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Sweater dresses are comfortable and adorable; they're one of those perfect articles of clothing that make you look cute without even trying. Boots are trendy and fun, adding instant cool to any outfit. While this makes them ideal for a casual date or day out with friends, it does not make them the right choice for a job interview. To look polished and professional, hit the suit department for your interview outfit and save the sweater dress and boots for Casual Fridays.
According to "Forbes," the best outfit for an interview is a formal one. A formal interview outfit means a suit (either skirt or pants) or a skirt paired with a formal, fitted blazer. The suit should be a neutral color, such as gray, navy, black or brown and should be paired with toned-down accessories. The best shoes to wear with your formal outfit are heels, which are businesslike and professional. A suit-and-heels outfit shows your interviewer you are taking this job interview seriously and you want to be hired.
Casual Workplace Etiquette
You might think that if you're aiming for a job in a casual environment, you can dress the casual part for your interview. Not so fast, says the Career Services Office at Virginia Tech University. "Forbes" agrees: When it comes to the interview, you suit up. After you're hired, feel free to tone it down to match the attire of the other employees. This means that if you're interviewing for a preschool teacher position, where everyone wears jeans and a sweater, or a dance instructor position, where you'll be in a leotard, you should still dress formally for your interview. For positions like these, a skirt and a blazer is more appropriate than a matching suit.
Benefits of Formal Dress
Don't think you're wasting your money on a formal outfit that you're only going to wear once, especially if your work environment is casual. "Forbes" explains that employers form their impression of you from your outfit, and if they sense that it is a high-quality, expensive piece, they might offer you a higher starting salary. Employers will assume that since you are well-off, you won't accept a lower salary and will therefore offer more right from the get-go. Not a bad perk.
Splurge on the Accessories
If you're still worried about spending so much on a new outfit, go easy on the cost of the suit and spend your money on an expensive bag or pair of shoes. A quality handbag that you love can last for years to come, as can a pair of nice shoes, and these are two practical pieces that can be used over and over. Your interviewer will take note of the designer bag or shoes and automatically assume that your suit was costly as well. As long as it is pressed, neat and clean, your outfit itself does not have to be expensive.