Formal or Casual? A Quick Guide to Job Interview Attire for Women and Men

Posted on Friday, November 16, 2018 by The Interview GuruNo comments

Dressing appropriately for a job interview isn’t something to take lightly when looking for a job in London! We live in a fashion-forward city, so as well as looking professional, you might also want to look forward-thinking to make a great first impression on interview day. As a top London PA and office support recruitment agency, we’ll help you choose the right interview outfit.

Formal or casual?

The first thing you need to consider is whether the interview is formal or casual. Often, researching the company can give you insights into this, for example, a new start-up with no office dress code might be happy with casual interview clothing, while a corporate business in the City will expect the works. If you can’t tell from their website, then do not try to guess! Give your interview contact or recruitment consultant a call and they should be happy to fill you in on the expected interview attire.

Women’s formal interview

If you’re asked to wear business or professional attire at a job interview, this means smart and simple. Either a clean, neat blouse with smart trousers and shoes, or a smart dress. It’s impossible to you’re your interviewers’ preferences, so avoid patterns and very bold colours. White, black, grey, and blue are professional, while red, purple, or green can be off-putting. If you want to stand out, add complementary jewellery. If it’s chilly or you want to look particularly professional, add a blazer.

Women’s casual interview

‘Casual’ interviews open up more fashion options, but this doesn’t mean the same kind of casual as you might wear at home. The key is to still look smart, but also look fashionable and feel more comfortable. You can include bolder patterns and colours to express a bit more personality. You might want to switch your blouse for a nice (though still professional) top or jumper, or switch the formal dress for a skirt. Don’t be tempted to wear jeans though unless the interviewer says jeans are acceptable, and even then, ensure they’re smart.

Men’s formal interview

Formal or business interview attire for men means a suit, an unfussy shirt, and a tie. No questions asked. Blues and greys work best here, with black shoes. If you choose a suit off the rack, make sure it suits your body type and fits properly. If you can, invest in a quality suit and get it tailored to fit you. Making the effort with your suit shows potential employers that you’re professional and go the extra mile.

Men’s casual interview

Casual attire means you can express a little individuality, but still think smart. You might switch the dress trousers for chinos and wear a jumper over your shirt. Researching the business should indicate the type of fashion ethos they go for. If it’s a quirky workplace, you might go for a tweed blazer or brown brogues. If it’s a cool office, you might ditch the tie, pick a funky tie, or go for a patterned shirt.

Speak to the experts

What you wear to an interview is important, because it helps form an impression of what you’re like, so ask someone who knows what’s expected of candidates before you make a fashion faux pas. If you’d like help bagging your next interview, speak to our team of recruitment experts today, and we can help you find temporary and permanent jobs in London.


Love Success is a leading PA and secretarial recruitment agency in London.
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