Selecting a proper job interview outfit requires walking a tricky line. You must consider the industry as a whole, the culture of the specific business and also what looks most flattering on you. Ultimately, you want your interviewer to remember you, your qualifications and your personality -- not your interview outfit. Depending on the circumstances of your interview, the right print blouse can add style and texture to your look.
Use Prints Sparingly
It doesn't matter whether you're interviewing at a law firm or a jewelry boutique, wearing more than one article of clothing with a print pattern is a sartorial no-no. And, unless it's a subtle pinstripe, never, ever wear pants with a print pattern. In a job interview situation, err on the conservative side when selecting the style of print -- a polka dot blouse in a muted shade or a classic geometric pattern in harmonizing colors is acceptable. Bold splashes of color evocative of a Hawaiian luau almost never are.
Conservative Vs. Creative
When selecting an interview outfit, know your audience. If you're seeking a job at a bank, law firm, or in a corporate environment, dress conservatively in a suit. If you're wearing a skirt, make sure that it hits below the knee. Print blouses can be acceptable even at a formal interview -- just make sure the print is subtle. In a more creative environment like an advertising agency, you have more leeway -- in fact, a bold, but tasteful print blouse can make a statement.
Study The Culture
When selecting an interview outfit, a little research is beneficial. If you have friends or acquaintances who work there, ask what style of dress is appropriate. Or you can do a little in-person reconnaissance -- stroll by the business on your lunch break and observe. Keep in mind that your interview outfit will be more formal than what most workers are wearing day-to-day. Also remember that if you're observing on a Friday, you may see a more casual version of the dress code.
Whether you chose a print or solid blouse, don't put your outfit on for the first time on interview day. Try on your outfit, including accessories, shoes and hosiery several days in advance. The time to notice that your bracelet makes a clanging sound is not during the interview. Practice sitting down in your outfit to make sure you're comfortable. Ask a friend for her opinion. Take a photo of yourself and make sure any print article of clothing complements, rather than takes away from, the rest of your outfit.
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