2023 has already been a crazy, unpredictable year for a number of different industries. For those looking to have a fresh start to your career, “dressing for the job you want” as well as having a good understanding of how colors can influence how you’re perceived by others is key to nailing that first impression before and during your interview. Read more to find out what kinds of messages clothing can communicate about your character, what a good interview outfit looks like in 2023, and how casual is too casual even in a post-COVID, work-from-home environment.
Before putting the outfit together, remember that…
Clothing can convey qualities like creativity, sociability, intelligence, organization, and attention to detail. While it is important to appear humble and professional with your outfit (no flashy designer items and heavy jewelry), there are still ways to impress your interviewer. Clean, well-fitting, and freshly steamed or ironed clothes will make you appear organized and put-together. Colors can say a lot about a person too: express professionalism and authority by wearing gray, black, and deep jewel tones.
It’s important to know your audience in order to properly dress for the occasion: gauge the company and employer’s vibe through their social media, website, and insider tips if possible. How uptight does the work environment seem? How much do they value creativity, flexibility, and having fun? A white collar interview outfit is completely different than one for a work-from-home startup that champions their team’s quirkiness and creative problem solving. For industries like the former, a tailored button up shirt or blouse and suit jacket is a safe bet. For more casual and liberal settings, a clean and well-fitting henley or button up shirt with a pair of chinos or trousers would be more appropriate.
What to avoid when putting your interview outfit together:
For both in-person and virtual interview outfits, you should avoid bold and distracting patterns and logos such as high contrast pinstripes, herringbone, houndstooth, and fine checks. You should also steer clear of bright and flashy colors, and opt for deep, solid colors that contrast from your background. Unless the interview is from the waist up over Zoom, avoid sweatpants and older or distressed bottoms, as well as shoes that expose your feet.
Lastly, you should always wear clothes that make you feel good and give you confidence. If you’re buttoned up all the way or if your blazer is too tight, your discomfort will probably be picked up on by your interviewer — this is why it’s so important to make sure that everything fits well so that all you have to focus on is your conversation! Click HERE to download my Free Style Guide on my website to read more about the best interview outfits, and what you should wear to some of your other special occasions.