How to Dress Business Casual to Interviews (for Women)

I don’t claim to be an expert and in most cases in the past, I have avoided this topic for that reason. In general, I trust most women to dress appropriately. Men are the bigger issue about how to dress. However, in conversation with a few women I trust who encouraged me to offer a simple framework as guidance for younger women, I decided to speak with a few that I know and offer some advice. 


Tops that are simple and professional.

Wear a top that is both comfortable and traditional. A button-down shirt with a cardigan, a simple plain blouse with a casual jacket, a navy blue blazer, or a knit sweater are all great options. Choose basic designs and neutral colors. Slouchy or bulky sweaters, ill-fitting clothing, plunging necklines, and avoid wrinkle-prone fabric. Wearing a casual dress with a cardigan and a simple belt is also an option.

Dress pants or a skirt are also acceptable choices.

Wear your top with ironed black or navy slacks or a pencil skirt (knee-length or longer). If you’re wearing a button-down shirt, tuck it into your trousers or skirt for a more professional appearance. Khaki or cotton pants are also appropriate as long as they look professional.


Closed-toe shoes that are comfortable

Wear black or brown closed-toe flats, pumps, or low heels to an interview. Do not wear strapped sandals, flip-flops, sky-high stilettos, sneakers, or brightly colored shoes, and make sure they’re not scuffed, scratched, or dirty.


Accessorize with simple pieces.

Keep your jewelry choices professional and easy. Bracelets, necklaces, and earrings that are chunky, big, or distracting should be avoided. Instead, go for plain hoop or stud earrings, a delicate necklace, and one or two non-jangling bracelets. If you wear nail polish, make sure it’s not chipped and that it’s a traditional, subdued color.



JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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