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Interview Tips: Wear the Right Clothes for Summer Interviews

What to wear to a job interview

There tips to keep your dress code formal without overheating while out for a job interview this summer.

Arriving for a job interview hot and bothered, red-faced and sweating,  is the last thing you want a potential employer to see. How do dress for a summertime job interview in a way that will keep you cool but appropriately formal?

TheLadders Career Advice has you covered with the right mix of things to wear and tips for how to beat the heat on your way to the interview. Black suits are out for men, and white is too casual for women, says fashion writer Nina Myers in the article, “Summer Career Networking Style: It’s in the Details.” From the article:

For men:

Look for a two- or three-button wool suit in gray or navy. Do not wear black. A black suit looks like you’re attending a funeral or driving a hearse. Wear a solid-white, light-gray or light-blue shirt, but keep in mind that white looks good against all complexions and makes your skin pop the most. Make sure half an inch of your cuff is visible. If it’s not, your suit sleeves are too long. Your trousers should break slightly at the hem.

If you already own a suit but you’re not sure about the fit, invest in a good tailor. He will be able to tell if your suit needs to be reworked or replaced. Never underestimate the importance of a properly fitted suit. The fit of the suit is everything. A slouchy suit looks sloppy.

Wear a silk tie: something solid, especially blue or yellow. Save red for your first day of work.

Carry a proper brown or black structured leather briefcase with handles. No backpacks. No messenger bags. No duffel bags. No bags on wheels. Ever.

For women:

Keep it light in both fabric and color, but don’t wear a white dress or suit. White is the least serious color and looks too casual. The lightest you should go is cream. If the position is less corporate, you may want to try mixing separates, like a solid sleeveless dress with a tailored jacket in a brighter color or pattern. Look for a slim-notch lapel to keep it modern.

Don’t be afraid to toss the suit and wear a sharp dress with a jacket. The benefit to wearing a sleeveless dress is that you can remove your jacket until right before your interview, so you’ll stay cooler. To create shape, cinch a skinny or chunky black belt around the jacket.

A more classic skirt or pants suit paired with a pretty printed silk blouse is also a lovely combination.

Avoid statement jewelry; simple hoop earrings or pearls are perfect.

Avoid “It” bags for interviews, especially if they’re made of exotic skin or covered in hardware. Your bag should be big enough to hold all the necessities. Try an elegant leather tote in a solid classic color like tan or black.

(Photo by Karl Rozemeyer, TheLadders)

For more on how to dress to a summer job interview, job fairs and networking opportunities:

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3 comments for “Interview Tips: Wear the Right Clothes for Summer Interviews”

  1. How could I wear a wool suit and not look anxious because of the heat??? I understand the suit is mandatory during a job interview but I’d choose the lightest one possible.

    Posted by cheap clothing | August 4, 2010, 12:17 pm
  2. I completely disagree with the suggestions for women – white is the least serious colour, really? Forgetting pinks or yellows or anything pastel, are we?

    You don’t have to wear a suit, but nice slacks or a nice skirt with a relatively plain top underneath a sharp jacket or vest is the best option.

    Posted by Laura W | August 23, 2010, 7:45 pm
  3. I think a suit dress would be a good idea for summer, pick a thinner fabric, but choose a still conservative colour like navy, rather than a more serious black.

    I also disagree about white, it says clean, immaculate and neat not unprofessional.

    If it’s a job in a more creative less formal industry like fashion or the arts, a skirt could be a great option with a blazer.

    Wear closed toe shoes though, don’t be tempted to wear sandals.

    Remember offices are mostly airconditioned, so keep your jacket off until you get inside and you should be fine. Take an airconditioned car or taxi there and wear clothes which wont show sweat stains.

    Posted by C.Lenx | April 4, 2011, 12:51 pm

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