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Appropriate Interview Attire For Women

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.

The Wall Street Journal

IN THE NEWS

Fashion Columnist and News Editor Christina Binkley of The Wall Street Journal Talks to Jamak Khazra, Founder and Designer of Bluesuits Collection about when and where it is appropriate to go sleeveless.
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The Wall Street Journal

ON STYLE

The Unwritten Rules on Going Sleeveless Designers love bare-armed looks, yet many women are self-conscious; when to go for it
By Christina Binkley Updated July 13, 2016 2:48 p.m. ET
Going sleeveless can be a surprisingly controversial decision. The bare-armed look is everywhere these days, on women of every age and size. Stores are overflowing with tank sheaths and other shoulder-baring tops and dresses. Yet the rules of when to bare your arms aren't clear. Women who do it are sometimes criticized if they are deemed too old or their arms too flabby. Such judgments leave many women feeling self-conscious. Sleeveless is the predominant look in dresses and tops for summer and a favorite of designers. But more women are wondering about the unwritten rules of going sleeveless. WSJ's Christina Binkley joins Tanya Rivero to discuss. Photo: Caitlin Ochs for The Wall Street Journal Apparel labels and retailers are keenly aware of women's desire for sleeves. Women have swamped Apprécier.com, a fashion site that caters to mature women, with requests for more tops and dresses with sleeves, says co-founder Cynthia Weber-Cleary. "We should just name our site Sleeves.com and we'd make a fortune,"she says. Outside the Vatican, few workplaces still have formal rules about sleeves, other than banning spaghetti straps and strapless tops. Yet even though society has dropped other longtime fashion conventions, from hosiery to neckties, bare-arm phobia hangs on. Men face it, too: They go sleeveless only at the most casual of places or for athletic activities—and not even at most golf courses. Author and television personality Moll Anderson says she flouts other old-fashioned rules her mother taught her, such as one that she should cut her hair short after marrying and having a baby. And in principle, she believes in the right to bare arms. "If you're comfortable in your own skin, you should wear it. I don't care if you're 90 years old," she says. But she started to feel self-conscious about her arms two years ago, and began covering them up. "I'm going to be 57 this year,' she says. "Sometimes the judgment is so harsh." Michaela Jedinak, founder and designer of an eponymous British label that caters to women in finance and politics, says she carries only two sleeveless dresses because most of her clients prefer short sleeves. Ms. Jedinak says sleeves help to create a more balanced look that is perceived as stronger and more professional. Jamak Khazra, founder and designer of Blue Suits, a custom label that caters to executive women and socialites, says going sleeveless is more of a concern for her American clients than Europeans. Even young professionals worry, she says. Women in their 20s and 30s are more likely to reject these rules. Marianne Kirby, a 38-year-old blogger and social critic in Alexandria, Va., penned a treatise in favor of going sleeveless at any size. She says she considers herself "indisputably fat" but goes sleeveless without qualms. "We all want Michelle Obama 's arms," she says, referring to the first lady's famously toned limbs. But she says she rejects "all sorts of rules about controlling women's appearance." Ms. Kirby does use a rule of “three pieces make an outfit." Adding a scarf or statement necklace, for instance, can take the focus off your arms when you're wearing a sleeveless top. This is one area where personal preference can rule. The long-armed look of sleeveless can be more flattering than some short sleeves. But sleeveless tops and dresses require excellent fit. Too big an armhole can reveal undergarments, while too tight a fit looks awkward and is uncomfortable. A sleeveless sheath or top worn under a jacket or sweater is wonderfully flexible, offering warmth in frigid air conditioning, as well as armor for that moment when the boss steps in for an impromptu chat. Switch the jacket for a shawl, and you've gone day-into-evening, when many people feel more relaxed about going sleeveless even with professional colleagues. Ms. Khazra notes that it's never too late to go bare. She notices that her clients get freer about bare shoulders as they get older. "My clients past 60, they keep the jacket on," she says. But "past 75 or 80—they go sleeveless at galas. At that age they want to be free of all these thoughts."




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. However, for certain industries such as law or finance a black suit for the first job interview is appropriate.

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.

A dress and jacket ensemble is also a great option for interviews specially for the second or third interview or for when you are meeting the senior members of the firm and might meet them for dinner later in the day. While we highly recommend the sleeveless sheath dress and jacket combination a sleeveless dress on its own without the jacket is not recommended.

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 if 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 pear 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. When you try A Jacket on it is important that you button the jacket because buttoning up the jacket will balance it on your body. Even if you are used to and prefer not buttoning your jacket when you are at work, when you are shopping for a new jacket you must button the jacket or you will end up buying something that is not right for you. Also for your interview you need to button up the 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.

Don't see the answer to your question post your question on our Face Book Page

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 can leave the last button under the neck open.

  • Can you please show me pictures of appropriate interview attire for women?


    Check out the following pages or browse through our website: http://www.bluesuitsonline.com/category/alljacket1.html

    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
  • Bluesuits Carlota 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.