC black skirt
Blouse: Choose a blouse in white or black. Depending on the company, blush- and nude-toned blouses are an appropriate way to add a feminine touch. Be sure to test the fabric for sheerness before walking out the door.
Top to bottom: Michael Kors white blouse / Oscar de la Renta white blouse / H&M chiffon top / H&M chiffon blouse
Opportunity to elevate your look: We know, it’s hard to stand out in basics. Don’t be afraid to make it your own with accessories, but remember to keep it minimal.
Jewelry - An exceptional piece whether it’s classic diamond or pearl earrings, a bold cuff, or a statement necklace will do, but choose just one area in which to accentuate. Anything else must be simple and complementary.
Top to bottom: Reed Krakoff bracelet bangle / Coach bracelet / Stella & Dot cuff
Bag: A woman’s bag of choice says a lot – whether she wants it to speak for her or not. A structured, professional handbag allows for enough space to hide all of your belongings out of sight during the interview and holds its shape to complement your look versus take away from it.
Left to right: Givenchy black handbag / H&M black bag