The Job Interview: 4 Stylish Ways to Dress to Impress for Any Situation

Trunk Club + Skift

Sep 03, 2013 9:27 am


This post comes from our partner Trunk Club.

Like the old adage says: “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” So you better make it a good one.  And why does style matter? What you wear can sometimes be the most obvious tell to a prospective employer that you are the right fit for the company’s culture. In keeping with that theme we’ve selected four non-traditional work environments to show that even when a suit is not requires, it’s still a good idea to dress to impress for the job interview.

1. The Startup – Known for their lack of dress code, but hold off on the shorts and sneakers until you are formally welcomed aboard. Unlined blazers get the nod because they are casual yet stylish. On the functional side, the pared-down construction will keep you cool, while also allowing for a full range of motion.  And frequent travelers love these things, so if you are getting flown in for an interview in a startup hotbed like Silicon Valley or River North, Chicago your choice of blazer is an easy one.

BONUS: Wrinkles only enhance the look. Wearing tis blazer rumpled, never pressed, and you’ll fit right into the start-ups laid-back atmosphere while still looking sharp for your interview.

2.  Creative Agency – Successful creative types are often generalist that now a little about everything and a lot about nothing. With that in mind here is a little style trivia: Garment dyed blazers are cut sewn and finished prior to being dyed – exactly opposite to how it usually works. This also requires manufacturers to accurately gauge how much each garment will shrink during the dyeing process. Overall its a painstaking method that pays off with the distinctive coloration and precise fit of each individual item.

3. Hospitality Management – When we searched online for “top job interview don’ts,” the top result was a list (albeit on aimed at university students about to graduate). It begins with this advice: “Dress appropriately for the industry; err on the side of being conservative to show you take the interview seriously.” From our perspective dressing appropriately for a position in hospitality management would entail doing the exact opposite, namely, putting your personality front-and-center with a statement blazer. After all, hospitality is a personality-driven industry and a good host isn’t afraid to put himself out there and start a conversation, which this blazer will most certainly accomplish.

With that said, the aforementioned list does contain some solid guidance, including, “Don’t take your parents, your pet, spouse, fiancé, friends or enemies to an interview.” No argument from us there.

4. Boutique Hedge Fund - “Buy a decent suit.” Generally speaking, we agree with this exhortation from Gordon Gekko to young Bud Fox in “Wall Street.” In fact, you should have at least two decent suits in modest, decidedly un-Gekko shades of navy and gray. But if you’re applying to a boutique hedge fund, you can leave the pinstriped suits to the guys on the Street. A blazer of substantial weight (generally, the heavier the fabric, the more formal the jacket) will tick all the boxes for professionalism when worn over a crisp shirt and tie.

So, although this blazer makes for an unconventional look, wearing it to interview at a boutique firm is hardly throwing darts at a board, as Gordon might say, “It’s a sure thing.”

This content is created collaboratively in partnership with our sponsor, Trunk Club.

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