Women’s styling guidelines

Getting ready for a job interview is often a time of excitement for women. We focus on ideas of what life will be like after we get hired and wonder what we will buy with that first paycheck.

A main concern for many women when choosing their interview outfit is the impression that it will make upon the hiring manager.

Although we want to put our own personal flair into our look, there are a few finishing touches that are appropriate and also ones that should be kept for other occasions.

Collegegrad.com suggests that women consider a few simple rules when accessorizing.
– Always wear a suit with a jacket; no dresses
– Shoes with conservative heels
– Conservative hosiery at or near skin color (and no runs!)
– No purses, small or large; carry a briefcase instead
– If you wear nail polish (not required), use clear or a conservative color
– Minimal use of makeup (it should not be too noticeable)
– No more than one ring on each hand
– One set of earrings only

Virginia Tech Division of Student Affairs offers some general advice regarding women’s interview attire that pertains to appropriate clothing options.
– Suit – pants / skirts: Tailored pants suits are appropriate for women. If you wear pants, they should be creased and tailored, not tight or flowing.
If you are pursuing a conservative industry and are in doubt, observe well dressed women in your industry on the job, at career fairs, at information sessions, etc.
– Skirt lengths: Your skirt should cover your thighs when you are seated. A skirt that ends at the knee when you’re standing looks chic and professional.
Don’t purchase a skirt or decide on a hem length until you sit in the skirt facing a mirror. That’s what your interviewer will see.
– Skirt slits: High slits in skirts are not appropriate. A small back, center slit in a knee-length skirt is appropriate. On a calf length skirt, a slit to the knee to facilitate walking and stair climbing is appropriate.”

The Washington State University Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles provides advice that is budget friendly for interview wardrobes.
– Shirt / sweaters: Don’t show cleavage. (Remember that television shows are trying to attract viewers, and don’t represent reality of the professional environment.)
– Purchase matching components. Having options such as wearing a skirt or pant with jacket or vest multiplies possible combinations.
– Use shirts/blouses/sweaters to create variety of visual effects.
– Select ties/scarves and jewelry that add to possible visual variety.
– Consider investing in season-less fabrics that drape and travel well, such as lightweight stretch wool, washable matte jersey or a blend of cotton and rayon.”

— Compiled by Mollie Shepardson