If you’re like me, you have your go-to outfit on standby for interviews, networking events, and any occasion where you’re required to dress like the professional young adult that you are. But what if you decide to take a risk and try to break into the fashion industry, where you’ll be assessed by the most style savvy of future bosses? This situation calls for a different kind of interview outfit – one that is highly fashionable, unique, professional, and still manages to let your personality shine through.
Here are some tips for what to wear to an interview in the fashion industry:
Wear something that makes you feel comfortable. Explains Jessica Way, the director of human resources at Derek Lam, “Your outfit should be thoughtful, neat, reflect your personal style and it should tell me that you have an elevated taste level irrespective of what label you are wearing,” noting the importance of both an interviewee’s comfort level, as well as their attention to detail and cleanliness. Being comfortable also means not trying too hard, something that skilled interviewers will be able to see right through.
Try to reflect the aesthetic of the company…without going overboard. If you’re interviewing for a position at a certain label, you should be mindful of the brand’s aesthetic and dress accordingly. This doesn’t mean that you have to be wearing their clothes from head to toe, but interviewing in clothes that reflect your knowledge of the company will definitely give you an advantage. Says Way, “Your outfit tells me two critical things right off the bat: how well you understand our brand, and how important the interview is to you,” stressing the importance of “dressing to impress” in a way that showcases your knowledge and desire to be the best candidate for the job.
Wearing black is a classic fallback, and heels are not necessary. Remember, the foundation of your perfect interview outfit stems from the importance of feeling comfortable. If you normally prefer flats, don’t force yourself to fit into what you think the ideal fashion industry candidate is supposed to look like. Be yourself! Also, as Way advises, “If you are at a loss for what to wear to an interview, remember: JWB (Just Wear Black).” That’s pretty sound advice from a fashion industry veteran.
Don’t overdo it. If you rock a more eclectic, bold style, by all means, be true to yourself and wear what makes you feel the most powerful and confident. However, if you aren’t quite so confident in your personal style yet, just consider that keeping things like hair accessories and jewelry to a minimum is ideal for any interview, especially one in fashion. The most important thing to keep in mind with this tip is that you would never want your attire to distract the interviewer from the person they are interviewing. If your shirt is too wrinkled, your heels too high, or your accessories too over-the-top, chances are it’s your outfit that will be what gets remembered, and not you.
What are some of your fashion industry interview staples or tips?