It’s that time of the year again – COVID-19 or not – when almost everyone you know is frantically applying for internships, in hopes of using the summer vacation to improve their future career prospects, or perhaps simply to explore and experience working life. Whether it is the former or the latter, one thing is clear: dressing to impress is a surefire way to score you brownie points from the get-go.
Your choice of attire demonstrates basic grooming skills, and attention to detail. Sometimes, having a well-groomed appearance simply boosts self-confidence. That is always helpful in an interview, where you are likely already slightly nervous.
Here are some curated interview outfit pieces to get you started on your way to success. For this article, we only looked at business casual styles – feel free to change it up depending on your workplace culture!
For ladies, a business casual style could be unchartered territory, especially if you have never had an office or corporate position before. To start with, a basic pant will be very useful in forming the foundation of your outfits. This is because it’s easier to mix and match colourful tops than it is to work with ‘fun’ bottoms. So, pick a pair of smart trousers or culottes in a classic colour that is easy on the eye. Think muted turquoise as in Item 1, or a cream like Item 5 that will pair with everything. If it is not too obvious, going for a pair with elasticated waist is definitely useful for the office lunch hour too.
High-rise or high-waisted pants that taper down will help you achieve the illusion of longer, slimmer legs as well.
With a pair of bottoms that anchor the foundation of your outfit, you can now move on to tops. To keep it safe, fix your eye on blouses like Item 4, where colours like white cannot really go wrong, and shows a smidge of skin without being revealing, thanks to the elegant V-neckline (not plunging) and sleeveless cut (avoid too-large armholes).
Blouses with more interesting details can add a dash of personal flair to your look, like Item 3, which features a bowtie at the side. Details like this can also visually cinch your waist, giving you a more shapely silhouette.
Lastly, for the fashion savvy, top everything off with a smart blazer. Item 2 lies more on the daring end, but a simpler black or grey blazer can add that official tone to your outfit and up your ‘serious, young undergraduate’ vibe.
For men’s outfits, we’re restricted to just shirts and pants, but that does not mean you cannot look good! Start with the basics – a long sleeved button down shirt in a colour that cannot fail and flatters your skin tone. White is certainly a safe choice, as in Item 1, but Item 5 may also be suitable, for a different hue and if you are applying to a more casual company. The most important detail lies in the pointed collar, which elevates the top to corporate-level.
Slim fit trouser pants in a dark navy (Item 2) will go together well with your chosen business shirt, and remember to pick a pair with pockets so that you can store your wallet, card and keys with more ease.
Ties are a nice way to add a pop of colour into your outfit, helping you to breathe life to the overall look. Item 3’s pattern is the perfect mix of smart casual, but floral designs can be considered if you are more adventurous in your fashion style, and block colours are always an option for those who’d rather stick to the (clothing) path well-travelled.
Armed with the knowledge of what looks good on your body for the right price, you will breeze through the next outfit shopping spree. Check out our useful links below:
Good luck with job and internship hunting!