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Interview Attire: The Dos and Don'ts

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 9/1/2010

Going to an interview is the first important step on obtaining that dream job you're looking for. Making sure you're dressed for success makes all the difference in how an employer will view you. Read on for interview attire do's and don'ts.

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    After all the searching and resume sending, you finally have that scheduled interview for a company you really like. You've looked up the company information, their history, their core management team and systems, as well as the person that you would report to once you get the job. All of these are very important facets in making sure that you are prepared to face an interviewer to get that position.

    What is equally important - and sometimes glossed over - is appearance. Looking your best for an interview is the first (but hopefully not last) time the interviewer is going to see you. It's very important that when you walk into that interviewing room, that the interviewer understands and can clearly see that you are ready for business. Here, we will look at interview attire do's and don'ts.

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    Dos and Don'ts - Women

    As women, I am happy to see that we have a lot more leeway in our successful dress than our male counterparts. This means that we have a wider variety of clothing to choose from. However, with such variety, there is the danger of under dressing - by wearing comfortable attire that may not be appropriate for an interview or business setting. 3 piece women 


    • Do dress in business attire. For women, this is either dress slacks, dresses, or a skirt.
    • Do dress business like, but comfortable.
    • Do wear heels or dress shoes.


    • Don't wear revealing clothing, like low cut blouses or short skirts
    • Don't wear tennis shoes, sneakers, or flip flops
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    Dos and Don'ts - Men

    Men are allowed to be a bit more casual than women when it comes to business attire, however the important thing is to not be so casual in dressing for an interview. It's better to side on the more professional while on the interview and then learn about the dress code during. men suit 


    • Do dress in business attire. For men, this is dress slacks and dress shirt. A tie and/or a dress jacket can be optional, but again you may want to go with the more professional direction.
    • Do dress in business wear, but that you are comfortable.
    • Do wear dress shoes.


    • Don't wear blue jeans or shorts. This may be allowed once you are hired and have learned the dress code (casual Fridays, for instance), however never wear jeans to an interview
    • Don't wear tennis shoes, sneakers, or flip flops/sandals
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    Rules for Both Genders

    While there are standard dress rules that are given separately for men and women, there are universal standards for both genders. As mentioned for both, don't wear tennis shoes, sneakers, or flip flops. Men should never wear sandals, while women have a bit of leeway. For women, certain sandal designs that are low heel and open toed may be acceptable. To err on the side of caution, it is better to wear either heels or a low heel, closed toe shoe.

    Both genders should avoid going too dressy or too casual. Polo shirts are acceptable for men; dress shirts or blouses are acceptable for women. The important thing to remember is along with your research, your dress shows the interviewer that you are serious about not only working for their company, but serious about the position in which you are going for. Consider these interview attire do's and don'ts, and then take the time to pick out your clothing the day or a few days before your interview to ensure that you are going to look your best to get that job you want.

    Image content - women's three piece @; men's three piece @