What color blouse to wear to an interview
The color of your blouse is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters.
When you’re going to a job interview, you want to make sure that you’re dressed appropriately and that you look professional. But beyond that, there are a few other things to keep in mind when choosing what kind of blouse to wear:
1) Choose a color that complements your skin tone. If you have fair skin, for example, it would be best to avoid pastels and go for something bolder like reds or oranges instead. On the other hand, if you have darker skin tones then pastels should be fine as long as they aren’t too bright (think light pink).
2) Make sure the blouse fits well! A baggy shirt will make you look sloppy or unprofessional—and nobody wants that! If it doesn’t fit quite right but looks okay otherwise then try tucking it into your pants so no one can see how much space there is between waistband and shirt.
3) Go with solid colors rather than patterns unless your interviewer specifically asks for them (which could happen if they want a more casual environment). Solid-colored shirts tend to make people look more refined.
In today’s job market, in which companies might interview dozens of people for one position, first impressions are more important than ever.
Interviewees must pay attention to everything from what they wear and how they are groomed to their body language.
One important, and often overlooked, aspect of an interviewee’s first impression is color. The color of your clothing sends a subconscious message to the interviewer about your personality.
Wearing the Right Colors
The right colors can help convey your confidence, professionalism and your ability to fit into an organization’s environment. Below are a few tips for choosing the right colors for your interview attire.
Choose Solids Over Patterns
An important rule of thumb is to try not to be remembered for your attire; you want to wear something that allows the interviewer to focus on your skills and qualifications rather than your wacky style. Wearing solid colors helps ensure that your clothes will not distract.
Solid navy, dark gray, and black suits and dresses in particular look professional without being distracting. Small patterns, like thin pinstripes, are okay as well; the rule of thumb is to select a pattern that is small enough that it looks like a solid from across a room.
Choose Neutrals Over Brights
Again, you do not want to be remembered for your attire; if you wear a very brightly colored suit or dress, you will almost certainly be remembered for your outfit (rather than your job qualifications). Neutral colors – navy, gray, black, and brown – are the best colors for a job interview. White is also an excellent color for a blouse or button-down shirt.
You can certainly add a pop of color to a neutral interview outfit. Pale colors are a great way to add color without appearing too authoritative, and are great for people-friendly jobs such as service positions.
For example, a pale blue blouse under a woman’s dark gray suit can subtly soften a look. A splash of bright, bold color (such as a red scarf or tie) conveys authority, and can be great for managerial positions. However, limit the number of brightly colored items to one, and make sure it is not the dominant color of your outfit. No bright orange suits!
Know the Office Environment
Do a bit of research on the company’s work environment before your interview. You want to wear colors that show you will fit in with the company’s culture. In an office that tends to dress more conservatively, you should definitely stick to neutral, solid colors.
However, in more casual offices, such as some startups and nonprofit organizations, you can feel comfortable wearing a bit more color. Softer colors (such as a pale blue blouse) in particular work well for more casual offices, because they convey a bit of personality without being overwhelming. If you are applying for a job in fashion, or a sales job at a unique clothing store, you might feel free to be a bit more creative in your coloring to show your sense of style.
If you are in any doubt about the company’s culture, it is best to dress conservatively, with neutral, solid colors.
What Different Colors Say
Different colors evoke particular human responses, whether or not we are conscious of them. Below is a list of different colors you might want to wear for an interview, and the emotions they can evoke. Picking the right colors can help you present yourself in a particular way.
Brown – Brown is a neutral color that evokes feelings of calm. It is a great solid, neutral color for any interview.
Blue – Blue, particularly navy, is another great neutral color for interview outfits. Blues convey feelings of calm, trust, and confidence – great qualities for an interviewer to sense in you. Darker blues (like navy) convey authority and confidence. Blue is also many people’s favorite color, and wearing an interviewer’s favorite color will always make a great first impression.
Gray – Gray is another great neutral color for interview outfits. It evokes sophistication and neutrality. Gray is a great color to wear as a suit or dress; it allows you to look powerful, but is not quite as domineering as a black suit or dress.
Black – Black is a very popular color for suits and dresses in interviews. However, black is a very commanding color that conveys a lot of power, authority, and even drama. This is a good color for a job in a conservative environment like a law office, or for an interviewee applying for a high-level executive position. However, black can be a bit overwhelming in a more laid-back office environment, and can make you appear unapproachable. Using black as an accent color (for example, in a scarf or tie) can give you a bit of that sense of authority without being overwhelming.
Red – Red is a bright, powerful color that conveys energy and passion. A pop of red (for example, in a scarf or tie) can convey just the right amount of passion without making you appear too emotional.
White – Crisp and clean, white is a great color for shirts and blouses. The color conveys truth and simplicity, and adds a bit of brightness without being too overwhelming.
Of course, what really matters in an interview are your skills and experience, and how you answer the interviewer’s questions. But in a job market where employers must decide between numerous qualified candidates, the right outfit with the right colors can set you apart from the pack.
Congratulations on securing a job interview; that’s a big step toward securing the job itself!
Once you sort out the logistics of the actual interview and practiced, it’s time to figure out what you’re going to wear. You probably have a vague idea in mind. But did you know that the color you choose to wear to your interview matters, too?
It’s not just about making a decision between blazer or no blazer, tie or no tie, chunky necklace or no chunky necklace. The color you choose to wear can have a powerful effect on an interviewer’s first impression of you.
For example, some colors might convey professionalism, dependability, or a sense of authoritativeness. Other colors might convey something more negative, like immaturity or laziness.
Additionally, some colors work better for certain career types, according to Cornell University’s career center. For example, if you’re interviewing for a more traditional job in law, business, or banking, stick to neutral colors. If you’re interviewing in a more creative field, express yourself with a pop of green, purple, or yellow.
Each color can elicit a different feeling or impression, which we know thanks to color psychology. The human brain is crazy, right? Without further ado, here are the four best colors to wear to a job interview — and the four to avoid.
1. Wear: Blue
Many experts agree that blue is one of the best colors to wear for an interview. In fact, job-search website CareerBuilder hosted a study of 2,099 hiring managers and HR professionals, and blue was the most recommended interview outfit color. Respondents reported associating the color with someone who’s a team player. Cornell University’s career center also says the color “implies that you are trustworthy, honest, and credible.”
Now the question becomes: What shade of blue? That doesn’t really matter — as long as it’s not blindingly bright. Navy is a classic, of course, and a light, muted blue can be nice when paired with black or navy slacks. But be careful: Sometimes muted colors can cause you to come off as passive, according to Cornell’s career center.
2. Wear: Black
Black is a classic color, and it ranked second on CareerBuilder’s survey. Interviewers and recruiters most often associate it with leadership, while Cornell’s career center says it alludes to strength, authority, having leadership abilities, and timeliness. However, because black is such a powerful color, wear it to interviews only when appropriate.
“As a high-powered color, save it for high-powered interviews,” reports fashion brand Who What Wear. “Because black can come off as powerful and aloof, it’s ideal for top jobs and managerial positions, but it’s not great if you’re applying for something in customer service, retail, or anything entry-level.”
3. Wear: Gray
Once again, gray is a great neutral color to wear for job interviews. It can portray you as a logical and analytical professional.
Just one quick tip: If you have a tendency to sweat when you get nervous (no judgment), gray might not be the best color to wear on your big day. Sure, you can wear charcoal pants or blazer, but avoid wearing a gray blouse or button-down since it’ll show sweat.
4. Wear: White
Honestly, interviewees can’t go wrong with white. Pair a white shirt or blouse with some navy or gray slacks, and you’re good to go. The brain sees white as a pure color and indicative of someone who’s organized, detail oriented, and clean.
Plus, it’s easy to match — and even accessorize with a pop of color. “Essentially, go for the classics and add a bit of personality by throwing on fun and colorful accessories such as socks, necklaces, and ties,” suggests Cornell’s career center.
5. Avoid: Orange
Orange topped CareerBuilder’s list of worst interview colors. Why? Survey respondents said they often associate it with someone who’s unprofessional.
Sure, respondents also said they associate orange with someone who’s more creative, but it’s better to avoid orange and come off as more professional and dependable, no matter your career path.
6. Avoid: Brown
Brown doesn’t give off the best vibe when it comes to job interviews either. Fast Company interviewed image and style expert Carol Davidson who said the color does have some positive attributes; it can come off as comforting and reliable. “But in an industry that is fast-paced and innovative, it may give the impression you’re staid and passive,” she said.
Cornell’s career site also says brown implies you are “boring, simple, and slow to change.”
7. Avoid: Multi-colors
Think: Patterns. Bold patterns are fun, yes, but they tend to be distracting. Purple paisley doesn’t exactly scream “Look at me! Look how professional I am!” After all, the interviewer should be focused on you — not your bold sense of fashion.
There’s nothing wrong with a black-and-white polka dot blouse paired with a blazer or a blue pinstripe dress shirt. Just be careful with too many colors and patterns; if they get out of hand, these can distract the interviewer.
8. Avoid: Red
In some cases, red works for interviews — but you have to be careful. Wearing red can portray you as powerful, according to the CareerBuilder survey. However, because it is such a high-power and high-energy color, it can become a bit jarring and overtake a room.
“Red can send less favorable messages about the candidate — that he or she is domineering, rebellious, and obstinate, for example,” Davidson told Fast Company. “There is a fine line between assertive and aggressive, and red is a risky choice for an interview.”
Rather than going all out with a red jacket, dress or blouse, consider using red as an accent color. There’s nothing wrong with a red tie or a red handkerchief for a pop of color.
Final thoughts: When in doubt, play it safe
Like it or not, the colors you choose to wear to your interview will reflect who you are and the qualities you bring to the table. So, when you’re left wondering what color to wear to an interview, it’s best to play it safe. No, you don’t have to wear the most boring outfit in the world. You can still express your personality, just do so more subtly with accessories.
Cornell’s career center concludes its analysis with this message: “Have your wardrobe reiterate the qualities you’re trying to showcase in your interview … Not only will you have a leg up on the competition, but your confidence will go through the roof.”