Wearing all black to a job interview
July 10, 2006 3:23 PM   Subscribe

Would it be bad to wear all black to a job interview?

I have 2 job interviews this week. Both are at tech companies doing a techy job. Unfortunately, I had a really bad case of food poisoning over the weekend (the time I had set aside to go buy a nice outfit or two to wear) and now I don't have time to go shopping. What I do have hanging around is nice pair of black pants and a nice black blouse. I think it looks pretty good, but I'm concerned about wearing all black. Is wearing all black a bad idea?
posted by disaster77 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You're a woman in the tech industry, so I think as long as you look presentable, you can probably get away with a lot. Add a colorful accent (a scarf? a big necklace?) and you'll probably be labeled "charmingly stylish", if anyone notices at all.
posted by muddgirl at 3:31 PM on July 10, 2006

I second muddgirl's sentiments.

Most companies are eagarly seeking women in tech. As long as you are "presentable" I would say you don't have much to worry about.
posted by jimmy0x52 at 3:38 PM on July 10, 2006

I'm under the impression that all-black is considered, at worst, too formal for most job interviews. I seriously doubt that anyone will hold that against you though.
posted by lekvar at 3:42 PM on July 10, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the comments. I feel better about wearing that now.
posted by disaster77 at 3:52 PM on July 10, 2006

If you wear a non-black belt or footwear, no one would even notice.
posted by junesix at 3:54 PM on July 10, 2006

Maybe things are a little more stylish in the Bay Area (you're in Silicon Valley, right?), but in the Seattle/Puget Sound area, most tech companies don't care to judge your professionalism based on how you dress [I wear a tshirt and jeans to work most days]. I think what matters is that you're comfortable with the professionalism of what you're wearing. If it were me, I'd tone down the all-black outfit with a colorful scarf and/or shoes. I generally don't wear a black skirt/pants with a white shirt because I think it makes me look like a waitperson in a fancy restaurant.
posted by matildaben at 3:56 PM on July 10, 2006

I think I've worn all black to just about every interview I've had since high school.
And I work in at a tech company, me and half my coworkers dress all in black.

I don't think it would be a big deal at all.
posted by Kellydamnit at 4:00 PM on July 10, 2006

A nice colorful or even metallic belt would be another option for lightening it up--if you can find/borrow one from somebody.
posted by divka at 4:00 PM on July 10, 2006

Only a bad idea if you have chronic dandruff. If you were a guy in a suit and I was interviewing, I might wonder (to myself) if you'd mistook the interview for a funeral. Not sure why that applies only to guys, though. Anyway, seriously, if you're presentable in black, I wouldn't worry. Most tech professionals have a hard time remembering what job candidates wore 5 mins after the interview anyway, I suspect. Or maybe that's just me. Am I being helpful yet?
posted by normy at 4:06 PM on July 10, 2006

Someone once told me to wear all black to an important meeting with a lawyer. He said the color black demands respect. I tried it, but I'm not sure I got any more respect than I would've otherwise :/
posted by rinkjustice at 4:06 PM on July 10, 2006

Unless you're a stagehand, I wouldn't. And probably not even then.
posted by oaf at 4:11 PM on July 10, 2006

One concern. Make sure the blacks match. I know that sounds silly, but if you try and wear black cotton pants that have been washed (and faded) with a still blackety-black synthetic shirt (or vice versa) it will look weird and cheesy.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:26 PM on July 10, 2006

I don't think it's a big deal either, especially if the pieces fit well and are pressed, and don't drain your face of color.

I don't wear much black any longer. I am one of those annoying followers of Trinny and Susannah of the British series What Not to Wear.
posted by LoriFLA at 4:29 PM on July 10, 2006

Don't wear footwear lighter than the outfit (so no colors if you're wearing black!). I'll second the necklace idea.
posted by lorrer at 4:29 PM on July 10, 2006

What about threading a bright scarf through the belt loops and tying it at your hip as something a little different? It'll break up the pants and blouse if they're slightly different shades of black.
posted by tracicle at 4:58 PM on July 10, 2006

Once again the coastal culture gap looms. In NYC no one would even think to ask this question, since everyone wears black to everything.
posted by languagehat at 5:08 PM on July 10, 2006

Goths get jobs all the time.
posted by kookoobirdz at 8:05 PM on July 10, 2006

He said the color black demands respect.

I heard a strange old German dude ramble about how men wear black at their weddings because they're in charge...
posted by dagnyscott at 8:47 PM on July 10, 2006

Do you have nice red heeled shoes? All black with red shoes can look great in that "streamlined but with a dash of colour" kind of way. Either that, or a chunky necklace that has a bit of colour in it. Otherwise, just make sure your black outfit is black and not faded to dark grey, and you should be fine!
posted by Kololo at 9:36 PM on July 10, 2006

It is all in how you think about it. If you think its ok it will be and if you think its no okay, it won't be.
posted by zackdog at 11:28 PM on July 10, 2006

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