Proper Women’s Interview Attire According to Image Consultant and Personal Shopper Michelle T. Sterling

Proper Women’s Interview Attire According to Image Consultant and Personal Shopper Michelle T. Sterling as Seen in the May and December Issues of Women’s Health Magazine

With the unemployment rate in the United States at an all time high, interviews can be very stressful for many job-seekers so it is imperative that you showcase your unique abilities and demonstrate you are an ideal candidate for the company. In order for you to project the best image during your interview, you must feel good in your clothing, have a positive outlook, and remember that when in doubt, boring is better. The general rules for proper attire to an interview vary by gender, job industry, and season.

There are several things for women to consider for the first interview. Regardless of your industry, you should want to appear as neat and professional as possible and aim to wear a tailored, structured suit. For your professional career, we recommend investing in a well-tailored suit. You can find an affordable Tahari suit at Macy’s.

Women should invest in a dark-colored matching suit such as charcoal, navy, or black. A good fabric of choice is virgin wool because you can wear it for 2-3 seasons. A black suit can easily go from day to night. Skirt suits with silk blouses are for more formal industries. The shirt should be crisp, tailored, and buttoned-down in white or light blue. You can present yourself with authority without being too bold. Wear pinstripes and create dark/light contrasts with your attire such as black and white. Aim to wear a silk blouse under the jacket with a matching skirt.

If you are interviewing for a job in the engineering and science industries, opt for a buttoned-down shirt and slacks. For the retail and fashion industries, you can dress slightly more fashion forward.

Remember that interview attire tends to be more formal on the East Coast.  Therefore you should dress one level above the position you are applying for in order to build credibility. Dressing in this manner demonstrates that you take initiative and that you are eager to rise the ranks.

Interviewers pay attention to detail. Therefore select closed-toe, leather soled shoes with a non-chunky heel, 2-3 inches high. Jewelry should be simple and tasteful like pearls. If you are wearing a skirt, pair it with appropriate hosiery. Black, structured tote bags are most functional for a women’s work bag.

For positions in conservative industries, minimalist makeup such as Bobbi Brown Cosmetics will polish your look. Remember, you can still define your features while looking natural. For fashion industry interviews, you can be a bit more dramatic with the makeup application. Piercings are best showcased on your ears. If they are visible anywhere else, we recommend removing them during the interview process for added credibility.

In selecting proper interview attire, clothing made of polyester, spandex or other shiny fabric are not appropriate. The interviewer would like to see how well you can present yourself. Thus, avoid wearing ill-fitting undergarments and clothing, fishnet stockings, stilettos, bright nail polish, and remember to groom your nails in neutral colors by Essie. Although strappy sandals are sexy and feminine, they not appropriate for interviews. Peep-toe shoes, on occasion, are acceptable during summer months.

Keep in mind that your clothing is a reflection of you. These tips will help you showcase your best image to attain the position that you want. For more great tips, feel free to contact our image consultants and personal shoppers.

More information about how to project executive presence can be found here.

About Global Image Group

Global Image Group’s mission is to deliver the most cost-effective, high-impact image consulting services to forward-thinking individuals, professionals and corporations that want to define and refine their brand identity. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Dallas, Houston, London, and Dubai, Global Image Group is strategically located to serve clients worldwide. Established by Image Consultant Michelle T. Sterling, Global Image Group has been providing individual and corporate image expertise for over 15 years. We are a full-service consulting firm specializing in style makeovers, wardrobe evaluation and management, personal styling, and personal shopping. Our team of professional wardrobe and style consultants will help you increase confidence, develop successful business and social relationships, and achieve your goals from the boardroom to the living room. For more information, visit Global Image Group at or email us to schedule an appointment.

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