What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. Dressing right for an interview can be tricky. You want to look your best, but you don’t want to go over the top. That’s why we’re covering the three basic dress-codes for interviews. We’ve covered a dressed up interview outfit and a smart casual option, but not every interview is necessarily so buttoned up. Depending upon your career path, the specific position, or simply the overall “vibe” of the workplace, a suit and tie, or even chinos and a button up are too conservative. Picks below are for interviewing at a quite casual potential workplace, which are becoming more and more common.
The Sportcoat/Blazer: Bonobos Unconstructed Italian Wool Knit Blazer in Navy – $400. YES a sportcoat. If you’re feeling wayyyyy over dressed, just take the thing off. Carry it over an arm or throw it in between your briefcase’s top handles. See? I wasn’t wearing a blazer hahahahaha who would do thatttttt. It’s outerwear! Ta-Da. No more over-dressed. But due to it’s barely-there construction, these Bonobos sportcoats are easy to dress up or down. Want proof? It’s the same one from the smart casual interview style scenario. Phenomenal woolen fabrics, minimal lining for breathable four-season wear, and an unconstructed build works year round. Too pricey? Try this knit number, on sale, for $104.
The Pants: Banana Republic Athletic Tapered Rapid Movement Denim in Rinse Wash – $49.99 ($118). Or whatever your favorite pair of dark wash, simple, unadorned denim happens to be. Again, this is for a super casual workplace. So jeans work here. Your potential boss is probably wearing a pair while interviewing you. Currently on sale and an extra 50% off, but that deal expires today.
The Shirt: Banana Republic Slim Luxury Touch Polo in Dark Grey – $33 ($45). Wearing a polo underneath your blazer instead of a button down really dresses this down compared to the smart casual look. More BR, but they really do nail the basics better than most, and this polo has an excellent fit with a luxurious, soft-touch feel that puts it a class above most.
The Shoes: Clarks Men’s Bushacre 2 – $60. Clean enough silhouette and smooth leather, but it’s still a desert boot. Wearing flashy, super fancy brogues probably isn’t the way to go if your potential boss is in boots, running shoes, or birkenstocks. Speaking of sneakers, if it’s a creative place of work? You could always wear some clean, white retro/classic court inspired kicks.
The Belt: GAP Basic Leather Belt in Brown – $21.57 w/ GOSHOP and TREAT ($40). Find me a better belt for the price that works in as many scenarios, and I’ll stop including this one. Until then, let me live.
The Watch: Orient Ray II – $130. A brilliant automatic dive watch for not a lot of dollars. You can have a sportier watch when you’re more dressed down like this. Also, be early. Not on time, early.
The Socks: Made in the USA Merino Cool Dress Socks in grey/pink – $15 ($20). Comfortable, well cushioned, and keeps your feet warm when you’re cold, and your feet cool when you’re hot. Some “fun” socks aren’t out of line for a super casual interview.
The Briefcase: Filson Dryden Briefcase in Whiskey – $175. Casual or not, you want to bring some proof points to the interview that show you can actually do the job with success. Resumes, cover letters, recommendation letters, and portfolio pieces go a long way to giving you a leg up on the competition. A well-made bag provides a place to stash your credentials. There is a LOT of blue in this outfit, so opt for something off-the-beaten path, like this beautiful whiskey color, or even the green version.
About the Author: Jason P. is a Dappered devotee, having curated the majority of his wardrobe through the site. He is an enthusiast of wool sweaters, chino pants, and affordable automatic watches. In his free time, you can find him at his boxing gym or antiquing with his wife.