What Should Men Wear To An Interview – Best Guaranteed Ideas

My simple answer to the question of what a man should wear to an interview is: it depends. It depends on whether you are applying to be a financial advisor in a crowded city or a mason in the suburbs. The general rule of thumb is to wear clothes that you would wear to work – and a “level” more formal than that.

Two Men Facing Each Other While Shaking Hands and Smile

So, if you are a software developer and you would wear a t-shirt and jeans to work, put on a shirt or polo, and you will be good to go on your interview. On the other hand, if you are a consultant who meets clients regularly – put on your sharpest suit and have your best look. You’ll need your glance and knowledge at the same time.

One of the key elements to making the best first impression during an interview is how you dress. Regardless of the position, the candidate should be clean and professionally dressed to have a better chance of winning the position. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of job interviews, what to wear to a job interview, and more tips on how to prepare.

Why is it important to dress well for an interview?

A job interview presents the opportunity for you to sell yourself by having your skills and experience stand out from the rest of the applicants. Preparation steps for a job interview can consist of coming up with questions to ask the hiring manager, printing out resumes and lists of references, and conducting additional research.

Yet, taking time to dress appropriately for an interview can make you more comfortable and confident when answering questions while meeting the attire requirements for the employer.

What Should Men Wear To An Interview: White shirt
Photo by Lumin on Unsplash

Can you make a great first impression if you wear suits?

Yes – if the role calls for it. Wearing a suit to the interview will make you look more mature and professional, but as I said before, if you’re applying for a job as a chef, you probably shouldn’t wear a suit to the interview – unless you want to cook in one.

What Should Men Wear To An Interview: Suit and Subtle Accessories
Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman

Now that we discussed the basics, let’s see the list of attire that you can wear for your next interview.

Pick a Few Basic Pieces

First, you can never go wrong with a light shirt and dark pants. This combination will make you look more professional than any other outfit. Men’s fashion is relatively straightforward, put on your classiest watch, have your grooming well done, and put on a few essential pieces – the key here is the fit.

What Should Men Wear To An Interview: Basic pieces
Photo by Clark Street Mercantile on Unsplash

Experiment with Colors and Patterns

Make sure to know a thing or two about the firm you are visiting. If they are, for example, in finance, they probably have a more formal dress code. However, if you are visiting a startup, a shirt and pants will probably be more than enough. For any interview, whether formal or casual, use subtle layers and colors.

About patterns, the most common options are pinstripes and tartan (checkered pattern). For colors, I recommend using blues, grays, whites, blacks, and browns, as these are subtle and formal colors. I covered this topic in a separate article.

Make sure to read it: The Best Business Suit Colors for Office – Dress Code 101

What Should Men Wear To An Interview: Subtle colors and patterns
Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Pearson in © The Gentlemen, 2019

What to Wear to a Formal Business Environment

Business formal seems to be the standard interview dress code. When you are interviewing for a job with a company that requires business formal, it is critical to get it right. I usually pick this type of attire for personal interviews, whether it is a manager or an analyst position.

Wearing a suit gives me confidence – the only difference I make between a formal and casual environment is the accessories of the suit. Such as the tie, pocket square, or tie bar.

What Should Men Wear To An Interview: Classic Suit with White Shirt and Tie
Gabriel Macht (left) and Patrick J. Adams (right) photographed for Suits

Here are some tips to make your business formal more appealing:

  • Wear a single or double-breasted two-piece suit (no matter the firm, a three-piece suit can be too much for an interview), preferably in a dark color such as Navy, Black, or some sort of Grey or Brown.
  • Either pick a plain-colored suit or one with pinstripes or a tartan pattern.
  • Always pick a lighter-colored shirt than your suit – you can never go wrong with a plain white shirt.
  • Pick a subtle colored tie, try to avoid flashy patterns, and never wear a bow tie for your interview.
  • Wear the right formal shoes for your suit.
  • Wear a subtle pair of socks that has the right length. It is not advised to show your ankle during your interview.
  • Avoid wearing a strong fragrance.
  • Carry your resume and documents in a smart bag, such as a briefcase or a folio.

What to wear to a Casual Business Environment

As I already described in a previous article about business suit colors for the office, Business casual attire is broadly defined as a code of dress that blends traditional business wear with a more relaxed style that’s still professional and appropriate for an office environment.

This kind of attire for men is typically straightforward. Acceptable options fall between a full suit and pants paired with a professional shirt, button-down, or sweater.

Person Holding white Android Smartphone in White Shirt
Photo by NordWood Themes

Here are some tips to make your business formal more appealing:

  • Keep your attire clean and polished
  • Ditch your jeans, pick your trousers
  • For tops, pick a polo shirt or a casual shirt, or pick a white shirt, you can never go wrong with a white shirt.
  • Leave your tie at home, unless it’s required for the position
  • Keep your grooming well done – beard, hair, nails
  • Like with any other business environment, keep your fragrance moderate

What to wear to a Worker’s Environment 

At last, the worker’s environment. If you are going for a job as a laborer, in a manufacturing plant, or in an environment where you work outdoors all day, a suit and tie won’t be the right choice. You should still resist the urge to wear your favorite band t-shirt and worn-out thongs.

The key is to look at what other people are wearing in the company and then dress a bit better. Make sure you’re doing the basics right. Keep your clothes clean and fit, your grooming well done, and avoid any distressed clothing.

Outfit Flat Lay White Sneakers Blue Jeans and a Black Swatshirt
Photo by Mnz on Unsplash

What not to wear to a job interview

There are certain things you should never wear to a job interview if you want to make a good impression. That includes anything dirty, ripped denim, sandals, flashy colors, or prints. If you want to have a professional job, you should look and act professionally. It doesn’t matter if you are applying for a carpenter or a finance consultant job – the above-mentioned pieces won’t be suitable for your image.


First, I hope you will have an excellent job interview and achieve the position you are applying for. If you’ve got this far, I know you will look stunning on your big day and secure the job. For more tips, our friends at Suits Expert wrote a detailed article on the topic too – make sure to read that as well.

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