The New Job Interview Dress Code

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 The Ground Rules
 
Think contemporary. What’s even more critical than looking appropriate is not looking dowdy or dated; You’ve got to look current and not like you’re fixated on a certain past time...

Consider new labels.
The look to aim for is modernized hipster business wear (using the term hipster loosely); I'm referring to tailored clothes with a feminine, slightly insouciant edge. Affordable brands that take this approach can be found all over eBay like this  Open Knit Cardigan.  This  may be more contemporary than what you’ve been wearing lately. But the fact that you have something modern on shows that you’ve pu t some effort into preparing for the interview.
 
Do your homework.
Many companies publish their dress code in their employee handbook — probably accessible online. You can also check the company’s brochures and do a Google search for staff photos. Ask your recruiter to advise you on how formally or informally to dress. Or, if you’re dealing directly with the company’s human resources department, it’s perfectly okay to ask your contact there.

Keep your key colors sophisticated and muted.
This means varying hues of gray, navy, indigo, a quiet aubergine, a nuanced taupe.
(The one exception is for a company whose product has a strong visual component, then you can go bold.)
 
What to Wear: The Specifics
 
The skirt-suit no longer holds sway as default interview attire for women. Today it looks fresher to break those pieces up. The matching thing can age you.

Look instead for:
  • A fitted jacket, worn with a white camisole over a black pencil skirt.
 
  • A neat cardigan, the jacket's contemporary alternative: This is an inspired choice if you’re up for a job with a hotshot young firm.
 
  • Skirt length: Keep it just below the knee.
 
  • Pantsuit. Much maligned in the past, the matching jacket and trouser combo has returned with a newfound fashion cachet. What’s key today is displaying an irreverent touch or two, such as a cropped, boxy jacket or an inverted peaked collar.
 
  •  Shirt. Tucked into your pencil skirt or pants, the shirt you wear should be basic and white, which brings focus to the face.
 
  •  Dress. If you choose the dress route, go for a shift or chemise with sleeves and maybe details like ruching, cowl or moderate portrait neckline. 
 
  • Shoes. Whether you’re in a skirt or pants, wear 2- to 3-inch black pumps. But avoid open toes. If you’re unstable in heels, go for high-heel wedges.
 
  • Belt. The smartest accompaniment to a pencil skirt or a shirtwaist dress is a basic leather or patent leather belt — very much in style today. Belts have an immediate slimming effect.
 
  • Nylons — or not? The experts urge mature women, especially, to forego them. Nude pantyhose are a loud beacon that you’re not with it. So go bare-legged. If your legs are discolored, apply a self-tanner or a concealer. In cold weather, go for opaque black pantyhose.
 
  • Handbag. Carry a structured bag (not a briefcase) that stands on its own and doesn’t flop when you set it on the floor.  Alternatively, an upright canvas tote for storing your interview-related documents and iPad can work.
 
  • Jewelry. Wear something around the neck draws attention to the face, but make sure it doesn’t jangle. Consider an understated 14- to 16-inch necklace, or a longer chain with an interesting pendant heavy enough to stay put. Pearls are back in style, but avoid a single strand (much too aging) unless it’s in a color like gunmetal or blue-purple. Keep in mind, the more complex your necklace(s), the simpler your earrings should be. Even studs or gold or silver “trainer” hoops are fine.
 
  • Eyewear. Ditch those aging rimless or wire-rimmed spectacles. They scream grandmother. Choose instead a colorful, modern acrylic frame.
 
  • Scarf. To liven up a gray or navy suit or dress, add a colorful silk neck scarf; You’ve got to have it neatly tied. Avoid flinging it, French-style, around your neck.
 
  •  Add one individualistic item to the mix. This lets you distinguish yourself in a subtle way.The idea is to avoid looking like you walked right off the assembly line; You want to leave the impression that you’re a team player who can think outside the box. Consider, for example, an intriguing but subdued pin or a hammered metal cuff.
 
  • Face. Keep your makeup simple and natural. For a brightening effect, spring for a facial or a dermatology fixer-upper. A peel or microdermabrasion may be done several days before an interview, but not the day before.
 
  • Hair. A job interview is the perfect occasion for a new hair style — or at least a smart cut. For women over 50, the bob is a great look. If your hair is long, gather it into a neat (but not helmet-like) updo or a low-slung ponytail.
 
  • Gray hair. Most experts emphatically agree: Get it colored. Of course, some look sensational with gray hair, but they've got an ultra-chic coif or top-notch designer suits, and a perpetual tan which all accentuate gray hair.
 
  • Nails. According to every expert, a pre-interview manicure is essential. The ideal nail shape is short, square and rounded at the edges. Long, pointy nails cause distracting finger-clicking as you display your portfolio. As for polish color, go for pale pink or shell with a fashionable light shimmer. 

 
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