Fashion Guide: Interview outfits for women

Interview outfits for women

Last week we discussed the interview dress code for men (,3 fool-proof fashion tips for men). The article simplified an otherwise daunting process, to just 3 things to consider, which will allow you to remain fashion-forward, yet professional at your next job interview.

As promised, today we continue the discussion and follow up with the dress code for women. Given the various fashion options available to women, there’s a lot more to consider, and thus more pressure, when choosing your outfit. To simplify everything, we will start from the head and work our way to the feet.

Before we get into your outfit, it is important to keep in mind that with any outfit, you need to consider the company’s corporate culture that you will be interviewed at. A company’s corporate culture is an overall corporate belief system and what determines the prevailing behavior, both internal and external. So, if your company has a very structured, corporate company culture, then this would translate into a corporate formal dress code being expected from staff (and interviewees); whereas a more relaxed environment would call for business casual look.

Woman’s Head to toe fashion guide

  • Hair: Regardless of the hairstyle you opt for, it is very important that your hair is neat and professional.
  • Face: If makeup is part of your regiment and an extension of your outfit, then, by all means, go ahead and slap on some make-up but please do not overdo it.
  • Jewelry: As a rule, stick to conservative pieces that wouldn’t distract an interviewer when discussing your work experience.
  • Jacket Wearing
  • It is widely believed by women across all professional industries that wearing a blazer jacket gives you a feeling of authority. As soon as you wear a blazer jacket, you have more confidence and feel more competent and capable.
  • Not wearing a jacket doesn’t give this same impression.
  • Some women opt for the “soft” jacket (cardigan or knit) which is fine for some work-places, but again, it does not hold the authority of the tailored jacket.
  • Try wearing a simple top one day to work, and the next a tailored jacket and you will notice that people look at you differently and treat you differently.

Question: What has been your experience when wearing a blazer jacket to work? Do you feel that people view or treat you differently?

Blouse/ Top

Bright, bold, distracting patterns should be avoided. Add a splash of colour with a conservative neckpiece but don’t get too adventurous. Going for a plain blouse or one with a simple stripe is the safest option.

  • Must not be sheer or see-through
  • Do not make your choice of blouse or top an attention seeker for your chest area, so cover your cleavage!

Tops that display cleavage are a no-no!

Skirt or Pants

  • You can opt to wear either pants or a skirt, depending on your personal choice. The rule with a skirt is that the hemline should be no more than one biro length above the knee. You can’t go far wrong with black. Black is the new black after all. Navy, brown and, in the summer, a lighter plain colour are also perfectly fine.
  • Do not wear short skirts!

Knee-length skirts are best


Shoes can be the female equivalent of the tailored suit but don’t get too adventurous with your shoes.

  • Stick to a mid-length heel (Save the really high heels for going out or other non-work events.)
  • Closed-toe court shoe or solid corporate coloured peep toe

Your image isn’t just about how you see yourself, but how others see you too.

When in doubt for any of the above, choose serious rather than sexy.


Thank you for reading.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: ,@AfricaPRFowzi

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