7 Men's Outfits That Are Totally Acceptable for an Interview

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Oct 24, 2018

Oct 24, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

The American job market is red hot with unemployment rates at 3.9%.

With most people already filling positions and demand for high-skilled labor still present, recruiters are bending over backward to draw people out of their current positions and into the ones they need to be filled.

What that means to you is, if you don't mind popping into an interview or two, you have the opportunity to skyrocket your earnings potential.

But let's face it, interviews can be... stressful. To say the least.

Among the most stressful elements of an interview, surprisingly, is deciding what to wear.

Fortunately, the days of only being able to wear a traditional suit as men's outfits for interviews are long gone.

To help you better appreciate your options, below are 7 outfits/ideas you can lean on next time you're looking to upgrade your career!

1. Light Colored Jacket Paired with Slacks

If you're trying to find that sweet spot between business formal and casual, going with something like a light colored, perhaps Khaki, jacket and a pair of pants is a safe place to be.

We love this outfit because when you're first interviewing with a company, it can be hard to have a strong grasp on what their culture is. Given that fact, you may have trouble deciding whether the team you'll be interviewing with is going to be looking for classic formal attire or something a little more laid back.

A light colored jacket with pants allows you to fit both bills.

For even more flexibility, keep a tie handy. If you're thinking you need to go formal, throw it on. If not, leave it off.

2. White Shirt and Navy Blazer with Light Colored Pants

This is among our favorite business casual men's outfits.

White shirt, navy blazer, light colored pants, and maybe some boots to go along with it will not only have you looking appropriate for an interview but will have people noting your impeccable style.

With a navy blazer, you shatter the tired norm of black blazers while also keeping a lot of the same classic sophistication.

You can take your outfit a step further down the casual rabbit hole by opting for chinos over slacks.

3. Tucked Colored Button-Down Shirt with a Tie and Slacks

Another men's outfit that is a business casual favorite is the button-down, slacks, and tie look.

This outfit feels sort of like the traditional suit angle except here, you're leaving your jacket at home and you're also opening yourself up to being more playful with your button down and tie.

Look for button downs that have a bold print to them. Alternatively, you can opt for a fun solid color and do something inventive with your tie.

However you choose to execute this look, just do your best to stray away from the classic white button-down with a black tie look. That is of course unless you're sure your company wants you to dress more formal.

4. Modern/Formal

If you're almost positive the company you're interviewing for has a formal dress code but at the same time, don't want to confine yourself to classic business attire, you can come up with men's outfits that offer some wiggle room.

For example, if you're wearing a classic suit, consider swapping out the standard dark-colored tie for something with a pop of color. You can also ditch the black jacket and pants and go with grey.

Small adjustments to business formal attire can make it so you conform to your organization's need but still stay true to yourself.

5. Classic Formal

Sometimes there's just no escaping the classic formal look when interviewing. For example, if on your interview instructions the dress code is clear that attire should be formal, you should be careful with how much you wiggle around.

The good news is that classic formal is a wonderful look!

A beautiful white button down, black slacks, a coat, and a coordinating tie is easy to throw together and will have you looking your Sunday best!

6. Anything With Colors, Layers, and Texture

While not a specific recommendation, if you like to freestyle your men's outfits, here are some building blocks for you.

For starters, tastefully layering your clothing is always a great way to look sleek but also casual. You can take your layering game a step further by playing around with color and tactfully accenting certain articles of clothing.

Finally, a little texture can add a wonderful punch to your look. Have a go at wearing a tweed blazer or something similar.

7. On-Brand Audible

The list we've outlined thus far should cover you in most interview situations. That being said, depending on the organization you're interviewing at, there may be a better way to go when it comes to attire.

For example, if you're interviewing for a job at a retail chain, doing your best to wear the brands the chain sells and embodying "the look" is a great idea.

Do your best to exercise your best judgment when cooking up men's outfits and know that there's always more inspiration you can view here!

Wrapping Up 7 Men's Outfits That Are Acceptable for Interviews

There you have it! 7 outfit suggestions/ideas that are totally acceptable when it comes to interviewing in today's job market.

Remember, when in doubt on what's appropriate for your interview, it's hard to go wrong with a business casual outfit that you can dress up or down by adding or subtracting a tie.

We hope you have fun experimenting with men's outfits and wish you the best of luck nailing down the job you want!

For more expert advice on how to navigate the American job market, read more of our content on the Washington Post National Jobs Blog.