interview outfit

Here we go — flinging open the closet door to pick out the outfit. I mean, the outfit. The outfit that gives insight to a potential employer, insight to knowing who you are.

Are you meticulous? How about creative? Innovative? Passionate? Perfect for this position? The list of possible impressions goes on and on, and so do your thoughts of all the ways your favorite shirt can be interpreted, and misinterpreted, and interpreted again.

These thoughts are justified, as Mike Bell from Tilson, a human resource solutions company, stresses “the way the person being interviewed presents him or herself is vital to making a great first impression … You only get one chance to make a first impression.”

So, here’s the low-down on the best and worst colors to wear to an interview and what they say about you according to color expert Judith van Vliet, a designer at Clariant ColorWorks and VP of Public Relations for Color Marketing Group:


Safe, dependable, but maybe a little bit boring. Wearing brown says you’ll meet expectations, but also blend in with the woodwork. Although looking approachable is necessary, wearing brown also brings the potential for getting overlooked.


Passionate, but possibly aggressive. Red, although a historically romantic color, also is used in literature to symbolize betrayal and war. Think Christ’s betrayal and Les Miserables, yikes! Wear red with caution, or in small accent pieces.


Clean and organized. A pressed white shirt can display your attention to detail and skill for presentation because, let’s be honest, it is difficult to rock a white shirt. So, if you can own it, work it!

What Your Interview Outfit Says About You | DARLING


Dependable and innovative. Fashion leaders like Michael Kors, Vera Wang and Karl Lagerfeld have displayed these characteristics and have become famous for their classic black wardrobes. Black is a typical interview color for good reason!


Confidence and security. Blue hues, especially navy, are known to project confidence in the wearer. Blue, a classic interview wardrobe color, is a safe and timeless choice for any industry.

However, you aren’t limited to wearing one color only. Van Vliet suggests using: “color in small details with black and white to show your personality, but without scaring people off.” In other words, take the classic interview looks and put your own creative twist based on what you want your colors to whisper about you, instead of scream.

So now, when you’re standing in front of your closet on the big interview day, trying not to hyperventilate, breathe a little easier knowing you have one less thing to worry about!

Image via Andrew Kung

1 comment

  1. What is not mentioned is using intelligence in choosing an outfit, something I learned the hard way when the interviewers exec asst rudely showed her contempt for my choice of a favorite jeans dress; great interview but not in the cards when dressing unprofessionally.

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