What to Wear to a Job Interview in the Summer
Summer is prime job interview season. Interestingly enough, it is also prime "Why is it so hot on this subway platform I’m about to sweat through my top" season. Balancing a professional dress code and practical acknowledgement of the weather isn’t easy—but it’s essential if you want that call back.
When you’re up for a job in a traditional corporate setting, your go-to interview look is probably a suiting combo and a crisp blouse. But when temperatures are soaring north of 90 degrees (and the "real feel" is over 100), you may need to ditch the jacket in favor of a silk button-down shirt and knee-length skirt that retain the formality but allow for a little ventilation.
At a startup or creative company, interview attire can echo the vibe of the office. Don’t trade in your block-heel sandals for flip-flops just yet, but do try a pleated shirtdress or culottes and a sleeveless top. If you want to add an extra layer (and get bonus style points), try layering a longline vest over your shirt-and-pants combo.
As just about any article on dressing for interviews will tell you, it’s a good idea to wear one memorable item that will help you stand out from the pack. It might be a bag in an unexpected color (like forest green) or a pair of sleek statement earrings that frame your face. Want to subconsciously let your potential new boss know you’re punctual? Wear a watch. (We like the menswear look.) Ahead, we shopped out three interview-worthy looks that will have your future boss saying, “You’re hired,” before you even shake their hand. (Okay not really, but you know what we mean.)
For a Creative / Start-Up Interview
When the office dress code is no dress code, don't be afraid to have a little fun with your interview attire. Keep the feeling professional with a crisp blouse and black trousers, but look for not-so-basic silhouettes, like a non-girly ruffle or two and structured bag that can hold your portfolio. That "notice me" finishing touch? A pair of sculptural earrings that won't overwhelm your outfit.
Shop the look: Banana Republic pants, $88; bananarepublic.com. Rachel Comey blouse, $452; matchesfashion.com. Haerfest tote, $495; shopbop.com. Uribe earrings, $340; net-a-porter.com. Zara vest, $40 (originally $100); zara.com. Steve Madden sandals, $80; nordstrom.com.
For a Corporate Casual Interview
Want to lock your interview outfit down with a one-and-done piece? A shirtdress with a full pleated skirt strikes the ideal balance of summer weather-friendly and office-appropriate. Flats are okay for interviews in our book too, just make sure your accessories are reigned in: Think a men's watch and standout leather bag in an unexpected color.
Shop the look: Michael Michael Kors dress, $165; net-a-porter.com. Mansur Gavriel bag, $1350; mansurgavriel.com. Nixon watch, $200; barneys.com. Adriana Orsini earrings, $45; saksfifthavenue.com. Topshop flats, $45; topshop.com.
For an Executive-Level Interview
The more formal your interview setting is, the more difficult it might be to stray from the traditional suiting look in the humid summer months. However, by substituting a jacket and trousers for a knee-length skirt (with a bit of character) and a silk shirt, you'll maintain the professional feel without all that layering. As a finishing touch, pointy-toe slingbacks make a "You should definitely hire me" statement.
Shop the look: Equipment shirt, $240; net-a-porter.com. Tibi skirt, $325; tibi.com. Jennifer Fisher necklace, $255; jenniferfisherjewelry.com. Zara bag, $70; zara.com. Manolo Blahnik slingbacks, $645; neimanmarcus.com.