Dress to impress – What to wear for your next interview

Over the next few weeks, the great fashion shows of New York, Paris, London and Milan are taking place. The runway is a fabulous place to present some outstanding creations. Would it be something you could pick up and wear to an interview?

A number of the collections won’t make it into the wardrobe of a successful business owner or professional. Last week, a client asked me what to wear for her upcoming interview. It was with a conservative company and wearing loud colours does not fit into their culture, no matter how much my client loves them. After a Colour Me Beautiful colour analysis, we looked at her existing wardrobe, identified suitable pieces and also shopped for a few additions. She’s now all set to attend the final round of interviews!

Congratulations when you’ve been invited for a face-to-face interview! Now, how do you dress to impress?

A general note

As a general rule, you want to be overdressed than underdressed. Should you be wearing something too formal, you can remove your jacket or some of your accessories. It’s a lot more difficult to add formal pieces to upscale your outfit.

You can’t go wrong with a suit or a dress, which is knee long.

Have your shoes and belt match in colour and formality.

Pick an outfit that fits well and which makes you feel comfortable. You want to look and feel the part. A tight outfit may bug you during the interview and you may focus more on sucking your belly in than on the interviewer.

Creative industries

In some industries, it’s acceptable to wear denim at work (e.g. IT, creative services). Don’t show up to the interview in blue jeans and a t-shirt, even if you know the recruiter.

Stick to business casual where you don’t necessarily need to wear a black suit. You can dress in a pair of slacks and a jacket, with colours and style matching. If you dare and it matches the role, wear a bold colour like yellow.

Colourful shoelaces or funky nail polish can let your personality through.

You can adjust your outfits to the ones worn by the team when you are working there.

Conservative industries

Just like some industries are more relaxed about their dress codes, others have unwritten rules about their outfits and colours (e.g. banking and insurance). If you are applying for roles in more conservative industries, stick to the basics.

Stay on the safe side with neutral colours: Black, navy, pewter, chocolate brown, charcoal.

Don’t pick anything with big, bold prints. You may accessorise discreetly with colours, e.g. handbag or tie.


As tempting as it is to put just a little bit more perfume or aftershave, don’t add so much that the receptionist can smell your lovely fragrance before you’ve even entered the building.

You may apply make up in a dramatic way if that fits the role and the industry. For most industries, though, be more conservative than you normally are.

Dress rehearsal

Ideally a few days before the interview, chose your outfit including accessories and try it on. Does it still fit? Do you feel comfortable in it? Does anything need to be cleaned or mended? Sort it out now so you’re set the night before the interview.

What is your dress to impress outfit for an interview? What do you wear to get into the right mind set when meeting the recruiter? I’d love to read your comment below.

Have you been on maternity leave or are unsure about what outfit brings the best out in you? Contact me for a Colour Me Beautiful colour and style analysis which will give you the confidence and glow to ace that interview!

Until next time,

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