What To Wear To A Job Interview: The Ultimate Guide [2024]

June 26, 2024 0 Comments

So, you’ve landed the interview – congrats! 

But now comes the age-old dilemma- what on earth do you wear? 

In 2024, the interview wardrobe isn’t just about looking sharp, it’s about blending professionalism with a touch of personal style, all while staying on-trend. 

Gone are the days when a standard suit was your only option. 

Whether you’re interviewing at a tech startup with a relaxed dress code or a corporate giant that demands a polished look, we’ve got you covered. This ultimate guide will walk you through the dos and don’ts of interview attire, helping you navigate the fine line between making a statement and staying appropriately professional. 

So, let’s dive in and ensure you dress for success – and get that job!

Understanding the Company Culture

Before deciding what to wear, research the company’s dress code. A tech startup might appreciate smart casual, while a law firm expects business formal.

How to do it effectively? Look at the company’s website, social media, and employee photos to gauge typical attire.

Quick Tip: Don’t hesitate to ask your recruiter or contact person for dress code advice if you’re unsure. It shows your attention to detail and desire to fit in.

Key Dress Codes Explained

Business Formal

It is ideal for corporate roles, law firms, or high-stakes interviews. Think dark suits, white or light-colored shirts, and polished shoes. Accessories should be minimal and professional.

Example: Navy suit, white shirt, dark tie for men; black skirt suit, white blouse, closed-toe pumps for women.

Business Casual

A step down from formal, suitable for many office environments. Opt for blazers, dress slacks, button-downs, and dress shoes. For women, tailored dresses or skirts are appropriate.

Example: Blazer, dress pants, and loafers for men; blouse, pencil skirt, and flats for women.

Smart Casual

Perfect for creative industries or startups. Combine professional pieces with more relaxed items. Blazers with dark jeans or a smart dress with stylish flats work well.

Example: Blazer, dark jeans, and dress shoes for men; smart dress and ankle boots for women.


It is rarely recommended for interviews unless explicitly stated. Even then, opt for neat, presentable clothes. Think of a polished version of your regular casual wear.

Example: Neat jeans, a clean polo shirt, and casual shoes for men; casual dress or tailored jeans and a blouse for women.

The Essentials for Every Wardrobe

Building a versatile and timeless wardrobe is essential for navigating the varied demands of professional life. Certain wardrobe staples transcend trends and seasons, forming the backbone of polished and adaptable attire. 

Whether you’re preparing for a job interview, a client meeting, or simply aiming for everyday sophistication, mastering these wardrobe basics ensures you’re always ready to make a lasting impression. 

Let’s delve into the indispensable elements that every wardrobe should encompass to elevate your personal style and professional presence.

The Perfect Fit- Tailored Pieces Make a Statement! 

Clothes should fit well—neither too tight nor too loose. Tailored pieces often make the best impression. Tan France, a fashion expert, emphasizes, “Fit is everything. It’s the difference between looking smart and looking unkempt.[1]

Neutral Colors- Classic Colors Convey Professionalism!

Stick to a palette of blacks, whites, blues, and grays for a professional look. Accent colors can be used sparingly. Stacy London, a fashion consultant, says, “Neutrals are the building blocks of a professional wardrobe. They exude authority and reliability.” [2]

According to Psychology Today, Blue is perceived as the most trustworthy color in professional settings, with 62% of respondents associating it with dependability. [3]

Example: A navy suit paired with a light blue shirt and a gray tie creates a sophisticated look suitable for most interviews. For women, a black sheath dress with a beige cardigan is timeless and professional.

Quality Fabrics- Invest in High-Quality Materials

Choosing fabrics like wool, cotton, and blends look polished and feel comfortable. High-quality fabrics are durable, resist wrinkles, and maintain their shape, presenting a neat appearance.

Last but not least-Comfort

Stylist Rachel Zoe advises, “Comfort is essential because it translates to confidence. When you feel good in your clothes, it shows.[4]

Accessories and Grooming

Minimalist Accessories. Keep accessories subtle. A classic watch, simple jewelry, or a leather belt adds a professional touch without being distracting.

Grooming Matters. Ensure neat hair, trimmed nails, and a fresh, clean appearance. For makeup, aim for a natural look.

Dos and Don’ts of Interview Wear


  • Research the Company’s Dress Code. Review the company’s website and social media to gauge the typical attire.
  • Stick to Neutral Colors. Wear black, navy, gray, or white. Use subtle accent colors if appropriate.
  • Opt for Professional Shoes. Choose closed-toe, polished shoes like loafers, Oxfords, or classic pumps.
  • Keep Accessories Minimal and Elegant. Use a simple watch, understated jewelry, or a classic belt to complement your outfit.
  • Wear Clean and Pressed Clothing. Make sure your outfit is freshly laundered and ironed, free of wrinkles and stains.
  • Choose Well-Fitted Clothes. Opt for tailored pants or skirts and fitted shirts or blouses to ensure a polished look.


  • Don’t Wear Casual or Inappropriate Clothing. Avoid jeans, t-shirts, shorts, or overly casual attire unless explicitly advised by the company.
  • Don’t Wear Distracting Makeup or Nail Polish. Use neutral tones for makeup and nails to maintain a professional appearance.
  • Don’t Overlook the Importance of Socks/Stockings. Wear appropriate socks or stockings that complement your outfit.
  • Don’t Wear Excessive or Flashy Accessories. Skip large jewelry, multiple bracelets, or flashy belts that draw too much attention.
  • Don’t Ignore Personal Hygiene. Don’t neglect basics like showering, using deodorant, and ensuring fresh breath.
  • Don’t Forget to Check Your Outfit for Flaws. Inspect for missing buttons, loose threads, or lint. Use a lint roller if needed.


How should I dress for a virtual interview?

Dress as you would for an in-person interview from the waist up. Ensure your background is professional, and avoid patterns that might distract on camera.

Is it okay to wear perfume or cologne?  

Use scents sparingly. Opt for a light fragrance or none at all, as strong scents can be off-putting.

Can I wear open-toed shoes?  

Generally, it’s safer to stick with closed-toe shoes for a professional look, unless the company culture allows for casual footwear.

Should I wear a tie for a business casual interview?  

A tie isn’t necessary for business casual but can be a good choice if you want to lean towards the formal side. Consider the company culture.

What if I don’t have formal wear?

Opt for the most professional items you have and focus on neatness and grooming. Borrow or buy affordable pieces if possible.

Can I wear casual attire to a startup interview?

Casual attire can be acceptable for startups, but it’s best to dress a notch above their daily wear to show respect and interest.

Should I wear a blazer if unsure about the dress code?  

A blazer is a safe choice that can be dressed up or down, making it a versatile piece for uncertain dress codes.


Dressing for a job interview in 2024 is about balancing professionalism with personal style and staying attuned to industry trends. By understanding dress codes, selecting the right pieces, and paying attention to grooming and accessories, you can confidently step into any interview ready to make a lasting impression. 

Remember, the right outfit not only complements your qualifications but also boosts your confidence – a winning combination for landing that dream job!


  1. NPR. ‘Queer Eye’ Fashion Expert Tan France 
  2. Washingtonian. An Interview With Stacy London of “What Not to Wear”
  3. Psychology Today. Color perception
  4. Business Standard. Rachel Zoe: Confidence more important than clothes