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Understanding Your Summer Wear Choices
Figuring out what to wear to a job interview is hard enough, but when the temperatures rise into the 90's and your closet is full of casual summer wear, it’s even more challenging. With the current trend towards “business casual” dress, how do you know the difference between appropriate office wear and lightweight summer wear? Even with stifling heat and soul-crushing humidity, interviewers will still expect you to show up dressed to impress.
Looking good, no matter how hot
There’s a rule of thumb where interview clothes are concerned that says you shouldn’t dress like the job you want – you should dress like the job above the one you want. Even if the company with which you’re interviewing has a very casual dress code, dress in as professional manner as you can. You’re not an employee yet – you can be casual once you get the job! No matter how hot it is, you have to look professional. Go ahead and take your suit jacket off for the drive to the interview, but make sure you’re wearing it when you arrive – and keep it on.
Dress in comfortable summer wear, but stick to classic business styles. Unless the job you want is in a fashion-forward industry like entertainment, art or fashion, keeping your interview outift simple and tasteful. What you wear should be comfortable enough that you can relax and let your personality shine through, but it should still be tastefully appropriate to the office. And if you’re wearing a new outfit for the first time, make sure you remove the tags – you’d be surprised how many people show up to interviews with price tags poking out of their sleeves!
Choose a dark or neutral color suit, preferably blue, black or brown, in a fabric that doesn’t wrinkle. Despite its popularity as a summer wear fabric, avoid 100 percent linen – it wrinkles horribly, and tends to sag when the wearer gets sweaty and damp. Women should combine their suits with soft colored blouses, while men can wear light colored dress shirts and conservative ties with their suits. If you’re just out of college and don’t have a lot of money to spend on clothes, invest in one good, seasonless suit for interviews.
Don’t neglect hygiene
You don’t want to show up sweaty for your interview, so try dressing down in the car on the way over and keep the car’s air conditioning on high until you get there. But don’t let your concerns about body odor inspire you to go overboard with the fragrance – nothing’s worse than sitting in a small office with someone who reeks of perfume or aftershave.
No matter how hot it is, don’t make the mistake of dressing down for your interview – golf shirts and strapless sundresses are fine summer wear, but they’re not appropriate choices for a job interview. Dress for success despite the heat, and that job will be yours.