Interview Outfits For Women 2022 – Expert Tips On What To Wear – WWD

The transformation of office culture means a widespread change in a large volume of variables, but when it comes to fashion, dressing for interviews in the post-Covid workplace has its own set of rules.

Whether virtual, hybrid, or in person, prospective candidates and employees are dressing a little more casually across the board. To start your job search, you can create a free profile on to apply for jobs with just one click. However, “Casualization”, or the concept that “dressing has become much more casual”, was a trend that was already underway before Covid, According to a report by McKinsey & Co., and the pandemic accelerated a sentiment that had been steadily brewing.

That means consumers have shown a greater interest in leisure, and with more casual office wear expected, the leisure market will reach $551 billion by 2025, growing 25%, according to GlobalData.

While it seems like we’re all leaning into this massive casualization both in the workplace and at home, it doesn’t necessarily extend to potential new hires, or those in the interview process.

“When I started my agency in 1997, it was a very different time,” says Elizabeth Harrison, CEO and founder of H&S, who estimates she has interviewed hundreds of people at all levels of management, from senior vice presidents to interns. “I would say that the expectation of how people present themselves for an interview has evolved. Being neat and well organized is still very important, but what has changed is that what connotes neat and orderly is much broader now.”

This evolution of business informality, as well as our social shift towards greater inclusion, means that many offices, from corporate to creative, have scrapped many of the outdated rules in favor of new ones that reflect our collective drive for awareness and acceptance. .

“As bosses and CEOs, we’ve had to help educate our junior managers who are hiring for the first time on how to expand their preconceived notion of what the ‘right’ look is because it has changed,” says Harrison. “Not everyone has access to a designer bag or they may be wearing something interesting from a designer you’ve never heard of. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do a good interview either; you can go to Zara or H&M for more affordable options.”

Casual outfits for interviews vs. Formal suits for interviews

One of the first rules for achieving your interview outfit with a potential employer is not to look inside or rummage through your own closet, but to try to understand how the employer sees itself.

Take Harrison’s PR agency, for example, which represents a mix of luxury fashion, spirits and lifestyle brands, and where creativity is not only encouraged, but seen as an asset.

“If you walk in and look nice and smart and put together, and you’re wearing a baseball cap or cool streetwear, at least in advertising, marketing or PR, you won’t be held accountable for that,” he explains. “Now, if you were interviewing to work for brands that are very corporate, it might make me stop to think not that you don’t have the right style, but maybe you’re not the right candidate or you don’t have the right style for it. particular job.”

To help guide your research, Harrison recommends taking a look at the company’s social media pages, especially their Instagram, but also their profile on is a great place to learn more about what they’re looking for in potential new recruits. employees. Additionally, candidates who are invited to apply for open positions are nearly three times more likely to be hired.

“I would start by checking on Instagram what people in that company are wearing. What is the CEO wearing? Or the creative director? Is his style of him corporate, business casual, or casual? he tells him, adding that he should not only look to the company, but also to its top executives, to get an accurate snapshot of his work style. “Take note of what the culture is, because if they don’t wear jeans, then don’t show up to the interview in jeans, even if it’s jeans paired with a great blazer or jacket, because that shows you’re not paying attention to the culture, or who they are as a brand.

From formal to business casual, this guide will help you navigate the world of dressing for an interview with tips on what to look out for, key pieces that mean business, and other helpful notes on dressing for different roles and industries, plus of all the “don’ts” to avoid. And once you determine your dream interview wardrobe, turn to ZipRecruiter, ranked the #1 job site in the US, to help you find your next opportunity.

What you wear reflects your personality

As our home and office lives merged during the pandemic, many employees and prospective new employees began to dress in a way that reflected their authentic identity, while still adhering to and respecting their workplace culture.

“First of all, you probably don’t want to work in a place where you can’t come across as you are,” says Harrison. “I think you should come across as yourself, but you need to think about how that will reflect on your personality and style.”

She recalls a recent faux pas by her creative director, who wore an edgy outfit of tailored shorts and a matching blazer, paired with a button down. “It seemed super stylish and appropriate for someone in his role as creative director, and we went to the client meeting, but the feedback we got was ‘how could you take someone to the meeting in shorts?'” and I can’t complain. him for it; It was my judgment call.”

Virtual interviews are still interviews

Many interviews still take place virtually, including at Harrison’s agency. However, that’s not an open invitation for his outfit to move down the style ladder; it’s still important to introduce yourself as he would if it were an in-person meeting.

“I think as a result of Covid, people have become much more casual,” she says. “But I don’t think it’s a great idea to dress more casually for an interview just because it’s on Zoom. You can still tell when someone has put in a little effort.”

Even if you take the business on top, party on the bottom, dressing for virtual interviews approach, it’s crucial to continue to match your attire and style with what you think the company expects of you.

The point is that you still made the effort, and it’s a show of respect to the person who has taken time out of their day to interview you.

dress for the season

It can be hard to know exactly what to wear to an interview if the temperature soars to 95 degrees in the summer, or if you find yourself in the middle of a snowstorm the morning of your big meeting.

“Fortunately, there are so many cute snow boots or other weather-resistant, season-appropriate accessories,” says Harrison. “I also really like coats. I think you can wear a great coat and always keep it on; A coat is a great statement piece that can really make it work for you.”

And while it may seem like there’s nothing to wear when it’s an unforgiving 95 degrees outside, Harrison disagrees, saying there are “plenty of linen dresses that are light and elegant,” and you could even wear a blouse that shows off your shoulders. for your commute, but throw on a blazer just before you walk in for a slightly more conservative feel.

“Just don’t wear flip flops in the summer, there are beautiful sandals and other options, and no one is going to blame you for being weather appropriate,” she says.

Wear what gives you confidence

“If you’re interviewing for a creative or art director role, you can go crazy,” Harrison laughs, but generally argues that “an interview probably isn’t the best place” to try something new. Just make sure that whatever you wear fits well and flatters your body, as looseness lends itself to an overall sloppy look. This means that the cuffs should not go past the wrists and the shoes should be securely fastened.

“Wear something you feel super confident in, and it doesn’t even have to be expensive, because if you’re dressed in something you know you look great in, you’ll look confident,” she explains. “You probably won’t play with your hair in the interview. He won’t be sitting or fidgeting in his clothes, and he can focus on what’s really important, which is answering the questions correctly and hearing what the person interviewing him is saying.”

Smart casual clothing is on the rise

“Going into an interview isn’t like going out for coffee with a friend, and it shouldn’t look like that,” says Harrison. “It’s a big deal, it’s a test.”

If you’re not sure what to wear, it’s helpful to fall back on the ‘smart casual’ category. For men, that might mean a neutral button-down shirt (no blazer needed) paired with pressed chinos and loafers, while women might rely on a long-sleeved blouse with a subtle pattern and neutral-colored pants (never jeans) with some dancers. or low heel. It’s a light and fun style, but still professional and organized. Harrison suggests keeping your makeup clean looking and your nail polish neutral to play it safe.

“I think dressing how you want to be perceived is great and dressing for the next job you want to get is awesome because I think it will make you look polished and cool looking.”

Meet the expert

Elizabeth Harrison He is the co-founder and CEO of the New York City-based communications agency H&S, formerly known as Harrison & Shriftman. He has worked with global lifestyle brands including Jimmy Choo, Alice + Olivia, Wilson Apparel and Remy Martin and believes the secret to professional success is hard work, tenacity and the ability to pivot and change.

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