Emergency interview-wear question!
April 8, 2011 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Emergency interview-wear question! What do I wear with a pinstripe jacket?

I have an interview coming up on Monday and I'm not sure what to wear. I have been out of the interview loop for a while and my one and only interview suit is a bit... well, it's dated, and it doesn't really fit me anymore. I am a lady of almost completely average proportions.

What I do have is a nice black and grey pinstripe blazer. Fits me well, looks sharp. But what do I wear with it? At my current position, I'd wear a nice pair of dark jeans, but that's obviously not interview wear (...right?). The only advice google wants to give me is man-specific.

I also own a light grey dress and a darker grey skirt. No grey pants, and the only black pants are a slightly mismatched shade of black. I don't mind going shopping, but I don't have much time (certainly not enough to have a full suit tailored).

The job is in the creative industry, although it's not a terribly creative job.
posted by AmandaA to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A black pencil shirt and a crisp white top. You can probably get both at any department store, H&M, J. Crew, and/or the Gap. Break a leg!
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:00 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

You can go creative with a funky necklace, too.
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:01 PM on April 8, 2011

If the grey dress looks good color- and style-wise with the blazer, I would pair those two. Add black shoes (or grey ones if you have them) and you're good to go.
posted by DrGail at 6:15 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you don't have matching pants (a near miss is worse than a total mismatch), ditch the jacket and wear a white shirt or blouse with pants or a skirt in a dark neutral colour. Check that the shirt comes in a shade of white that makes your face look great.

Plain dress shoes in a darker, neutral colour, closed toe, 1 or 2 inch heel.

The nod to creativity can be in a super fabulous necklace. No rhinestones during the day of course, but something fabulously geometric or statementy. You can scoop up something for cheap at a thrift shop, or even go to a "fast fashion" type place in a pinch.
posted by tel3path at 6:19 PM on April 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you get this job, what would you be wearing to work?

I used to work for a web company where people wore anything. When a guy turned up for a creative interview in a three-piece suit, it set the interview off on a tone that never really recovered, because he was clearly a much more formal person than the rest of the team. The general rule seems to be that you should dress for an interview one notch up from what your regular workwear will be.

For a creative industry, dark jeans + a nice jacket + a crisp white shirt could be perfect interview gear. Add some boots or shoes with a low heel and maybe a funky necklace as tel3path suggested. There's lots of chunky wooden necklaces around at the moment that could look great. (Here's some examples from an Australian company, just to give you some ideas.)

Otherwise, I agree with the suggestions given above.

Whatever you wear, keep your hair neat and tidy. Make-up should be light. Shoes should be clean and fairly unscuffed. Handbags should not be big enough to hold a litter of kittens, as much as a litter of kittens could be just the thing to calm frayed interview nerves. I think people will notice less what you wear than the impression of what you wear gives. If you come in looking put-together and confident, that's what the interviewer will take away.

Good luck!
posted by Georgina at 10:41 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would caution against second-guessing the work culture before you work there, and within the context of what everybody knows is a special occasion. If you show up to your wedding in a wedding gown, should you be afraid your groom will dump you because a long white dress with a train is so obviously impractical for housework and child-rearing?

If somebody gets penalized for showing up to an interview in traditional interview dress, that, to me, signals a culture that unfairly expects mind-reading and/or is paying more attention to appearances than qualifications.

A white blouse, tailored pants in a dark neutral color, and low-heeled dark neutral closed-toe shoes meets the highest standard of conservatism in any business situation. The necklace can be your nod to wild and crazee creativity. It's after you get the job that you can tweak your outfits to fit the office culture.
posted by tel3path at 7:28 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Maybe it's just me, but I think a skirt/pants with just a blouse and no jacket says "support staff" or entry-level. The jacket with gray pants/skirt and a top sounds more professional. Creative can mean wild accessories or you could be very minimalist and let your work stand out.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:44 AM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older Finocchios   |   Passport renewal during gov't shutdown? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.