If you’re about to start a new job, one element that may leave you feeling a little nervous is the dress code. Business formal, business professional … What does it all mean? Tie or no tie; heels or no heels? The way we dress can have a huge impact on how others see us and on our productivity.
It’s key that you always dress appropriately for both a job interview and the actual job itself. But, if you’re unsure, it can be a bit of a minefield.
Take a look through our handy guide to help you dress to impress.
Interview attire guidelines for men and women
A suit is always the best and safest choice. For women, a dress and suit blazer is an equally safe choice.
What if the job is in a non-suit wearing work environment?
Even if you would or could wear jeans on the job, or the work environment is outdoors and a very non-suit environment, wearing a suit to the interview shows you take the interview seriously as a professional meeting. Dressing well is a compliment to the person(s) with whom you meet.
A smart pair of business shoes is appropriate for both men and women.
A business-like tote bag is ideal for interviews and other professional occasions. It can carry your portfolio, extra copies of your CV and any other papers you might need, and personal items can be concealed within. A structured tote that will stand up when you set it on the floor is preferable to one that flops over (and potentially spills its contents).
Everything should be clean and well pressed. Carefully inspect clothes for dangling threads, wrinkles etc.
Cost / quality
Do invest in quality that will look appropriate during your first two or three years on the job. One good-quality suit could last you through your job search and into your employment.
Charities such as Dress for Success and Grassroots Clothing help provide interview attire for those who need support.