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Dress Code Guide: What to Wear to a Job Interview

A woman shakes hands with a man across a table.

A job interview is not just an opportunity to showcase your skills and qualifications. It’s also a chance to make a lasting impression through your attire. The way you dress can convey professionalism, confidence, and attention to detail…or the exact opposite.

If you’re wondering what to wear to a job interview, you’ve come to the perfect place.

To help you make the right choices, we’ve put together a comprehensive dress code guide for job interviews. From general rules for matching various dress codes to specific attire suggestions for both men and women, we’ve got you covered.

How to Dress for a Job Interview

A group of people wearing business casual office attire walk down a hallway.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to dressing for a job interview, some general rules apply across all industries and positions.

First, you want to keep things conservative. Always opt for conservative attire that aligns with the company culture and the industry you’re applying to. It’s better to err on the side of being slightly overdressed than underdressed.

Next, you want to show up neat and wrinkle-free. While you want to show up in a well-pressed outfit for some industries, others allow you to be less pressed but still put together. You want to show that you pay attention to details and are taking the interview seriously.

For makeup, keep it subtle and professional. Ensure you show up with a clean and well-groomed appearance, including trimmed nails and tidy hair.

Choose comfortable shoes that are also professional. Typically, closed-toe heels or flats for women and polished dress shoes for men are safe choices. Also, you may want to avoid excessive jewelry and accessories to keep it simple, streamlined, and elegant.

When it comes to choosing a fragrance, avoid strong perfumes or colognes. You never know if you’ll encounter someone who has a sensitivity to scents.

What to Wear to a Job Interview

People sit in a line of chairs with papers in their hands.

The appropriate attire for a job interview can vary based on the office dress code. Let’s explore some common dress codes and how to match them.

Formal or Business Professional

For industries like finance, law, or corporate environments, where formal attire is the norm, there are a few things you want to consider.

For women, you can’t go wrong with a tailored pants or skirt suit in a neutral color paired with a professional blouse or button-up shirt. Closed-toe heels and minimal accessories complete the look.

Men should opt for a dark-colored, well-fitted suit with a matching dress shirt and a conservative tie. Polished dress shoes and a simple belt are essential.

Business Casual

In more relaxed business settings, like marketing, tech, or creative industries, business casual is the way to go.

Women may want to choose dress pants or a knee-length skirt with a blouse or a professional dress. Pair with comfortable flats or low heels.

Men can go with dress pants or khakis paired with a collared shirt. No tie is necessary, but it is an option if you want. A blazer can be added to elevate the look.


For offices with a casual dress code, you can adopt a more relaxed yet polished approach.

Women can wear a smart blouse or a professional sweater paired with dress pants, or a skirt is a great option. Stylish flats or loafers are a great choice for shoes.

Men should choose dress pants or khakis with a dress shirt or a polo shirt. You can skip the tie but keep the look polished with clean, well-fitted clothes.

The Best Job Interview Attire


Now that we’ve covered the general guidelines and how to match different office dress codes let’s explore some of the best job interview attire options for both women and men.

Women’s Job Interview Attire

You can’t go wrong with a classic black pantsuit. This is a timeless option that exudes professionalism and confidence. Pair with a crisp white button-up shirt or a tasteful blouse.

Marycrafts Women's Business Blazer Pant Suit Set

This is a great interview suit that you can also plan to wear on the job.

A pencil skirt and blouse are another great option. Opt for a knee-length pencil skirt with a sophisticated blouse to create a polished and feminine look.

Simlu Women's Below the Knee Pencil Skirt for Office Wear

A pencil skirt is a staple in any office-goers closet.

Another great option is a sheath dress. A well-tailored sheath dress layered with a blazer is a chic option that will keep you comfortable.

Calvin Klein Short Sleeve Sheath Women's Casual Dresses

A sheath dress is a great basic that will carry you through your interview.

If you’re looking for some variety, consider a neutral-toned dress paired with a cardigan. This is a great way to create a versatile and elegant job interview outfit.

Amazon Essentials Women's Lightweight Vee Cardigan Sweater

Go for elegance and not slouch when choosing a quality cardigan.

Wide-leg trousers paired with a silk blouse are another great way to strike the perfect balance between professionalism and modernity.

FUNYYZO Women's 2022 Fall Wide Leg Pants

In the spirit of conservatism, try to steer clear of skin-tight pants.

An A-line skirt with a classic turtleneck sweater is an effortless way to develop a stylish and warm outfit. This option is perfect if your interview is scheduled during colder weather.

Dokotoo Womens Ladies Elegant Puff Long Sleeve High Neck Top

Stay warm and professional with a great turtleneck.

If you’re looking for something that shows a bit more personality, choose a tasteful printed midi dress. You can easily pair it with a blazer for a touch of personality and sophistication.

TEMOFON Women's Dresses Summer Floral Geometric Pattern

Make sure you choose a pattern that's appropriate for the workplace.

Lastly, a well-tailored jumpsuit can be a chic and unexpected choice for a job interview. Stick with a modest option that fits you well to nail it.

Happy Sailed Women Casual Loose Short Sleeve Belted Wide Leg Jumpsuit

There's nothing like a great jumpsuit to boost your confidence during an interview.

Men’s Job Interview Attire

A well-fitted black suit is a versatile and classic choice for any job interview. Black can also be a go-to ensemble for other events and work days.

J.M. Haggar men's Premium Classic & Straight Fit

Buying separates is a great way to build your perfect suit.

Choosing a well-fitting suit in charcoal gray is another way to exude professionalism and sophistication. Charcoal tends to be less harsh than black and works better with certain complexions.

P&L Men's 2-Piece Classic Fit Suits

Choosing a neutral like charcoal can empower you through your interview.

For a more relaxed setting, khaki dress pants paired with a dress shirt create a smart-casual look.

DXL Big and Tall Essentials Flat-Front Twill Pants, Khaki

When styled right, khakis can be a great choice for an interview.

For even more versatility, you can consider pairing a navy blazer with chinos. This is a stylish and comfortable option that’s perfect for creative environments.

Men's Sport Coat Classic Fit

A blazer is a great way to add sophistication to any look.

Elevate your outfit with a tasteful tie and a pocket square for a touch of elegance.

STACY ADAMS mens 3 Pack Satin Solid Striped Dots With Pocket Squares

It's a good idea to have some variety in your neck ties so you always have something for the right occasion.

If you’re looking for ways to add some personality to your job interview outfit, you can do so with a patterned dress shirt that is still professional.

Amazon Essentials Men's Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Poplin Shirt

Don't shy away from color, especially if the workplace welcomes it.

Alternatively, a crisp white dress shirt is a fail-safe option that pairs well with any suit or dress pants.

Amazon Essentials Men's Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Oxford Shirt

You can't go wrong with a classic white dress shirt.

Complete your look with polished leather dress shoes that complement your ensemble.

Amazon Essentials Men's Derby Shoe

Never underestimate the power of a quality pair of dress shoes.

By following these dress code guidelines and selecting appropriate interview attire, you’ll make a positive and memorable impression on your potential employer. Remember, dressing professionally not only showcases your respect for the company but also boosts your confidence during the interview process. Good luck!

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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