A job seeker asks about what to wear to an interview:

I currently work in a very casual dress workplace (think jeans and a t-shirt). I’m about to interview for a more traditional ‘corporate’ workplace and not sure what to wear. What would you consider appropriate business interview attire for a woman? Should I wear a suit? Does it really matter?

Presentation plays a big part in making a positive first impression so it definitely matters. It should be noted that not all workplaces require you to wear a suit to the interview, it’s ok to ask your contact what the standard is and to dress accordingly. But when in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of conservatism.

So, what does this look like? Below are some basic guidelines for women and men –

Suggested female interview attire:

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate closed toe shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse make-up & perfume
  • Manicured nails with nude or natural polish
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Suggested male interview attire:

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White or light coloured long sleeve collared shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks, professional, polished shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave

Remember, these are basic guidelines for interview attire only. Once you start working, you’ll get a feel for the company’s dress norms and can adjust your workwear accordingly.