What color shirt should you wear to an interview

When you’re going for a job interview, it’s important to make a good first impression—and that starts with how you look.

The way you dress can make or break your chances of getting the gig, so it’s important to go in looking sharp. But what color should you wear?

You may think that black is the only option, but actually there are many colors that can work well in an interview setting. For example, white shirts are very classic and professional. They’re very versatile too: they’ll go well with any suit or skirt combo! You could also try a light blue or yellow shirt. These colors are just as professional as black but have a bit more personality than white does. So if you’re nervous about wearing a color other than black, these shades might be perfect for making a statement while still fitting into the professional mold perfectly.

If you want something more daring but still want to stay true to the classic look of an interview outfit then consider wearing red! Red is a bold color choice but when paired with black pants or skirt it will come out looking professional instead of over-the-top like some other colors might do if used incorrectly (think orange).

Have you ever heard the phrase “first impressions are everything?” This is very true because when meeting someone for the first time, you always want to make a good first impression, and the same is true for a job interview. Most people are unsure of what to wear to a job interview. Or what color will make a good first impression? I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone; we all go through this right before any job interview, which is why I’ll help you out so that your next job interview results in you getting your dream job. So, if you’re wondering what colors to avoid and what to wear instead for your next job interview, here’s what you need to know.

What colors should you wear to a job interview?

I know there are a lot of colors out there, and most of us want to wear our favorite color to a job interview, but I’m here to tell you that wearing your favorite color may not be the best option. Colors that are neutral, such as black, navy, grey, and brown, are ideal for an interview. White is another good neutral color for a shirt or blouse. That doesn’t mean you have to wear a dull outfit to make a good first impression; you can add some color or wear a nice statement earring or scarf that reflects your personality.

Let’s talk about each color and how it reflects your personality

1. Black 

This is something you may not have realized, but black boosts your confidence. Some people feel like they have instant power and boldness when they wear black, but it enhances sadness for me. It’s a very dull color to wear, so I like to break it up with a pop of color. If you wear black, the impression you send to the interviewer is that you are charming and elegant. That is one of the main reasons why so many people prefer black for formal occasions and celebrations. 

Job interview colors to wear outfits ideas

Image Credits: Pinterest, Life with Jazz, Fashion Activation

2. Blue 

Blue is a great color to wear to an interview. It simply portrays confidence, and you undoubtedly want to make a good impression and demonstrate to the interviewer that you are confident in what you do. This may come as a surprise to you, but blue is the most popular color among men because it represents masculinity. That explains why many men wear blue shirts to interviews. That doesn’t mean a woman can’t wear blue; you can wear the color of the ocean in a nice blouse to show that you are a stable and productive person who they will want to hire right away. 

Job interview colors to wear outfits ideas

Image Credits: Steal The Look, Twitter

3. Grey

Grey is an excellent neutral color for job interviews. It can give the impression that you are self-sufficient and logical. When you wear it with confidence, it communicates to the hiring manager that you are an independent thinker. If you sweat a lot, which is very common when we are nervous, you should avoid this color. Instead, wear pants or a blazer instead of a blouse or shirt to avoid sweat stains.

Job interview colors to wear outfits ideas

Image Credits: Pinterest 

4. White 

Wearing white or beige is a safe bet that will show the hiring manager that you are well-organized. White is one of the most formal and wearable colors. It goes well with a wide range of colors, including black, and most people associate white with black. It is a soothing color that looks good when worn correctly.

Job interview colors to wear outfits ideas

Image Credits: Elagia, Sezane, Cella Jane

These colors should be avoided, but it depends on the job you’re applying for:

Purple & Yellow 

Something to keep in mind is that you should choose the color based on the job interview; if you are going for a banker job, stick with neutral colors; if you are going for a job in the creative field, these loud colors will be perfect for you; purple conveys the message of being artistic and unique, while yellow conveys optimism and creativity. 


You adore orange, but wearing it will send the wrong message because orange is a no-no. Orange, in particular, is regarded as the most inappropriate color for an interview, as it can appear overly confident and unprofessional.


When it comes to green, there are mixed feelings; some will tell you it’s a no-no, while others will say, “No, go for it!” I believe this color is great for creative field jobs as well. A lighter green is more youthful, cheerful, and peaceful. However, it creates the impression of immaturity. On the other hand, a darker shade of green has the same properties as well as maturity. As a result, darker shades of green not only look good, but they also make a statement.


Wearing red can make you appear powerful. However, because it is such a powerful and energetic color, it can become jarring and overpower a room. Instead of going all out with a red jacket, dress, or blouse, think about using red as an accent color. A red earring for a pop of color isn’t a bad idea.


Brown also doesn’t give off the best vibe during job interviews. It can come across as reassuring and dependable. In a fast-paced and innovative industry, it may give the impression that you are old-fashioned and weak.

Here are some additional tips to consider when deciding what colors to wear to an interview:

It is preferable to use solid colors rather than patterns

As previously stated, we want to make a good first impression, so remember this rule: you want the interviewer to remember you, not your fabulous outfit, so wear something that allows them to focus solely on your qualifications. Wearing solids ensures that you look professional and that your clothing does not become a distraction. If you must wear a pattern, make it a small one. Remember this rule when choosing an outfit for your next job interview: “if a pattern looks solid from across the room, it’s appropriate for an interview.”

Your outfit’s dominant color should be neutral

When putting together an outfit, keep in mind that wearing red, for example, will send the message that you are a strong personality who does not take no for an answer. If you’re applying for a leadership position, red is a good color to wear, but keep the amount of color you wear to a minimum. The main color should always be neutral, such as navy, black, grey, or brown. All other brighter colors should only be used as accents.

Wear something that gives you confidence

While color is important, you should also think about which items in your wardrobe give you the most courage and confidence. The same is true for any special jewelry or good luck charms you may be able to wear or carry in your pocket. If wearing or carrying something boosts your confidence, you should think about including it.

There is a lot of psychology behind color and emotions. And this is a key point. Imagine being able to sway an interviewer in your favor just because of the color you’re wearing. Pick well and it could be a color that makes them happy, or that instills confidence.

Choose poorly and they could feel resentment toward you. Or you might make them feel hungry and then they’ll just want to end the interview and go to lunch.

Key Takeaways:

  • When picking colors to wear to an interview you should stick to neutral colors such as black, navy, or white.
  • If you add a bright color to your outfit, try adding it to your accessories such as a tie, scarf, or jewelry.
  • Try to avoid outfits that are multi-colored and have bold patterns as it could be seen as distracting to your interviewer.


  1. Black. Black is seen as a color of strength and authority. It’s a classic, so it really can be worn just about anywhere. Job recruiters will associate it with power and authority. It may even help you come across as confident.Because black is a flattering color, it might, in fact, make you feel more confident. The only time you want to shy away from black in a job interview is if you’re going for a customer service type job or something where you want to be seen as personable. Black can be too authoritative in some situations.
  2. Navy. Blue is one of the most flattering colors, so you’ll look great. In addition, it’s seen as trustworthy, honest, and it also implies that you’re a good team player. That’s the overall impression of all blues.Because navy is closer to black than to a light blue, it has a stronger vibe. If you’re looking for a power job, then navy is the way to go. If you want a creative or customer-centric position, you might want to pair a light blue shirt with another neutral.
  3. Grey. Grey is such a great neutral color. It’s seen as a logical color, very practical. A lighter grey color will create a softer image while a dark charcoal grey can be more powerful. You can select the color based on the type of position you’re applying for.
  4. White. Don’t go all crazy and dress in head-to-toe white but opt for a white shirt over any other color. White comes across as honest and dependable. It also has a clean impression, which is never a bad thing. Another great reason to pair white with your power color, it will typically match very well and look great together.
  5. Red. Okay, red is a great power color, it’s unforgettable, and it screams passion – which can be passion about a job. Here’s the big caveat with wearing red – don’t wear a lot of it.A red suit or red dress is definitely WAY too much red. A red shirt or blouse might be too much red. A tie or a top with a little red in it is just the right amount. It’s probably not a good idea to wear a solid red tie, mainly because of the political implications. Unless you work in politics, it’s best to leave that out of the office place.


Let’s look a little more deeply into how colors can affect someone’s mood. Psychologically speaking, colors are broken down in a few different ways. To help clarify the colors and the terms that apply to them, we’ve detailed their meanings.

  • Saturation. When speaking about saturation, we’re talking about how pure a color is. Think of fuchsia pink and how bright and pure it is. Now, think of dusty rose and how faded it is, there’s a lot of grey behind dusty rose. This means fuchsia is more saturated and dusty rose is less.
  • Brightness. This can be confusing, but brightness refers to how much light there seems to be in the color. Sapphire blue is not very bright. But when you add light to it, it turns into more of a royal blue, which is much brighter.
  • Warm Colors. Warm colors are typically in the red and orange families. Not only are these the hues you see in a fire, but they create a psychological sense of warmth. They can also make someone physically and emotionally feel warmth.
  • Cool Colors. Most greens and blues are cool colors. Think of a calm, cool, tropical ocean. These colors tend to make people feel calm and peaceful. Again, there’s a lot of psychology behind this and it can create actual physical sensations of coolness when there’s no temperature change.


If you want to make the best impression with a hiring manager, it’s best to use bright colors sparingly. Navy, brown, black, and grey are very neutral colors and you should rely on them as your main color choice. So when you’re figuring out what to wear for your job interview, let those colors be your primary impression.

After that, you can work in some more exciting colors that convey mood. How do you wear those colors? Try the following:

  • On your tie
  • In a piece of jewelry or hair accessory
  • As a scarf
  • In a subtle printed shirt or blouse
  • A pocket square
  • A belt on a dress
  • Your handbag, purse, or briefcase


Of course, if there are colors to wear to a job interview, there are colors you should avoid. The following colors tend to go over poorly in business. That doesn’t mean there’s a rule that you can’t wear them. It just means it’s a good idea to avoid them.

  1. Brown. While brown is a great neutral color, it’s not great for an interview. Brown can totally be part of your regular work wardrobe but for an interview it comes across as passive. Brown is a good, steady color that speaks of earth and comfort. These aren’t always great attributes in a job interview (it can depend on the job) where hiring managers want to see excitement and enthusiasm.
  2. Orange. Orange has continuously come up at the top of the list of what interviewers don’t like. Orange apparently feels unprofessional, it’s a creative color but not in a good way. While decorating your office in orange might help your work show more flair, it’s not good for the work wardrobe.
  3. Yellow. Yellow is a sunny, happy, and optimistic color. It might even be your lucky color – but not at a job interview. Yellow is seen as a loud color, overly energetic, and attention-grabbing. It might be good for lunch with friends, but not a business meeting.
  4. Purple. Purple can be more and less saturated. The more saturated and the brighter it is, the less appropriate it is for a job interview. If you lean more toward lavender as an accent color on an interview, you’ll probably be okay. But a bright purple hue is seen as too fun and it doesn’t inspire trust or commitment. Bright purple can even come off a little arrogant.
  5. Multi-colored Outfits. Wearing a hodgepodge of colors or bold patterns and multi-colored prints to an interview is simply not a good idea. First of all, the color cacophony is just too much. It screams LOOK AT ME, and not in a good way. Not only do the colors come off as too much, the print will also be off-putting. It’s best to stick to a nice, solid neutral and then add a soft pastel, white, or off-white top.


A lot of science has gone into how colors make people feel and the following is a general summation of the results. Keep in mind that there are many more colors and color combinations, so it’s not a complete list. There are also some people who don’t respond like others – this is just a generalization but it tends to fit most people.

The color RED is associated with the following:

  • Intense
  • Energetic
  • Passion
  • Strength
  • Danger
  • Food/hunger

The color ORANGE is associated with the following:

  • Hot
  • Aggressive
  • Desire
  • Warmth
  • Success
  • Youthful

The color YELLOW is associated with the following:

  • Optimistic
  • Cheerful
  • Energetic
  • Abundance
  • Caution
  • Food/hunger

The color GREEN is associated with the following:

  • Wealth
  • Nature
  • Freshness
  • Calm
  • Soothing
  • Healthy

The color BLUE is associated with the following:

  • Trust
  • Security
  • Peaceful
  • Business
  • Wisdom
  • Integrity

The color PURPLE is associated with the following:

  • Royalty
  • Luxury
  • Calming
  • Mysterious
  • Creative
  • Wise

The color BLACK is associated with the following:

  • Power
  • Formal
  • Sophistication
  • Death
  • Mystery

The color WHITE is associated with the following:

  • Clean
  • Pure
  • Positive
  • Virginal
  • Freshness
  • Hope


Another very interesting thing about color is it doesn’t just inspire feelings and influence mood. Your favorite color can tell people something about your character, personality, or your interests. There have even been studies that suggest what career path you should follow according to your color preference.

Want to try it out? What is your favorite color – or what color would you paint the room you’re in right now to make you happy.

  • Red. This suggests that you’re strong willed, ambitious, and have a lot of energy. Red personalities are type A and very driven. This makes you good in management or leadership roles.
  • Orange. You are a social butterfly and love being around others. Oranges thrive on creativity so they would be great designers, writers, artists and actors.
  • Yellow. Are you a perfectionist and a dreamer? If so, you probably have a yellow character. You also have a great sense of fun and people like to be around you. Yellows tend to want to be in the spotlight so a job as a performer is good or a job where the environment is fast-paced.
  • Green. Green characters want to feel safe and secure and they need to be liked. Their social nature and diplomatic approach make them ideal in jobs that deal with people. They’re good counselors, attorneys, or in the social sciences.
  • Blue. Blue is a peaceful character color, but these people tend to have fixed principles that they live by. Blues are loyal and they appreciate quality. Their adherence to rules and ability to be loyal makes them great accountants and bankers.
  • Brown. This signifies you like and appreciate the simple things in life. Brown people like routine, it makes them feel comfortable. They also like quiet. A job in an office would be good for them, maybe even a librarian job.
  • Black. You’re a strong and independent person. The black characters can lead anyone. They’re great as CEOs of a company and as politicians.
  • White. If your character is white, you thrive on honesty, purity, and openness. You’re also very confident but you avoid confrontation. People who like white want to work in a “just” environment where everyone/thing is treated fairly. They’re their best when working with animals or children.

Of course, color characters are not set in stone because you may like a few colors or even a blend of them. Your color preference can also change over time. But it’s fun to see what your preferences might mean as far as your career choices.

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