Dear Tailor,

I have some job interviews coming up and was unsure as to what I need to wear. What does business casual mean? Does this mean I have to wear a suit? I’m not sure how to even tie a tie.



Dear Clueless,

The general guideline for interviews is always business professional unless told otherwise by the employer. No matter what type of job you are applying for, it’s important to look neat and tidy. It’s okay to show a little personality, however, it’s a good idea to avoid loud clothing choices or noisy patterns. Some examples of typical business professional attire are listed below:

For Men: stick to nice tailored pants and a blazer, or a suit with a sleek button-down shirt (a tie is not necessary, unless it’s for a corporate job like finance or law, etc.). So if you’re not going to wear a suit, just make sure you’re still put together, proper and polished.

For Women: show up in a skirt with a shirt or a professional-looking shift dress, or tailored trousers with a sharp button-down. A power blazer can be a nice layer to throw on top.

Another important tip is always remember your shoe selection. Everyone notices shoes! They can pull together your entire look or tear it to pieces. Your footwear is the finishing touch that seals the deal, so make sure your shoes are professional, sharp and in good condition. No sneakers (tennis shoes). Ladies, if you’re not used to walking in heels, then opt for a good pair of flats.

Accessories can be that personal touch that sets you apart during the interview and a good place to showcase your style. Don’t forget, your belt should match your shoes. Men, this can mean adding a watch as well. Ladies: tasteful bracelets, rings, and a statement handbag can help you stand out. For both of you: no hats allowed are ever allowed!

Business Casual has become what is accepted in most businesses. Employees typically are expected to dress business casual. Remember, it said employees…you have not got the job yet if you are interviewing! Below are some sample clothing items that are considered business causal:

Women: should wear a combination of a skirt or dress slacks, blouse, sweater, twinset, jacket (optional), and hosiery (optional) with closed toe shoes. Sandals or peep-toe shoes may be permissible in some offices; flip-flops are never considered part of business casual.

For men: appropriate business casual attire is dress slacks or chinos, a shirt with or without a tie, dark socks, and dress shoes. Avoid wearing polo shirts to an interview, even if they are acceptable for the job in question. Remember, dress for the job you want and you will make a great first impression!

For examples of proper attire, check out our Pinterest.

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Tailor Y. Career