Dress to Meet the Firms February 14, 2007
Why dress special for an interview? looks can kill—opportunities you recognize this as an important occasion respect for your interviewer
you can adapt to company expectations
Hair Professionally styled/cut
No big barrettes or combs
Body Natural looking makeup (women only) functional conservative watch that doesn’t beep during the interview Clean and well manicured hands Natural colored, clear, or no nail polish No visible tattoos or body piercing Perfume—when in doubt don’t
Be sure to brush and floss your teeth—carry small mints
Clothing Skirted suit or pantsuit, conservatively tailored Skirts usually knee-length
Appropriate colors are navy, black or gray
Clothing—buying guide You should be able to button and/or zip and still allow you to move and sit comfortably—“pinch an inch” Clothing should be smooth, without pulls or wrinkles Sleeves should cover the bend in the wrist
Hem should be even and stitches well hidden
No visible blouse would be worn under this jacket A little trendy
Traditional blouse would be better
Sleeve length good
Needs blouse, no jewelry
Good except for ruffle on skirt Notice the soft drape of the fabric.
Blouse or shell could be worn under jacket
Double Breasted Jackets Double breasted jackets add bulk Use only if you need bulk Double breasted jackets should remain buttoned
Never wear a button down collar with a double breasted jacket
Blouse or shirt White, ivory or light colored blouse or shirt Neckline should compliment jacket lapel Avoid sleeveless and short sleeved
If button up, make sure buttons don’t gape at bust line
Wrap around--possible peek-a-boo problems
Mentioning the unmentionables Panties, no thongs—thong lines are distracting Appropriately colored underwear-- so it doesn’t show thru Always wear hose with a skirt—
Color? Plain-style, non-patterned in a neutral color. Take an extra pair “in case”.
Shoes and accessories Wear low heeled pumps in a neutral color that matches your accessories Be sure they are clean and polished
If you wear a belt or carry a purse or briefcase (one, not both) be sure they are the same color, polished and conservative
Keep is simple
A little more risky for some situations
Younger Women can wear a little higher heel to the office But NOT these Like these
Oops 1 color 2 texture 3 heal height
Good heal height
What to wear for men
Accessories, socks, shoes
Conservative —Two-piece two- buttoned, vented, single breasted business suit, 100% Worsted Wool, fully lined coat, half lined trousers in navy blue or charcoal gray (pinstripe, muted plaid, solid or herringbone)
Semi-Conservative —Same as conservative plus three or four button suit in navy, charcoal, earth tones or possibly even black. Additional options are textured fabrics in lighter to medium tones, as well as non-vented jackets. The more creative your work environment the more creative you clothing options.
Jacket Fit Jacket should lie smoothly over your shoulders and across your back Shoulders cut too wide diminish the head. Shoulders cut too narrow make the head appear larger than it is. The jacket's shoulders frame the head--A balanced presentation. Collar should follow neck silhouette closely—no gaping Jacket length should cover your entire seat and should be half the distance from the collar seam to the floor. Jacket hem should line up with the thumb knuckle.
Sleeves should cover the break of the wrist, allowing ¼ to ½ inch of shirt cuff to show
Hollywood knows about sleeves length
Trouser fit The waist of your trousers should be just at or slightly below your navel and should fit snugly without feeling tight. This puts the crotch of the pants at the crotch of the wearer, which allows for movement without stressing the pants. Trousers should fit smoothly across the top of the buttocks, then follow the curve about halfway down, then fall straight down. When pants follow the curve all the way down, we call them jeans!
Hems may be either straight or cuffed—if cuffed, make sure they are proportional to the wearers height.
Shirt White is best. When in doubt wear white. 100 percent cotton is preferred Point, button tab, or spread collars best Point collar for fuller faces Spread collar for narrower faces Collar should show ½ inch above jacket collar at nape of neck Cuff should show ¼ to ½ inch below sleeve. Sleeve must have enough length for the arm to bend without pulling on the cuff. Cuff must fit snugly so additional sleeve length will not fall over the hand. Very clean and well pressed
Shirt should fit well and have an index finger of breathing room at the collar.
Shirt samples — spread/point collar
Narrow face, spread collar
Wide face, pointed collar
Accessories Conservative pattern in silk or silk like fabric Must coordinate with suit, but contrast with shirt Lace-up, wing tip, cap toe or split toe styles Clean and polished in very good condition No tassels, loafers or cowboy boots Wear over the calf socks that won’t slide down Leather matches leather—shoes, belt, briefcase
Metal matches metal—belt buckle, watch metal, etc.
Tie samples Subtle or simple patterns enhance credibility
Men’s Dress Shoes
The little things count Wear a tee shirt under your shirt Make sure your nails are well manicured and hands not rough Unbutton your suit coat when sitting
Never button just the bottom button of a suit coat
Presentation Repeat what is good or compliments Do not repeat what is not good or minimizes Proportionalize your patterns
Ladies—use proportion to your advantage
References www.thejobexchange.com/women_attire.html www.amdt.wsu.edu/research/dti/general_guidelines.html www.seekingsuccess.com/articles/art166.php3 http://www.mens-fashion-tips.com/index.html Style and the Man by Alan Flusser
MBA Style Magazine’s Color and Patterns to Wear for Interviewing