Best job interview outfits for women

Do you have an upcoming job interview? Congratulations! Now all you have to do is figure out the best interview outfits for women. Your interview wardrobe is vital in making an excellent first impression when you walk into the interview room. Whether you have an upcoming interview or not, it’s wise to have some interview outfit options ready so you don’t have to sweat it when the time comes.

Outfit options for a woman at a job interview 

Woman in a striped dress with folded arms pushes herself between dresses on a clothes rack.
Trying to stand out, hoping to fit in – it’s not easy!

There are numerous options when considering what to wear to an interview for women. Read on to gather some ideas for suitable interview attire and professional attire options.

1. Embrace the versatility of navy blue

It’s hard to go wrong with a navy blue suit or suit jacket for an interview. Navy blue is a versatile color that helps lighten up the feel of your wardrobe compared to black. Plus, navy blue  is considered just as professional as black. As such, navy blue is a staple for any professional wardrobe. The color is suitable for formal business attire while also providing business casual and casual clothing options.

You can wear a navy blue suit jacket over a dress, a button-down shirt, or a blouse. You can also pair it with a skirt, pants, or jeans. Navy blue can easily be coupled with khaki, white, burgundy, light brown, cream, and off-white colors.

2. Consider blouses with some style and detail

A blouse with a bow that ties at the neckline or has an attractive design on it is a way to add style to your look. Such a blouse is perfect with a skirt or slacks. If you’re wearing a sleeveless blouse, it should be modest and fit high under your arms. It also needs to cover your shoulders (i.e., no tank tops).

3. Add button-up shirts with collars to your work wardrobe

Button-down shirts can add color and panache to your wardrobe. There are numerous material options, from silk and chiffon to cotton and polyester. You can wear button-down shirts under a blazer or suit jacket, with a camisole or tank top underneath – or alone. They work well with dress pants, skirts, and jeans.

There’s no need to stick to dull colors when purchasing button-down shirts. For an interview, you should generally stick to neutral colors. However, when going to work, you can go for some solid, bright colors, like fuchsia and teal green, or simple, neutral colors, like brown and gray. 

Patterns can add some personality to your wardrobe as well.

Be sure that any shirt or blouse you choose is modest. It’s crucial that no cleavage is showing and your bra is covered. Also, make sure the shirt isn’t see-through. If it is, wear a camisole or tank top underneath.

4. Make a statement with the right dress

A statement dress is perfect if you want to show off some style while still being professional. The dress might have an interesting neckline or detail above or below the waistline. You can get away with brighter colors when wearing a statement dress, such as a deep purple or light turquoise.

Choose a modest option with an appropriate length and neckline. No low-cut dresses and both shoulders should be covered (i.e., no asymmetrical one-shoulder dresses or tank dresses). The length should come close to the knees.

With a statement dress, you need very little in the way of accessories. A pair of simple black heels or pumps will suffice.

5. Use neutrals for mix-and-match options

Women’s attire that reflects male attire can be a stylish option. Think camel, beige or other neutral-colored clothing that’s versatile. Adding some neutral-colored staples to your wardrobe provides you with endless options for interview and work attire. For example, you might opt for a camel blazer with navy dress pants and a white button-down shirt. Or you might consider a black skirt with a gray blouse or button-down shirt. Camel slacks with a navy blue button-down is another option.

6. Experiment with business casual pants

It’s rarely ever appropriate to wear jeans to an interview. However, if you’re interviewing for a start-up company or are instructed to wear jeans, jeans are an option. Invest in a pair of nice-fitting dark wash jeans for such occasions.

Dark wash jeans are also perfect for casual Fridays or days you’re permitted to wear jeans at work. Additional options for business casual pants include khakis and similar cotton-blend pants.

Pair your casual pants with a nice blouse or sweater. A cardigan with a blouse underneath is also an option.

7. Wear a classic black dress or suit

You can’t go wrong with a classic black dress or suit with black pantyhose for an interview. Add some traditional jewelry, like a simple pearl necklace and earrings with black pumps, and you’re all set. You’ll also get a lot of use out of a simple black dress that’s appropriate to wear for numerous events, both personal and professional.

8. Utilize a sweater with black dress pants

Black dress pants are a staple for any professional wardrobe, so it’s worth it to invest in a pair that will last over time. Although black dress pants might seem boring, this need not be the case. You can dress up black dress pants for a formal professional look or dress them down for a business casual look.

Pair them with a dark blazer and button-down shirt for a formal look. Consider a sweater vest with a collared shirt underneath for a business casual look. You can opt for an intriguing sweater texture or pattern to give the outfit a bit more flair.

What not to wear to an interview

There are a few taboos regarding interview attire. Take note of the following to make the best impression possible for your interview:

  • Don’t wear clothing that’s too tight.
  • Reject T-shirts – and absolutely nothing with slogans or strong humor.
  • Avoid clothing that’s revealing. Cleavage and thighs need to be covered.
  • Say no to wrinkles. Make sure your attire is neat, clean, and wrinkle-free.
  • Avoid perfume.
  • Don’t overdo it with the makeup and accessories. Think simple and professional.
  • No outdated outfits, please. Ensure your wardrobe is current and up to date.
  • For video interviews, avoid wearing patterns and colors that too closely match your background.
  • Avoid wearing sandals and flip-flops, even for casual interviews.

General interview tips for women

Here are a few general tips to consider when preparing your interview wardrobe:

  • You can’t go wrong with neutral, solid colors, like brown, black, navy, and creams. Use color with discretion per the guidelines shared above.
  • Ensure your hair is well-styled and neat. Keep it out of your face so it doesn’t distract you or the interviewer.
  • Accessories should be simple and professional.
  • Shoes need to be clean and appropriate.
  • Do a bathroom check five minutes before walking into the interview room. Be sure to do a 360-degree turn when looking in the mirror.

Dress for Success

Use these tips as a guideline to ensure you dress for success. When in doubt, you can always ask the individual who scheduled the interview what the interview dress code is. Good luck!