Even though you are not able to get into Dress for Success Indianapolis to get your POWER SUIT right now, there are basic steps you can take and things you can pull from your closet that will work. Please know that these are only guidelines and if you don’t have these types of items in your closet, maybe try to borrow from a friend or family member that is the same size as you. If you are not able to borrow, just make the best choice from your own belongings using the list below.
Here are some key tips to think of as you get ready for your interview:
1) No matter what you wear to an interview, make sure that your clothing is CLEAN AND PRESSED. If you don’t own an iron, hang it on a hanger in the bathroom when you take a hot shower and the wrinkles should steam out. Whatever you wear should also FIT YOU PROPERLY—not too tight or loose. This alone will help give the look of professionalism. It is also one thing to be mindful of if you are borrowing clothing from friends or family.
2) Be sure to SHOWER and wear DEODORANT. Also, WASH YOUR HAIR and fix it so that it is out of your face—the interviewer wants to see you. Remember that your NAILS should also be clean and groomed.
3) BLACK is the best color for SLACKS or a SKIRT, but if you don’t have black, try to wear another dark color (dark grey, dark brown, or navy). Again, they must be pressed and should not look worn out or faded. Skirts should be no more then 2 inches above your knee.
4) Your BLOUSE should be WHITE OR A LIGHT COLOR, A BUTTON UP AND COLLARED, if possible. It should be worn TUCKED IN for a more professional look. Make sure that your bra is covered and AVOID SHOWING CLEAVAGE. No see-through materials should be worn, and buttons should not pull or gap at any point. If you do not have a button up shirt, it is OK. Just wear something with sleeves that fits you well.
5) If you do not have a blazer, an APPROPRIATE CARDIGAN SWEATER can be worn if you have one. This is the type of sweater that opens in the front, it should not be bulky, and a solid color is the best. If there is not one of these in your closet either, no worries. A pair of nice slacks or a skirt and a clean, pressed shirt or top will work fine.
6) Keep flashy, bright colors to a minimum as they can draw attention to the fact that you are not in a typical interview outfit, such as a suit.
7) Wear CLOSED-TOE, DARK COLORED SHOES whenever you can — heels with pants if possible and heels or flats with a skirt. If you don’t have heels, flats will work with pants as well, but never tennis shoes or flip flops. Another option may be to borrow appropriate shoes from a friend or family member, just make sure that they are the correct size so that you are walking with confidence.
8) ACCESSORIES should be kept to a MINIMUM. Choose CLASSIC STUD EARRINGS instead of large hoops and avoid flashy necklaces or bracelets that make any noise when you move. If you don’t have any professional looking accessories, then it would be best not to wear any at all.
9) Don’t overdo your make-up. KEEP YOUR LOOK NATURAL with a light coat of mascara, a touch of powder, and some tinted lip balm. Aim to look refreshed and awake.
10) Go LIGHT ON PERFUME as you never know if your interviewer might have an allergy or an aversion to strong scents.
Always err on the side of formality, even if the place you are interviewing is casual. If you show up looking professional, you convey to the interviewer that you took the time to consider all aspects of the interviewing process. It speaks highly to your thoughtfulness and attention to detail.
We hope that these tips help you as you are deciding what is appropriate to wear to an interview. Please remember to let us know when you get the job, as we can help you with work clothing once we are back open for appointments!