Is it OK to Wear a White Blazer to a Job Interview?

A white blazer can help you stand out at a job interview, but consider the big picture.

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

White blazers are a fun fashion staple. They are professional and soft at the same time. Since the 1980s -- when Melanie Griffith wore a white blazer as the quintessential career attire in "Working Girl," and career-focused Rebecca Howe sported one in "Cheers" -- white blazers have been an essential part of the business woman's wardrobe. While you'll probably opt to skip the shoulder pads, wearing a white blazer to a job interview can be a vital part of your dress-for-success strategy.

Potential Conflicts

There's an outdated, unspoken rule shared by many old-school fashionistas that you should not wear white after Labor Day. If you are going to interview at a long-standing fashion house or are concerned that adherence to fashion traditions may be treasured by your interviewer, you may skip the white blazer to be on the safe side. In regions where it's sunny in every season, such as Southern California and Florida, white is usually OK year-round. In industries where tradition still rules -- such as law and banking -- go with a black or navy blazer to ensure you're taken seriously.

Coordinating Coolness

Now, while a white blazer is a great look on women of any height and size, nobody will be particularly flattered by an all-white pantsuit, unless you're John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever." Never go for "all white" in a job interview. Wear pastels, color-rich patterns, or dark solid colors with your white blazer. The contrast will be flattering, and help your white blazer to stand out as well.

Casual Chic

When an interviewer requests that you wear casual attire, a white blazer can work. Try pairing it with a button-down blouse the same length as your blazer. If it's spring or summer, you could pair the blazer with a cute summer dress or a flowing hippie dress. Err on the side of being a bit overdressed, rather than being too casual.

Proper Presentation

When you decide to go with a white blazer for a job interview, take extra time to make sure your outfit is pressed and stain-free. While a few wrinkles probably wouldn't stand out in a dark dress or jacket, a white blazer is unforgiving. It's your only chance at a first impression, so put your best face fashion forward.

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