I’ve been volunteering a little with Dress for Success here in Pittsburgh, it’s a fantastic organization that empowers women to “achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life”. My role there is to help clients that have been referred to us to find a suitable outfit for their interview or new job, and share tips and advice on how to make the best first impression.

I love it, and I can’t say enough great things about Dress for Success. I’ve witnessed first-hand the transformations that DFS, and the generous clothing donations they receive, make to the lives of the women they help.  Not only do our clients leave with an outfit that will help them make the right first impression, they also leave with more confidence and that’s huge!

It’s been so rewarding sharing my knowledge with these women and it’s reinforced how important image is, not just to how we’re perceived by others but to how it makes us feel.  Pick the right outfit and you’ll be able to walk into your interview dressed for success and feeling confident.

I know that finding the right outfit can be a daunting prospect so I’ve compiled a list of tips that will ensure you present the best version of you.  

1//  Pick styles that flatter your shape and fit you properly. As my friend Jessa from Wavy Alabaster said in a recent post, “people notice poor fit before they notice good style”. There’s no point putting thought into the perfect outfit if it doesn’t fit you correctly. Here are some things to look out for:

  1. Check the length of the trousers – You don’t want them swinging uncomfortably above your shoes, neither do you want them dragging along the floor.
  2. Make sure the sleeve length is right. The wrong length can make a huge difference to the overall look of a jacket.
  3. Make sure the buttons aren’t pulling.
  4. Check the length of the jacket.  If it cuts you across your widest part, it’ll be unflattering and if it’s too long it’ll swamp you.

2//  Do your research – consider the industry and the environment and dress accordingly. 

3//  Avoid anything too eveningy such as sequins shinny fabrics and if you
wear sheer fabrics or lace then layer a camisole
underneath to hide your bra.

4//  If you’re wearing a loose top or blouse, tuck your tops in for a more polished look.

5//  Keep shoes to a sensible height.  You need to be thinking about the
interview, not about how to walk in your heels.  Oh and make sure
they’re polished!

6//   Re-stitch hems that have come un-stitched.

7//   Make sure you have clean hair and nails.

8//  It’s important to let your personality and style shine through your
outfit but be very careful not to overdo it.  You want them to remember you, not what you were wearing.  That said, interview attire doesn’t have to be boring.  these 5 outfits are totally interview worthy and are by no means dull!

9//  Lastly, if you have any doubts about an outfit don’t
wear it.  The last thing you want to do is to walk into an interview
worrying about what you’re wearing.

Do you have any tips for dressing for success?