First job interview? Do dress the part It's always wise to think conservative if you have doubts about correctness

July 17, 1991|By Jean Patteson | Jean Patteson,Orlando Sentinel

When you select your interview outfit, think classic styling and quality materials, advised Lisa Maile, a Winter Park, Fla., image consultant. Look your best, because that is what the interviewer will assume you're trying to do. Here are her tips for dressing for success when job hunting:

For women

* SUIT: The top choice for an interview outfit is a suit, although solid-color blazer and tailored skirt or a smart coat dress is acceptable. Colors should be traditional "power" shades grey, navy, black, burgundy. Skirts should be to the knee or a little longer so they don't ride up when you're sitting down.

* BLOUSE: White always looks right. Low necklines are a no-no.

* SHOES: Wear a dark, heeled pump no sandals, no flats, no jazzy colors.

* HOSIERY: Always wear stockings, no matter how hot the weather. Flesh-colored is best.

* JEWELRY: Limit accessories to one or two simple, classic pieces a watch, a pearl necklace, gold button earrings. Avoid anything glitzy, dangly or jingly.

* PURSE OR BRIEFCASE (but not both): A simple, neat style is best. If you can't afford a new purse, polish your old one.

* GROOMING: Hair and nails should be clean, neat and natural-looking. A little makeup (foundation, lipstick, mascara) will give you a polished, professional look but don't overdo it.

For men

* SUIT: A navy or gray suit in a solid or pin stripe is the top choice, with a dark blazer and gray slacks a distant second.

* SHIRT: White is always right. Long sleeves are a must.

* TIE: A traditional stripe or medallion pattern, a "power" color like red or navy and a 3 1/2 -inch width are best for a conservative look. A slightly wider tie in a colorful print will appear more fashionable.

* SHOES: Black lace-ups are best; simple loafers are an option. Make sure shoes are shined and heels in good repair.

* SOCKS: Long, dark socks are a must. The sockless look is for Don Johnson and weekends. The colors should complement your tie.

* BELT: Do wear one. And do coordinate it with your shoes.

* JEWELRY: A classic watch is all you need. Skip the flashy cuff links or tie pin, the earring(s) or heaven forbid gold chains.

* BRIEFCASE: Choose a classic style and put everything in it your wallet, your car keys and the loose change you might be tempted to jingle, nervously, in your pockets.

* GROOMING: Hair and nails should be clean, short and neat. Forget the dreadlocks, ponytails, shaved designs or other trendy styles unless you're interviewing for a rock band.

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