What Should a Woman Wear to an Interview If She Does Not Have a Suit?

by E.M. Rawes; Updated September 26, 2017
Businesswomen in meeting

A business suit is the safest and most proper attire for a job interview, but you don't have one and you must go with a suitable alternative. You must choose carefully as your clothing is a part of your first impression, and first impressions are lasting impressions.

Dress

You can wear a dress to your interview as long as it is a business-appropriate dress. Choose a dress that is knee-length or not more than two inches above your knee. Your dress should have short sleeves or 3/4-length sleeves and should be well-tailored. According to the Virginia Tech University Division of Student Affairs, navy blue, dark gray, brown and black are acceptable colors. Wear closed-toed flats or closed-toed high-heeled shoes that are the same color as your dress. Your heels should be no higher than three inches. Also wear pantyhose that are flesh-toned.

Skirt and Blouse

You can wear a navy blue, dark gray, black or brown knee-length skirt with a blouse. Your skirt can go two inches above your knee, but no higher. You must also wear pantyhose that are flesh-toned. Tuck in a button-up, well-tailored blouse, preferably one that is collared and made of a silk blend. The best colors for your blouse are white or light gray. You can wear closed-toed high heels or flats that are the same color as your skirt. Your heels should be no higher than three inches. Wrap a scarf around your neck that is made of a silk blend for an added touch to your outfit.

Pants and Blouse

If the dress option or the skirt and blouse option do not appeal to you, you can also wear slacks and a blouse. Black is the best color for slacks, but if you do not have black, you can wear dark gray, dark brown or navy blue. Your slacks should be tailored and may be straight-legged or flare-legged. They must be pressed and they cannot look worn or faded. Your blouse should be white or a light color, button-up and collared. It should have a tailor fit and it should preferably be short-sleeved. Wear closed-toed, high-heeled shoes with your pants outfit that are no higher than three inches.

Pants or Skirt and Sweater

You can wear the same type of slacks or skirt mentioned previously with an appropriate cardigan sweater. The cardigan should not be bulky, loose-fitting or low-cut. It should be waist-length and may be button-up. The cardigan should also be a solid color, such as black, brown, navy blue, light gray or dark gray. Do not wear a cardigan that has a pattern or a design. If you wear pants, wear high heels; if you wear a skirt, wear high heels or flats.

Accessories

Wear light makeup and have your nails clean and groomed. If you wear jewelry, stay on the conservative side -- do not wear anything flashy. Wear only mild fragrances, if any, advises the Virginia Tech University Division of Student Affairs.

About the Author

E.M. Rawes is a professional writer specializing in business, finance, mathematical and social sciences topics. She completed her studies at the University of Maryland, where she earned her Bachelor of Science. During her time working in workforce management and as a financial analyst, she reinforced her business and financial know-how.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images