Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Can There Be Both Style AND Professionalism in Job Interview Attire?

It's been an extremely busy week thus far with several days of wardrobe styling along with some interview coaching as well.  Since time has been short this week, I thought it best to post a previous blog that has been very popular over the past few months.  It's a great one for job seekers who are either facing job interviews in creative fields, or for those who want some ideas on how to add a personal touch to their job interview attire.  Enjoy!

Stylish Job Interview Attire

This article is for both the job seekers AND the hiring managers out there reading this.  I'm on a mission to rid the world of the same old tired, boring, cookie-cutter, no-personality, plain, stuffy interview suit (just like a highly successful sales coach I know who is on a mission to do away with the elevator speech...he has some great points!), and I'm going to show you how.
Yawn |-O

But first, I have to ask...employers, how many times can you look at the outfit above, especially dozens of times a day, and not get tired of it?  Don't you want to see a little personality come through so you'll have a better idea of what you're getting?  Anyone can dress in an interview "uniform," but I can almost guarantee that's not how the candidate will dress once they have the job (thank goodness!).  Wouldn't you'd rather know ahead of time (before spending thousands to hire the person) if he or she has enough style sense to look both professional and stylish on a day-to-day basis?  After all, isn't one of the purposes of an interview to determine fit between the candidate and the company's office climate and culture?

And job seekers, don't you want to be able to express a little personality instead of feeling forced to fit a mold?  You don't have to dress like the cookie-cutter job candidate in the picture above, and if you work in a creative industry such as fashion, music, or graphic design, you'd better NOT show up to an interview dressed like this!

Instead, check out some of the ways you can look both professional AND stylish in one of my latest Pinterest boards entitled "Alternative Job Interview Attire."  I've sought out for both men and women numerous examples of alternatives to the stuffy, boring, dowdy interview attire we've endured over the last several decades, ones that include both style and professionalism.

Keep in mind however, there is always some risk involved when trying to step out of the box in a more conservative industry.  Therefore, always do your research on what is acceptable for the industry you plan to break into.  If you do have to wear a conservative suit, try to include some small elements of personality through little details in accessories such as scarves, pocket squares, etc.  And if you need some more courage to take a little risk, I suggest you read the article "Raspberry Bubblegum and Your Job Search."

Hiring managers, I'd be interested to know your thoughts of the looks on my alternative interview attire Pinterest board.  Which ones do you like best?  Which looks would be acceptable in your own industries? 

Return to paNASH Style web site.


  1. This is great! Love the board. As a college student, I've been going on a lot of interviews lately, and I feel like the super conservative outfits make me blend into the background, especially when most of the other candidates for these positions are men, who have some more freedom when dressing. Thanks a lot!

  2. You're welcome! Glad you have found it useful and helpful!

  3. I truly enjoyed reading this. I love to wear New York and Company when I go to an interview, but the styles I choose from them is a nice pin stripe, pink, blue, and even purple! It has personality but at the same time it is professional. Well, I have an interview coming up and it is extremely important I nail it. After reading your article, I feel comfortable wearing my NY and Co. Thank you for your words. I agree 100 percent.

  4. Thank you so much for writing this article. I truly found it helpful.

  5. Thank Tasha, I'm glad you found it helpful. Good luck on your interview, and if you need help preparing for your interview, we can help you with that as well by conducting a mock interview via Skype!

  6. Do keep updating your pinterest board!

  7. Will do Chi! Thank you for continuing to follow it!


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