Dressing up for an interview is beyond scary. Not only are you asking yourself, “how fancy do I go…?”, but you’re also like “omg, I’m so scared of this interview” in general. The trick to picking a great interview outfit is to think structured, clean, colorful, smart, and organized. Now you might be still lost, and that’s ok! I’m gonna brake it all down for you. This article is part one of my ‘How to Dress for an Interview’ series where I have scoured all over Forever 21’s website to bring you the foundation to the best interview outfit on a budget.
Trousers & Skirt
Modern Trouser: When you think of classic interview outfit, most people always think of a suit. Suit tends to make people think of boring trousers, an overly stuffy jacket, etc. Recently trousers have totally gotten more exciting. Here I chose two examples of trousers with very classic elements, but a more modern silhouette.
Edgy Pencil: The pencil skirt is a silhouette that does not really go out of style, it also flatters every body shape. The only thing you have to be concerned with is the length when choosing one. You want the skirt to not make you look stumpy but you don’t want to show too much skin either – both will make a bad impression. Here are some examples of the lengths I would stay in between, depending on your height (including shoes) choose wisely!
Jackets & Shirts
Statement Jacket: It’s very important to show balance in your outfit to make yourself not only stand out from the sea of black suits, but also look approachable as well. Using a statement jacket is a great way to add color or texture to your entire wardrobe – not just your interview outfit. These pieces go with any basic t-shirt and jeans (that’s some effortless chic!), so they make great investment pieces.
Fine Print Shirt: Since we are going to go bold for the jacket, keep the top simple and interesting. The best way to do this is to choose a print that is either the same color palette or monochromatic. To stay in the same color palette for example, if you wore the blue floral blazer from above, stick with another small blue pattern, a contrasting small yellow print, or neutral (tan, silver, black, white, etc.). Showing you can mix patterns and prints shows confidence, creativity, and positivity – and that’s all good stuff!
Heels & Flats
Thick, Strapy, and Tall: While I’m all for a basic almond point pump, here are some other options that are not only sexy, clean, and interview-tastic, but they are also shoes you can wear time and time again. The thick heel means that now matter how wobbley your nerves get you, you can feel confident that you won’t be twisting your ankle in these babies. As for colors, just like my suggestions in the shirt section, choose either a neutral or stay in the color palette.
Detail-Oriented & Men’s Inspired: I’m a big fan of men’s inspired because these are durable styles that really play on the very classic “office” look. If you are going for this look, keep your shoes playful – studs, cut outs, color, shine, or texture. The trick is to style them while still exuding that feminine charm, so look for slim styles. See also “3 Flat Shoes That Are Stepping Their Game Up” to see how men’s inspired shoes can be styled casually.
Purse & Accessories
Structured Bag: To get this job, you want to come across professional, sleek, and put together and your bag should also be described that way. What I love the most is the pockets, it makes the bag easy to use because they are very organized. Every action done in the interview room will be judged, so make sure you have a bag that carries everything you need including your folder, resume, pens, contact cards, planner, cell phone (on silent), etc.
Short Statements: Jewelry is where you can get very, very playful and creative. What I love about a short statement pieces is that it really calls the attention to your face – and hopefully the smile you’re shining throughout the interview. These statement necklaces will only make your impression glow even more, making you come off more friendly and positive. If you chose to go with a button up shirt, you can still wear this type of necklace! I love to style these tucked under my collar.