What To Wear To An Interview: The Sustainable Edition
Outfit Ideas For Your Next Interview
Interview jitters are unavoidable—it’s an overwhelming experience. The impression we make on our interviewers makes the difference between getting to work and continuing to endure the job search.
While you’re practicing answers to questions about your strengths and weaknesses, it’s nice to feel like you can be in control of at least one thing. Enter: the interview outfit.
I remember the outfit I wore to my first full-time job interview—a thrifted plaid blazer and slacks that, if you looked close enough, did not match. I felt polished, professional, and ready to make $12 an hour (in what turned out to be a highly toxic work environment 😬). Nevertheless, I still look back fondly at that interview and subsequent job, proud that I showed up in the best way I knew how.
If finding a new job is on your horizon this year, polish up your resume and start planning ahead on what garments you might need to purchase. Shop your own closet first, but when you have the time, you can usually find any additional pieces you might need by thrifting. After all, interviewers won’t know the difference between a brand new blazer and a freshly dry-cleaned one. Steamers and irons will freshen up any piece you’re not 100% confident about.
If you’re not sure what the workplace vibe is, do a Google search or scroll through the brand’s social media accounts to get a glimpse of how employees dress on a day-to-day basis. You can even check out existing employees on LinkedIn—are they decked out in suits in their profile pictures? Are they sporting brightly patterned dresses? That’ll give you a feel for what the company expects “formal” to look like. And when in doubt, lean towards being more formal than less (you can even rent clothing if you’re not sure you’ll wear it again).
If you’re at a loss, here are five outfit ideas to help you start planning for your next job interview!
The Casual Minimalist
For a casual interview, nothing beats a white button down and dark-wash denim. Add in some personal touches with an accent bag, statement shoe, or a pop of red lipstick to take this simple look to the next level. Small details like ruched sleeves make a big impact, so keep an eye out for those when you’re planning your outfit.
Hackwith Design House Button Up Blouse
Warp + Weft Wide Leg Denim
ABLE Crossbody Bag
Everlane Day Heel
The Professional Minimalist
Back to the white blouse—but this time, swap out the denim for a versatile black skirt. Keep it ultra-simple with black mules and a delicate gold necklace for a sharp and unforgettable look. Each of these pieces on their own is a wardrobe powerhouse that you’ll wear for years to come—both in and out of the office.
The Colorful Creative
While not the perfect look for every interview, an eye-catching colorful outfit can make you stand out. To keep the look cohesive, opt for all warm-tones or all cool-tones with accessories in accenting colors. One of the best parts of an outfit like this is that you can use each individual piece to provide a little “pop” to the rest of your workwear wardrobe.
Amour Vert Polka Dot Blouse
Boden Green Ponte Blazer
Whimsy & Row Leanna Pant
Matt & Nat Vegan Shoulder Bag
The Daring Jumpsuit
The devil’s in the details when you opt for a jumpsuit during the interview process. Sneakers make it a playful outfit for a casual workplace, and heels elevate it to a boss-level look. Beyond shoes, subtle accessories allow the jumpsuit to speak for itself—and who doesn’t love a bag that fits your resume and post-interview snacks?
The Professional Dresser
There’s a little black dress for interviews, too! This wrap dress is perfectly sleek and looks equally polished with or without accessories. We’d pair it with a blazer (because we’re obsessed with a good blazer) and a pair of pumps with surprising detail. Add a bright yellow bag if you’re feeling bold or tone it down with a more neutral beige.
Where To Find Sustainable Pantsuits
If you’re looking to go head-to-toe business professional, a sleek suit is where it’s at. Here are a few brands that make matching separates, but don’t forget about thredUP, eBay, and The RealReal for secondhand options. Pro tip: try on a suit in-store to find your fit, then head to secondhand websites and search for that same size and style. Still not quite right? A suit is the perfect piece to invest in a little tailoring, thanks to its timeless style.
For more workwear inspiration, check out our guide to ethically-made workwear brands!
Emily Torres is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She’s a Los Angeles transplant who was born and raised in Indiana, where she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her reading or writing, caring for her rabbits, or practicing at the yoga studio.