How to dress casually for your interview (with examples) - Zippia (2023)

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  • What is smart casual attire for a job interview?
  • Why choose SmartCasual?
  • What smart casual is not
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Making a good first impression at a job interview relies heavily on your attire choices. But dressing to impress doesn't always mean wearing a suit and tie. Choosing the right outfit for your interview can be a little trickier.

In today's world, more informal workplaces are becoming more common. Many companies in industries like tech are more relaxed about the attire they expect their employees to dress employees. It becomes part of the corporate culture.

So if you're going to an interview for an informal company, going to the office in a suit and tie can be more inconvenient than helpful. For certain types of job or workplace is the type of attire to consider when choosing your attire for the interviewcasually more elegant.

Main conclusions:

  • Striking the middle ground between casual and traditional business casual, smart casual is becoming increasingly common in today's workplaces.

  • Wearing smart casual attire is often more comfortable than business or formal attire while still looking professional.

  • Always take the time to research the company you are interviewing with to determine what type of attire is appropriate for the interview.

How to dress casually for your interview (with examples) - Zippia (1)

What is smart casual attire for a job interview?

A little less elegant than traditional business casual, smart casual is definitely more comfortable and practical. This dress code generally includes appropriate pieces that fit well and are slightly less formal than business casual. Smart casual is still a sophisticated, uncluttered, and appropriate look for an office environment, no matter how casual.

This is the perfect type of attire for businesses that are traditionally understated when it comes to clothing.your employees work. It can vary by industry and company, so do your research before committing to this type of look.

Smart casual can give you a little more choice in your wardrobe. Elegant casual wear should be form-fitting, stylish and made of good fabrics. That doesn't mean you should try to be shiny or fancy, just simple, polished and uncluttered.

With Smart Casual you look stylish and elegant and still feel comfortable. This allows for an optimal confidence boost. This kind of dress will show yourrecruiteror rentManagerthat you have confidence and self-esteem in the way you dress.

Below are some common examples of clothing that is considered elegant casual wear.

  • Dressed in jeans with a blazer.The blazer is a wonderful piece to have in your closet. They can spice up an outfit, but can also be added to more casual attire for a more professional look. Blazers are often trendy and are available in prints and solid colors. Choose one that suits your personal appearance.

    Pairing your blazer with jeans dresses the blazer in a classic way. You can choose dark or light colored jeans, just make sure they are not ripped or torn and that they fit your body properly. You can also choose any shirt that you think is appropriate under the blazer. Button down shirts are the safest option to wear.

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  • Button shirts and jeans or khakis.A button-down shirt is a staple for most wardrobes. Like a blazer, the button-down shirt can be pulled up or down as needed. If you're going for a casual setting, pairing a button-down shirt with jeans or khakis is a great option.

    While solid color buttons work well for more formal settings, for a more casual setting you can choose a pattern to match your jeans or khakis. This still gives you a polished, clean and professional look but is convenient and practical to get the job done.

    Again, depending on the company and culture, you might as well wear the button-down shirt. Pairing your button-down shirt with a tie or jacket is an instant way to add volume to your formal look.

  • Cotton blouses and skinny jeans.For women, a cotton blouse and skinny jeans can work perfectly for a smart casual look. Make sure your jeans fit you well. A dark wash works best for this type of garment as the color will go with more colors than a light wash. Often the look of these types of pants mimics that of dress pants, making you look professional and comfortable.

    The cotton top is also a great basic for your wardrobe. You can get a more elegant cut than a regular t-shirt, sometimes with cute prints that can show more of your personality. The tops are comfortable and flattering, making you feel comfortable as you enter the interview room.

  • Dark wash jeans and sneakers.Dark wash jeans, as we mentioned above, are one of those garments that go with almost everything. Dark wash jeans are the perfect pant for comfort and professionalism, and you can pair them with button-down shirts, sweaters, or blouses.

    Pairing dark jeans with flat shoes is a great way to feel even more comfortable while still looking professional. Choose flat shoes that you are already comfortable in and make sure the jeans you choose are not designed to fit larger shoes. It's always a good idea to buy one pair of jeans tailored to fit a high heel and another pair of jeans tailored to fit a low or flat shoe.

  • jacket and t-shirt.Depending on how casual the environment of the workspace you are entering, a blazer and t-shirt might be another option. This is usually a popular trend among men, allowing them to show their personality through a t-shirt but look a little more professional with a blazer. Complete this outfit with nice khaki pants or jeans and you have the perfect balance between business and leisure.

  • pants and chess.In a dressy-casual setting, plaids are a great option for your wardrobe. Normally people wouldn't wear this in a more formal setting but for a chic casual setting it works. Swap your traditional button-down shirt for a plaid shirt and pair it with nice trousers for a dressier look. If you want to take this look even further, opt for flats instead of sneakers or heels, depending on your mood.

  • A nice top and skinny jeans.For men, wearing skinny jeans can seem strange. However, sewing your jeans is important for both comfort and professionalism. There's nothing worse than seeing someone in very long jeans with frayed ends or dirty fabric. Jeans need to be hemmed and snug for your height.

    When your jeans are snug and fit you well, they automatically give you a clean and neat look. Pairing this type of pants with a more casual top looks great and can loosen up the formality of the pants. Make sure your shirt is wrinkle free and dirty. For this look you can choose a simpler and more elegant shoe to enhance the look even more.

Why choose SmartCasual?

As mentioned above, it is absolutely imperative that you research a company before committing to one.Smart casual look for your job interview. This is not an aspect that fits every job or company, and some industries are more critical than others. If you find that the employer you're interviewing with is more informal, this is a great option for you.

Taking the time to research a company and their clothing shows that you respect and are serious about the position you are applying for. You want to appear as elegant as possible, and sometimes that means going a little more casual for a good first impression. Make sure you decide on your attire prior to interview day to ensure the clothes are clean, tailored and ironed for a more professional appearance.

What smart casual is not

Don't confuse smart casual with overly casual. You should avoid certain clothing items for any interview, no matter how casual the setting. These include:

  • Slippers and open sandals.These are not professional enough to wear as shoes to every job interview. Consider wearing a conservative slingback.

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  • sports or athletic shoes.Try on a simple loafer or chic ballet flats to complete your look.

  • Shirts with spaghetti straps or strapless tops.These are not suitable for interviews unless covered by a suitable sweater.

  • Very short shorts, skirts or dresses.If you're unsure if your dress or skirt is too short for an interview, try measuring the length with your arms at your sides. If the hem of the skirt is above your fingertips, try a little longer.

  • Underwear should never be exposed in any way.This is something to check before you leave home. Make sure the bra straps are tucked inBoxerBriefs are worn below the waist.

  • Anything with low-cut necklines or items that expose your stomach.Before deciding on an outfit, take a look in the mirror or ask a close friend for an honest opinion.

  • Too much perfume or cologne.This can be a big obstacle for youInterviewer. Make sure to use a modest amount if necessary.

  • Lots of accessories or body jewelry.In moderation, jewelry is a perfectly acceptable accessory for your outfit. However, too much can be distracting and set the wrong tone for your interview.

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Article in the Interview Dress Guide

  • Suit styles for job interviews

    • How to dress for a job interview
    • What is business casual?
    • What is business attire?
    • What is a merchant?
    • What is smart casual?
    • Interview outfit for the summer
    • Dress Guide for Gender-Neutral Interviews
    • Business-Casual-Jeans
  • Interview clothes for women

    • What to wear to a job interview for women
    • Interview hairstyles for women
    • Bag for your job interview
    • Smart attire for job interviews
    • Makeup for the job interview
  • Performance suit for men

    • Performance suit for men
    • The best place to buy a suit.
  • Clothing for specific places

    • What to wear to a retail interview
    • What to wear to the internship interview
    • What to wear to an interview in the office
    • What to wear to a restaurant interview
  • Dress tips for job interviews

    • The best colors for a job interview
    • what not to wear
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How to dress casually for your interview (with examples) - Zippia (2)


Caitlin MazurHow to dress casually for your interview (with examples) - Zippia (3)

Caitlin Mazur is a freelance writer for Zippia. Caitlin is passionate about helping Zippia readers find their dream job by providing content that discusses job search advice based on experience and extensive research. Caitlin has a BA in English from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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