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Appropriate Interview Attire For Women

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Whether you are a young professional embarking on a new course in your life or a seasoned professional in career transition or a professional woman in a secure job, your appearance has significant influence on your own self esteem as well as how others view you. At Bluesuits we are committed to dressing professional women and have provided expert advice as well as the perfect interview and work attire to women of all ages for over 20 years. The women who shop with us in our showroom or at our on campus sales or private trunk shows have the opportunity to consult with us. We also support and consult with our online shoppers by phone as well as e-mail. We invite you to join us on Face book to start or get involved in discussions and be the first to know about news and events at bluesuits. The following is a reference guide to appropriate job interview attire for women written by designer Jamak Khazra who has dressed thousands of women. She launched Bluesuits to address the wardrobe needs of professional women.

What should I wear to my job interview?
Corporate Job Interviews:

  • First and second round interviews- skirt suit or pantsuit?

  • A skirt suit in dark navy, charcoal grey or black with a crisp white shirt, preferably brand new, is the most appropriate interview suit for the first or second round interviews. We recommend a classic 2 or 3 button Jacket with a slim skirt for a clean polished and professional look. An A-line or flared or wrap skirt is not as professional looking. A well cut slim skirt such as Bluesuits slim skirt will fit any shape. You can also see examples of 2-button and 3 button suits for every shape by checking our suit collection
  • If you are wondering what color is best for you the only way to find out is to try different colors but a Navy Blue suit or a Charcoal Grey suit is less severe than a black suit.

  • A pantsuit is more appropriate if you are going to an informational, an on campus company presentation or after you are hired for everyday work. Additionally pantsuits may be appropriate in less formal industries such as internet companies, and more creative fields. That said we know many young professionals and even executive women feel that wearing a pantsuit to an interview is perfectly fine. Our recommendation for young professionals is to be on the more conservative side and wear a skirt suit to their first round interview.

What is the best color to wear to a Job interview ?What color should women wear to a job Interview?

Although colors such as Dark Navy, Charcoal Grey and Black generally work well for any corporate job interview, many women feel that Black is the most formal color to wear specially for Finance and Law interviews. There is however, no hard and fast rule and we think Charcoal grey and dark Navy would work just as well. occasionally we get e-mails asking if a woman can wear a white suit to an interview. The answer is no. It is not recommended to wear a white suit to a job interview.

What do I wear under a suit jacket?

  • If you are a young professional just out of college a shirt in white or French blue looks very professional and is appropriate but if you are more senior you can wear a knit round neck or v-neck top under your suit jacket and wear a simple and elegant necklace such as a one strand pearl or even gold or silver color.

How do I wear my shirt under my jacket? Collar in or out?

  • We like to button up the shirt with only the top button undone and wear the collar out neatly placed over the lapel.

What Color top do I wear under a Navy suit or a Grey Suit or Black suit?

  • A white shirt looks clean, fresh and professional and it is specially attractive under navy. A white top also gives a nice glow to the face. However other colors can work under Navy or Grey. For example French blue livens up a grey suit and is a good match for navy or black. White and French blue are great colors to wear under navy, grey or a black jacket for an interview but you can get a lot more creative once you are on the job. Clearly White or French Blue looks great with a Black suit as well.

Can I mix and match a suit jacket with a different color skirt or pant?

  • For a job interview you simply need to wear a matching suit jacket and suit skirt or pant. This means matching in fabrication and color.
  • Once on the job, it is a great idea to mix and match but you would need to develop a sense of what to mix and match. Generally speaking like fabrics of different weights but contrasting colors work well. For example a wool tweed jacket in red works well with tropical wool pants or skirt in black but remember this is after you have started the job not for your interview.
  • Never try to match blacks from two different suits with each other; the same goes for navy or grey because there are so many shades of black, navy and grey. In addition when it is time to dry clean your suit you will need to dry clean all pieces together.

    Should I button up my jacket in a job interview?

  • You would look a lot more put together with your jacket buttoned up. When a Jacket is buttoned up the collar and shoulders stay in place. This is however not a rule and clearly once you are on the job you don't have to be so formal.

    Appropriate shoe, handbag, jewelry and make up for a job interview?

What color shoes do I wear with a Navy suit or Grey suit?

  • You can definitely wear black shoes with navy or grey suits. We don't recommend wearing Navy shoes with a Navy suit or grey shoes with a grey suit. Also it is best to go with closed toe shoes with a 2, 3 or 4 inch heel.

Do Shoe and handbag have to be the same color?

  • The short answer is yes. For example is you are wearing black shoes, your hand bag should also be black, if you are wearing tan shoes your hand bag should be the same color as the shoes. It really starts with the suit, then shoes then the hand bag. If you are wearing a black, grey or Navy suit, you will be fine with black shoes and black handbag. Tan shoes can also look great with black or Navy and that is the color you choose to wear then you will match your handbag to your shoes.

What Color Panty hose Do I wear with a grey Suit? With a Black suit? with a Navy Blue suit?

  • Nude color panty hose is always a safe bet for all colors including Navy, Black and grey suits; although a thin black hose can work well as well. Do not wear Navy panty hose with a navy suit.

Can I wear boots to an interview?

  • We highly recommend that you don't even think about wearing boots to an interview. Tall boots, Booties or regular boots are not worn with a suit to an interview.If you need to wear boots to get to your interview we recommend that you carry your pumps and change into them before you walk into your interview.

What type of handbag should I carry?

  • A simple classy tote bag is a necessity in your work wardrobe so invest in a high quality tote bag. You can carry everything you need in the bag.

Can I wear perfume?

  • It is best not to wear any perfume, just make sure you are showered and clean.

What is the appropriate make up

  • Natural looking make up enough to make you look polished and fresh is best.

How do I choose a suit?

  • Fabrication - The absolute best fabrication for interview or everyday work suit for women is high quality tropical wool stretch in dark navy, charcoal grey or black. Tropical wool is a natural seasonless fabric, perfect for travel and long work hours because it is wrinkle free. The lining is just as important as the self fabric. The lining should be of durable fabric. All Bluesuits jackets are lined in rayon bemberg which is durable and the most desirable lining and bottoms are lined in our signature lining that moves with the body, is lightweight, extremely sturdy and super comfortable, perfect for long work hours.
  • Jacket Style - a single breasted 2-button or 3-button jacket about 25 inches to 27 inches long is ideal. If you are short waisted or petite shorter jackets may work better for you but if the jacket is cut well even longer jackets would work and longer jackets in fact can make you look taller.
  • Skirt style and length. Slim skirts not flared or A-line with no belt or belt loops would be our choice. If the skirt is cut well even hourglass shaped women should have no problem fitting into a slim skirt. See Blue suits slim skirt S3380 or S3385. The skirt should hit right in the middle of your knee cap, unless you have a good reason for wearing the skirt below the knee(i.e. really don't want your knees to show).
  • Pant style- Classic style flat front pants with horizontal pockets and shallow pocket bags are the most flattering and appropriate pants for work or interviews. Side pocket pants will make the hips look larger. If you have thick thighs or athletic thighs it is best to go with a wide leg or straight leg pair of pants. See Bluesuits Fly-front pants or flat front pants. Boot leg pants can be nice as they can balance a larger hip check out Bluesuits boot leg pants
  • Fit - Look for a classic, tailored, and clean cut jacket. We like jackets that fit in the torso, with small, thin shoulder pads. Make sure you are wearing a supportive bra when you try a jacket.

What is the best bra to wear under a suit Jacket?

For a jacket to have a perfect fit you need to have the perfect bra. At Bluesuits before we put a jacket on you we have to make sure you are wearing the right bra. We recommend under wire contoured bras in nude specially if you are wearing a white shirt. You do not want a white bra under a white shirt, unless you want to show your bra. Even though the jacket is covering the shirt you still need to wear the right color. Le mystere Tisha bra or Gigi bra are great everyday bras.

Non-Corporate Job Interviews

If you are interviewing for a creative field such as advertising, fashion or retail or a non-corporate environment you can be more creative with your interview attire. But be subtle not wacky or tacky.

  • Choose tailored separates
  • If you are wearing tropical wool suits make sure they have a more couture cut and style for example the Bluesuits J3399 is a good example
  • Choose brighter colors and novelty wools
  • Choose less conservative jacket styles
  • The key is SUBTLE
  • Boots with a suit is still not fashionable nor appropriate for a job interview.


It is also a good idea to do some research on your own.
Know the culture of the firm.

  • Go for an informational interview- Most companies are happy to see you for an informational interview. This is your chance to see how people dress. If you see everyone in casual attire make sure it is not a day such as casual Friday.  Keep in mind that what people wear to work is not necessarily an indication of what they wore to their first round interview. First round interviews are more formal, we suggest a skirt suit in navy, charcoal grey or black but more on that later.
  • Research company web site. If you live far away and cannot go for an informational interview check the company web site and see profiles of employees.
  • Call HR if you would like to get specific information about their preference.
  • Recommend on Google

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Women's Suits, Interview suits, Shift Dresses, Work dresses, Coat Dresses, Work Pants, Side-zip pants, Wide-leg pants, Work skirts, Long skirts, Pleated skirts, handbags, bras.

Here are some questions and our answers that we like to share with you:

  • Do i have to wear nylons under my pants to an interview?
    No. Off course not, you can wear knee highs under your pants. Also you might want to wear a thong or if you are wearing full panties, choose microfiber ones that are not bulky
  • Do i need to wear a suit to an interview?
    Wearing a suit to an interview will make you look more professional and its highly recommended.
  • Do i wear my suit jacket during an interview?
    The whole point of wearing a suit to an interview is to look professional and put together while you are being interviewed so taking off the jacket is not recommended.
  • How many buttons do you do up for job interview shirt?
    We recommend that you button up all but the last button. Take a look at this picture
  • Can you please show me pictures of appropriate interview attire for women?
    Check out the following pages or browse through our website:
  • Can we wear a jacket without a collar to an interview?
    For a young professional the classic styles are recommended . Some examples of the classic style interview suits can be seen by clicking the links below:
  • Bluesuits Katherine Jacket
  • Bluesuits Hepburn jacket
  • Blue suits Madeleine jacket
  • Bluesuits Melinda Jacket
  • Bluesuits Vivien Jacket

If you are a more seasoned professional you might be able to wear a less conventional style such as a collarless jacket, but that too depends on the industry. For banking and law, finance, accounting we still recommend the classic styles of interview suits.

Interview Suits