How to Dress for an Interview: 3 Versatile Looks for Creative-Corporate Jobs
Figuring out what to say in an interview is nerve-wracking enough, but figuring out how to dress for one is a whole other conundrum. If you’ve ever spent the evening before an interview tearing through a department store in a frenzied search for the perfect outfit, we feel your pain.
The good news: Dressing for an interview doesn’t have to be panic-inducing if you plan ahead. Working with a stylist is one option, but if you prefer to go it alone, there are plenty of sources of inspiration at your disposal. Below, we asked marketing consultant Jocelyn Taylor to try out 3 versatile looks ideal for interviews in creative-corporate environments (advertising, publishing, marketing, entertainment, hospitality).
1. Conservative with an Edge
When in doubt, wear black. It’s a power color that will make you feel confident, and if you mix different textures, going monochromatic won’t ever feel one-note. Here, Jocelyn paired a simple black dress (made from high-quality Italian double-knit jersey) with a structured knit blazer that says “I’m taking this seriously” while still looking relaxed.
Interview dresses should always hit at or below the knee—no shorter! Finish the look with subtly patterned low heels (you must be able to walk without wobbling), and you’ll feel beautifully put-together.
2. Proper with a Punch
If you’re interviewing somewhere that’s not excessively button-up, experiment with color. Jocelyn spices up the same black dress by pairing it with a contrasting jacket.
The silhouette is still classic and professional, but the addition of color lightens up the look. Just make sure to stick with somewhat neutral shades–avoid primary colors and blindingly bright fluorescents.
3. Relaxed but Put-Together
If you don’t plan on wearing a jacket, opt for a streamlined dress that has sleeves. Even better? Power sleeves that are structured around the shoulder and create a flattering frame for your arms.
A skinny belt is an easy way to dress up a simple shape.
Not sure if you’ll need a jacket? Bring one. If you arrive at your interview and realize everyone in the office is dressed down, you can always take it off. And if it’s wrinkle-resistant, you can just throw it into your bag.
The key to interview dressing: looking like you tried—but not too hard. Need some help? Check out our book Wear to Work, or order an MM.LaFleur Bento™ Box and let our stylists get you interview-ready.
Photos by Frances F. Denny