Interview Attire: Have the Dress Code Rules Changed?

Once upon a time, landing a job interview meant picking out your best suit – or running to the store to purchase a brand new one. In the past, there was no straying from this traditional look or one would most likely be considered unprofessional. Conventional methods say “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” but as millennials continue to make up more of the workforce, we’re rethinking this conventional dress code.

To be honest, I’m not even sure there are rules anymore! The cultural shift is making the suit predictable and mundane, rather than powerful.

As a fashion blogger and naturally fashion-centric person, here are a few pointers for mastering the new interview dress code.

First Thing’s First: Examine the Industry

The “one size fits all” approach no longer applies. Take time to carefully research the company you are interviewing for. Look at the company’s social media accounts (if applicable) and find some photos of the everyday corporate culture. This will give you a good sense for what is appropriate in that atmosphere. An outfit for an interview in the fashion industry is going to look much different than one for corporate finance.

Choose Wisely

For the Guys: Keep it simple and polished. Stick to tailored pants, a button down, and a blazer. Make sure the outfit is sleek and presentable. A tie and full suit is no longer necessary, unless of course your research tells you otherwise.

For the Ladies: Opt for a sleek pencil skirt with a statement top or knit, a shift dress, or tailored pants with a professional top. If you’re interviewing for a job in the fashion industry, make sure to be on trend to show your knowledge of the industry.

Watch Your Shoes

Everyone notices shoes. Shoes are the final component of your killer interview outfit, and can either make or break the look. Make sure your shoes are professional, sharp, and in good condition. Avoid open toe shoes and sneakers, we aren’t quite there yet. And ladies, if you are not a pro at walking in heels, opt for a comfortable flat that suits your style. Walking awkwardly in heels can portray a lack of comfort and confidence.


Adding a personal touch to your look will give an interviewer something to remember you by. For the guys, an appropriate statement piece could be a watch or briefcase. For ladies, add your favorite piece of jewelry or bag that speaks to your personal style.

Take Hygiene Seriously

While this seems like common sense, it can often be forgotten. Maintain control over your look and be overly cautious prior to the interview. If you plan to drink a coffee on the way, make sure to have mints or gum handy. Also, be prepared for unexpected weather such as a windy or rainy day. Having an umbrella in your car and a comb handy can save you from an unforeseen disaster. Remember you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression, so be polished before walking into the room.

Make a Statement

Regardless of how casual interview attire has become, make sure to bring along your professional portfolio to make one last statement. This is a necessary component to show your level of dedication and professionalism.

Overall, dressing for an interview is all about balance. While casual dress is widely accepted, there is something to be said about dressing a step above. Use your physical appearance to enhance the drive and ambition you feel internally.


Born and raised in New York, Allison Smith is a professional Blogger. Since starting her blog in 2016, The Conscious Blondeshe has learned to create and develop original content across all social media platforms. She has had the opportunity to work with several brands to broaden their social media audiences.

Allison will be graduating from the University of Tampa in May, 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in International Business and Marketing. Visit her LinkedIn to learn more.