By: Katie Hageman –
Dressing for an interview doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your sense of style. In fact, it is entirely possible—and actually very easy—to dress for success while showing your personality through your clothes. We’ve given you a range of pants, skirts, shirts, shoes, and accessories that can be added to your closet and mixed and matched throughout the week.
The traditional business professional look is quite bland—black pant suits, navy blazers, and white blouses. Rather than wear what everyone else seems to be wearing, you can add your personal flare to a business-appropriate outfit. This can be as simple as swapping out a plain blouse for one with a bit more style. Banana Republic offers various multi-colored and patterned work-appropriate blouses. Floral patterns, pin stripes, or even pleated options are all alternatives to a traditional, simple blouse.
On a different note, accessories can make or break an outfit. Arriving to an interview with a statement piece, such as a colored or patterned purse, can immediately differentiate you from other applicants. By carrying a little extra piece of you, the individual interviewing you automatically has a sense of your personality. When selecting a purse to bring to an interview, consider what would make you stand out. Instead of a black or tan bag, try to find a purse with a design or vibrant colors. Something as simple as a white bucket purse will grab attention. Kate Spade carries dozens of handbags with a wide variety of styles and colors.
A pair of pants in a nontraditional color can make any outfit pop. Express has a variety of dress pant choices that can help you show off your personality. Bright red pants are available in styles from bootcut to high waisted to skinny fit. If you are not comfortable wearing such a vibrant color, there are subtler alternatives. Express also offers dress pants in maroon, light blue and dark green. When choosing a colorful pant, be sure to pick one that you find visually flattering, but also one that you feel confident and comfortable in. Other sites, such as Banana Republic and Zara, offer a similar diversity of pant colors and styles.
Sometimes, a jacket or blazer layered on top of an outfit ties everything together and elevates the look. Instead of choosing a plain black or navy blazer, look for a less popular color, like a deep cobalt blue. Brands such as Apt. 9 are found in various department stores and often offer a few blazer styles in a large selection of colors. Loft also offers knit blazers as well as blazers with elbow pads.
Jewelry is one of the easiest ways to bring your unique style to professional attire. When shopping for jewelry, it is always smart to think about a piece’s versatility. Look for accessories that you can wear with multiple outfits in order to get sufficient use out of them. Ultimately, the choice is dependent on what you will feel comfortable in so that you can present yourself well in an interview setting. Jewelry is also a great way to add a glimmer of color or sparkle to an outfit. Both J. Crew and White House Black Market have a wide selection of necklaces (and other pieces of jewelry) to choose from.
Typically, shoes worn around the office include solid colored pumps, low high heels, or flats. This fall, try booties with zippers, pumps with different textures, and heels and flats with bows and ribbon. You can also put on a leopard print shoe, a shoe with tassels, or a non-neutral colored shoe. It’s important to think simple when choosing shoes in order to keep your outfit professional, but that should not turn you away from a shoe with some style. Stores like H&M and Old Navy both have a wide selection of vibrant interview-appropriate shoes.