You’ve honed in on your work style. You know what you like to wear, what colors look best on you, and what flatters your figure. But you have to throw all of that out the window when it comes to interviews, because it’s better to play it safe than be sorry about your style risks. Or do you?
This is 2017, ladies. You don’t have to wear an unflattering business suit to look professional. In fact, it could be the completely wrong choice if it means you’re going to spend more time tugging at your sleeves and thinking about how your suit fits than your answers to the interview questions. There are lots of options for pushing the envelope with interview wear that will help you land the job you want.
Here are five options to push the envelope with your interview wear:
1. Opt for a structured dress instead of a traditional suit
A structured dress is a great alternative to the typical pantsuit. With the right fit and cut, you will look just as polished, and it will probably be more flattering for your figure. It’s also a great solution if you want to feel more comfortable in feminine clothes.
- If you want to avoid showing too much skin, this is a great fit and flare option with ¾ sleeves. Throw a blazer over the top to add a level of formality to the look, or wear it on its own for a polished monochrome look.
For an interview with a financial institution, a law firm, a government office, or another company where formal wear is the norm, try this gray shift dress with a notched square neck and elbow-length sleeves that scream, “I’ve got this!”
Pair this red and black chevron printed dress with a black blazer in a traditional cut. It’s an acceptable way to add in a pop of color and wear a fun pattern without straying too far from what you should wear to a first interview.
2. Try a flirty skirt and a nice blouse
Who says everything you wear to an interview has to be stiff and buttoned up? This plaid black skirt and simple white blouse combo look polished and professional without any of the typical elements.
If it’s a little too free-flowing for the company you’re interviewing with, this flared tube skirt is a little more structured without losing the femininity and flirty style.
3. Wear a vintage-inspired pencil skirt
It’s a departure from the pantsuit of today, but you won’t feel any less prepared to get a job when you go into an interview with this Mad Men inspired look. A vintage-inspired pencil skirt with a fun pattern like houndstooth or tweed will help you channel your inner ‘working girl’ to land the job of your dreams.
- Check out this black and white gingham skirt for a modern take on a classic look. It goes great with a crisp white blouse or with a black power blazer to top it off.
- Add a little color to the look with this two-tone pencil skirt. The classic shape tones down the vibrant lime green accents and contemporary pattern for a tasteful interview-ready outfit.
4. Wear black skinny jeans with a nice blouse
Black skinny jeans are the new go-to work trouser in business casual offices. With a nice blouse and a pair of heels, you’ll look polished (and feel like yourself) when you go in for an interview. Here are a couple of tops that would look great with a pair of black skinny jeans:
- A structured black shell
- A nice black and ivory colorblock blouse
- A long-sleeve chiffon blouse in salmon
Just be careful if you’re interviewing for positions in business formal environments, such as banks and government offices that favor traditional professional wear.
5. Swap out your boring blazer for a statement jacket
Pair a statement jacket with your favorite pair of trousers or pencil skirt for an outfit that strays from the usual in a good way. You will look sharp and feel confident – both on the job and in your style choices – when you go with one of these looks:
- This asymmetrical zip jacket is a great statement piece that pulls the outfit together in a fresh way whether you wear it zipped or unzipped.
- Try a bold blue blazer if you really want to complement your interview wear with a nice pop of color. Worn with a neutral blouse and skirt or pants, it is the perfect statement piece that will help you stand out from the pack.
No matter what you decide to wear to your interview, remember that your answers – not your style choices – are the focus. So get out there and get the job you deserve!