What to Wear to an Interview as a Woman?

What to Wear to an Interview as a Woman?

    As a woman, navigating what to wear to an interview can sometimes feel as daunting as the interview itself. For many of us, striking the perfect balance between professional and personal style is key - not only does it boost your confidence, but it also makes a strong first impression. Whether you're preparing for your first job interview or stepping into a new field, the right outfit can set the tone for success.

    Understanding the Company Culture

    Before deciding on your outfit, take a moment to research the company you're interviewing with, as the culture of the workplace can give you significant clues about how to dress. For instance, a tech startup might favor a more relaxed dress code, whereas a law firm typically sticks to a formal one. Checking out the company’s social media pages or website can provide you with a visual sense of the appropriate attire.

    Basics of Interview Attire for Women

    The foundation of your interview wardrobe should focus on fitting well and looking polished. Opt for neutral colors like black, navy, gray, or beige, as these are versatile and project professionalism. It’s also key to choose pieces that make you feel comfortable and confident - this means nothing too tight, too loose, or too flashy.

    Business Professional Attire

    For interviews in formal sectors, such as finance or law, business professional attire is a must; this typically includes a well-fitting suit and perhaps a tailored dress paired with a blazer. A classic choice would be a women button up shirt tucked into a pencil skirt or formal trousers, but whatever your combination, the key here is simplicity and sophistication.

    Business Casual Attire

    When the environment is less formal but still needs a touch of professionalism, business casual is the way to go; this could mean a pair of tailored slacks paired with a smart blouse or a modest knee-length dress. In these kinds of settings, you generally have more freedom to add a pop of color or a subtle pattern, which can make the ensemble feel more personal and less austere.

    Smart Casual Attire

    If you’re stepping into a creative field or a more relaxed company culture, smart casual attire offers the perfect blend of casual and neat. Think of combining structured pieces with more relaxed items, like wearing a blazer over a casual dress or a neat blouse with stylish jeans. This attire allows more room for your personality to shine through while still maintaining professionalism.

    Accessories and Grooming

    Generally speaking, accessories should complement your outfit without overwhelming it, especially in an interview context. Choose simple pieces like a pair of stud earrings or a classic watch to enhance your look subtly. Your grooming should also reflect a polished appearance - neat hair, light makeup, and manicured nails speak volumes about your attention to detail as well as your professionalism.

    Dressing for Virtual Interviews

    Virtual interviews have become a staple in post-COVID world, and dressing up for them is just as important as in-person meetings. The key is to focus on the upper half of your body; a neat blouse or a business jacket can convey professionalism, even if it's paired with more comfortable trousers out of view. Ensure your background is tidy and professional, and check your lighting to make sure you are clearly visible.

    The Bottom Line

    Ultimately, preparing what to wear to a job interview doesn't have to be a stressful ordeal. By understanding the company culture, choosing the right attire, and adding appropriate accessories, you can make a memorable first impression that speaks volumes about your professionalism and suitability for the role. Remember, the right outfit not only looks good but also empowers you to perform your best - so wear it proudly and walk into your interview with confidence!


    Can I wear flats to a job interview, or should I opt for heels?

    While heels often convey a more formal and polished look, flats can be entirely appropriate and stylish for an interview, especially if they are well-cared-for and conservative in design. Comfort is crucial, as it affects your posture and confidence. If you are more comfortable in flats, choose a pair that is professional—think minimal embellishments and neutral colors.

    How can I incorporate color into my interview attire without going overboard?

    Introducing color into your interview wardrobe can reflect your personality and style subtly. Choose one colorful item to serve as an accent, such as a light pastel blouse or a muted blue scarf, while keeping the rest of your outfit neutral. This strategy ensures that your look remains professional but with a personal touch.

    What are some tips for maintaining a polished look throughout the day for an interview?

    To ensure you look your best all day, carry a small kit with essentials like blotting papers, a mini deodorant, and a compact mirror for quick touch-ups. If you're wearing a skirt or dress, a pair of clear nail polish can quickly fix any unexpected snags in your tights. Lastly, keep a lightweight, wrinkle-resistant blazer on hand, especially if your interview involves multiple rounds or locations.

    Article by:

    Gina Kuyers

    Gina Kuyers is the founder of Luxeire. The idea for Luxeire came out of founder Gina’s frustration with the discomfort and high maintenance of beautiful clothing. With a 20-year career and PhD in school psychology, Gina spent decades applying research to real-world problem solving. She brought these well-honed skills to designing and producing a line of elevated wardrobe staples.

    Gina grew up in West Michigan where she attended Calvin College graduating with a degree in education. She continued her education at Fordham where she received her PHD in school psychology. Gina and her husband, David, have four adult children and live in New Jersey—just a short ferry ride from the Luxeire studio in New York City.