One of the most crucial steps to getting ready for an interview is finding the perfect outfit. It should project confidence and professionalism to catch the employer’s eye.
Sadly, it can be a little tough to choose what to wear. So, if you’re wondering about the best interview attire for men, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll discuss the guidelines you should follow to find a suitable outfit. We’ll also dive into what fashion pitfalls to avoid.
- What’s the Proper Interview Attire for Men?
- What Color Should a Man Wear to an Interview?
- What Not to Wear to an Interview
- Shoes for an Interview
- Tips for Dressing for an Interview
- Where to Find Interview Attire for Men
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
What’s the Proper Interview Attire for Men?
Finding the perfect outfit for an interview can be tricky. It’ll change depending on the interview type and the overall company culture.
For example, Most businesses expect their applicants to dress in business formal wear. That’ll include a suit, button-downs, a pair of dress slacks, and a tie.
On the other hand, some companies prefer a more casual approach. This will mean candidates should wear comfortable attire like a pair of dark jeans and a shirt.
So, before you head into the interview, you need to figure out what’s appropriate for the occasion. To do that, reach out to human resources or the hiring manager.
Each one of them should be able to give you more insight into what type of attire to put on.
Although, regardless of the type, all the garments have to meet certain criteria.
For starters, they have to be tasteful. Even if you’re going with a more casual outfit, the final look must be professional.
That means the formal attire should be well-fitting and ironed or steamed.
What Color Should a Man Wear to an Interview?
Many interview applicants don’t realize that the color of their outfits will have a huge impact. In fact, employers can tell a lot about a candidate by examining the shade of their suit.
Let’s take a look at some suitable interview colors to wear and what they mean.
Navy blue is one of the most common colors when it comes to a professional setting. There are quite a few reasons behind this phenomenon.
For starters, the shade suggests that the applicant is friendly and trustworthy. This will put the interviewer at ease and make the meeting much more pleasant.
Other than that, it can project confidence and intelligence. That makes standing out from other candidates much easier.
In addition, navy blue is quite versatile. You can go for a medium shade to show that you’re approachable, or a deeper one to help you look more authoritative.
Although, it’s best to stay away from light navy since it can give off an insecure air.
Finally, this color will work for almost any occasion. You can wear the shade during summer and winter alike.
This is arguably the most formal color on our list. It can signal that an applicant is confident, polished, and knows what they’re doing.
Plus, black is an excellent way of projecting authority and power.
Besides that, the shade is flattering on almost everyone. It can make candidates appear slimmer and elongated.
On top of that, it’s great at hiding wrinkles. For that reason, you don’t have to worry about looking disheveled.
Unfortunately, there’s one major drawback of wearing black. The color is not all that friendly or inviting.
That’s especially true when you pair a black suit with a crisp white shirt.
Gray is the friendlier version of black. The shade is still exceptionally chic and sophisticated, but with a more relaxed feel.
Many people associate this color with intelligence and efficiency. Both are amazing qualities to have when heading into an interview.
Other than that, it’s versatile and easy to match with other shades.
Sadly, gray doesn’t display a ton of confidence. Most of the time, it’ll make an applicant seem timid and conservative.
This may be ideal for some interviews, but it’s not always the best way to go.
Brown suits are the most business casual on our list, but they’re still formal. It can show that a candidate is down-to-earth and genuine.
These are crucial traits that most companies will keep an eye out for.
Aside from that, darker browns have an association with warm, friendly personalities.
The only drawback of the shade is that it isn’t all that creative. This may signal that an applicant has limited aspirations or ambitions.
What Not to Wear to an Interview
Now that we discussed the best attire, we can jump into what not to wear. In this section, we’ll talk about the clothes you should stay away from when picking an interview outfit.
Here’s a list of common things to avoid wearing.
Wearing a casual outfit for an interview is rarely a good idea. Not only does it make a candidate appear ill-prepared, but it’s also a sign of disrespect.
It’ll seem like the applicant doesn’t want to abide by the rules of the office. This can give off the impression that they’re not great team players.
Other than that, casual clothes make it a bit more difficult to take a candidate seriously.
For that reason, stay away from attire like t-shirts, shorts, and brightly colored jeans.
Instead, go for suits, sweaters, and blazers. You can even add a pocket square for an extra flare.
During an interview, candidates only have a limited time to display all their skills. So, wearing distracting articles of clothing can put an applicant at a disadvantage.
The interviewer may examine the outfit instead of focusing on the meeting. For that reason, it’s best to avoid sparkly garments or casual attire with a busy print.
Ripped or Stained Clothing
Over the years, ripped, or distressed clothing has gained a lot of popularity. These garments can show off a ton of personality and character.
Unfortunately, these may not be welcome at every workplace. In a professional setting, distressed garments appear out of place.
They make a candidate seem disheveled and unqualified.
Besides that, stains can be a major issue. They give off the impression that the applicant didn’t prepare ahead of time and doesn’t care about the outcome.
That’s why you must always ensure your business professional attire is spotless.
Most job interview applicants will buy their outfits off the rack. That means chances are, the suit won’t fit you like a glove.
This isn’t a deal-breaker in an interview, but it can hurt a candidate’s chance of landing a job.
Tailoring your clothing signals that you’re confident and that you’re ready to tackle any task. These are both important when you’re trying to impress a potential employer.
We all know the struggle of trying to make sure our attire doesn’t crease up as we go by our days. It can be incredibly challenging, especially if you have a long commute to the interview.
Regrettably, wrinkled interview clothes can make an applicant seem under-prepared. A few creases here and there shouldn’t be an issue, but the overall look should be sharp and tidy.
So, be sure to steam your suit right before you walk out the door.
Open-toed shoes are polarizing, you either love them or hate them. Sadly, that means they can hurt your chances of impressing an interviewer.
Even though they’re comfortable, sandals and flip-flops aren’t appropriate for interviews.
They give off an informal air, which is a major deal-breaker for many hiring managers.
Logos or Words
We mentioned how glittery garments or busy patterns can be distracting. The same applies to logos and text.
Wearing clothing with words can disrupt the interview process. They’ll pull focus from the matter at hand.
Wearing a hat outdoors means you’re trying to get away from the sun. On the other hand, putting them on indoors can signal that you have something to hide.
For that reason, under no circumstances should an interview applicant wear a hat. That includes beanies, hoodies, caps, and fedoras.
They’re informal, and some employers may react negatively toward them.
Shoes for an Interview
Finding the perfect shoes can make or break your interview. That’s because employers can tell a lot about a candidate by their choice of footwear.
Ideally, you want to wear a pair of oxfords or loafers. Both should be comfortable while still maintaining a professional air.
You can also put on a pair of dress boots during the winter.
Tips for Dressing for an Interview
Even though picking an interview outfit may be tough, it’s not an impossible feat. Here are a few tips you can use when figuring out the best clothing to wear for an interview.
For starters, it’s usually best to go with business casual. Plus, you’ll need to keep the season in mind.
That way, you don’t spend your time trying to warm up or cool down. It may also be a good idea to bring layers, like a light jacket.
Other than that, make sure you press or iron your garments ahead of time.
Another good tip is to prepare for sweat stains. You can do that by spraying deodorant and wearing layers.
Finally, make sure to accessorize minimally and smartly.
Where to Find Interview Attire for Men
There are many stores that carry a large collection of job interview attire for men. Some of the most notable names include:
- Men’s Wearhouse
- J Crew
- Banana Republic
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Have to Wear a Blazer for an Interview?
It’s good practice to wear a blazer to an interview. They complete the outfit and can hide sweat stains. However, during the summer, you can take off the suit jacket for comfort.
Can You Wear Jeans to an Interview?
It’s best to stay away from jeans when heading to a formal interview. Some companies allow applicants to wear dark jeans, but that’s not universal.
So, to stay on the safe side, steer clear of these trousers and go for dress pants instead.
Can You Wear Smart Casual to an Interview?
Many hiring managers will ask candidates to arrive in smart casual attire. Although, unless you get those instructions, it’s best to show up in formal clothing.
Figuring out the best interview attire for men can be challenging. Although there are a few tips you can follow to make the process easier.
First off, you’ll want to go with formal wear in a neutral color. These include navy, black, gray, and brown.
Other than that, stay away from casual clothing, ill-fitting garments, and open-toed shoes.
Plus, steer clear of hats, wrinkled clothes, and ripped outfits. Finally, be sure to account for the weather and bring layers.
If you have any more interview attire questions, be sure to leave us a comment.