What to wear to an interview?

A job interview can be stressful enough without worrying about getting your outfit just right. If ever there was a moment to care about your grooming and appearance, it's certainly an interview, but it doesn't need to be over-complicated. Although the saying holds true that it's better to be over-dressed than under-dressed, you don't want to feel out of place in the wrong interview attire.

Your interview suit should fulfil a few key roles. It should help you:

- Make a good impression
- Allow you to feel confident and comfortable
- Be appropriate for the company’s dress code - formal, casual, etc.
- Be suited to a video or in-person interview
- Not be over-the-top and distracting

So, if you’re currently panicking about what to wear to an interview, it's time to demystify dressing for the interview and get the sleek, smart and hireable look down to a T.

Of course, it all depends on the type of interview.

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What to wear for a business interview

It’s best to opt for formal interview attire that adheres to classic professional clothing requirements. This essentially includes:

- A suit
- A dress shirt
- A tie
- A belt
- Cufflinks
- A watch
- Dress shoes
- A pocket square

Business interview attire calls for some sophistication. So, you’ll need to know details like how to do a classic tie knot or even a pocket square fold.

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What to wear to a formal interview

You need sharp tailoring for the ultimate confidence boost when you’ve got a formal interview coming up. This means you’ll need classic formal interview attire: a dark-coloured suit , a tie, and a dress shirt. This dress code is especially important in more traditional firms with strict hierarchies – think, the banking sector, large corporate businesses and managerial roles.

Consider your formal interview attire colour scheme and the weather as per below when preparing for your big interview.

Be colour-smart

Most interviews will be in a formal setting, so if you’re unsure, it’s always better to be overdressed. Your suit should fit you well and be navy blue or charcoal grey. If it's chilly out, you could add a cashmere jumper in a complementary colour as a layer (but never a cardigan).

For job interview outfits, stick to neutral colours for your shirt and accessories – a white interview shirt will always look right, and a novelty tie will always look wrong.

Be weather-appropriate

From the moment you enter the working environment, you're on display, so although it's good to be weather-appropriate, try to opt for:

- A smarter coat – a wool or a pea coat - will work well.
- If it's raining cats and dogs outside, a men’s umbrella is infinitely preferable to wet hair or a hooded, outdoorsy waterproof (unless you're interviewing for an outdoor-focused company).

On the other hand, if it's warm, you want to avoid wearing interview outfit pieces that will be uncomfortable and sweaty. We recommend:

- A lightweight, breathable material with good crease resistance (i.e. not linen), like our non-iron Henley weave shirts, or
- Designs featuring the Tyrwhitt Cool technology for maximum breathability.

What to wear to a smart casual interview

What to wear to a smart casual interview can be a tricky question. It’s where people start to get confused about job interview clothes.

The key thing to remember is that you are still better off erring on the side of safety you can take a look at The Definitive Guide to Smart Casual here , and that means:

- No jeans
- No T-shirts
- Wear chinos or wool trousers
- Wear polished shoes
- A collared shirt is still required
- You can lose the tie for smart casual interviews
- Put on a blazer or jacket as it gives job interview outfits a professional finish
- Feel free to add colourful socks to pull your look together.

As you can see, smart casual interview outfits are still pretty classic and sharp.

What to wear to a casual interview

Many industries these days stress the 'casual' nature of the interview, especially for creative businesses and roles. But there's casual, and there's casual. Job interview casual is a little different to pub-wear and loungewear. We know a shirt might not scream ‘casual’, but there is little else conventional about this outfit.

Consider interview attire fabrics and patterns

By choosing different patterns, weaves or fabrics, all the elements are immediately dressed down yet still appropriate for job interview outfits because you’ll look smart, dapper and well put-together. Opt for items like:

- A striped shirt
- or chambray button-down
- and perhaps a knitted Merino blazer

If it's warm, you could opt for top button undone, sleeves effortlessly rolled up, or perhaps a linen shirt (although, beware of the creases).

Add a touch of personality

If you've gone for a jacket, you could show off a splash of character with a pocket square. In winter, perhaps your shirt collar will peek over your smart knit and bring a pop of pattern to the look.


For shoes, depending on the industry and setting, you may be able to move to a sleek, leather trainer (although sparkling clean, of course) or perhaps smart leather or suede loafers.

Some dos and don’ts


- Opt for separates rather than a whole suit for a sharp causal look. - Feel free to bring some light touches of colour or pattern into play.


- Mistake business casual for real-life casual (no flip-flops, no shorts, no more than one button undone).
- Be too laid-back with your grooming and finishing touches. Your hair and beard should be smart and in shape. Be too heavy-handed with colours and patterns.

When can you wear jeans to an interview?

These days, ‘can you wear jeans to an interview?’ is a common question. In short, it’s better to go for more formal trousers, like chinos or suit bottoms. However, some hip new companies prefer a more casual look. Look carefully at the enterprise you’re going to so you can dress to synch with their culture.

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There’s a good chance you’re now well-practised at dressing for video calls and Zoom meetings, but video interviews require a little step up in formality. You're looking to impress, after all. When considering what to wear to a video interview, we’d advise against tracksuit bottoms and slippers on the bottom half, just in case you do end up on your feet – and because smart, matching trousers get you in the right headspace.

Because you don't get that initial 'walk up, handshake and hello' moment, it's also harder to make a big first impression over a video call. So you might want to reconsider a plain, understated shirt and think instead of bold, solid colours, a more eye-catching tie or perhaps a jacket that brings texture. Zoom or no Zoom, what you wear on the top half still depends on the role and the industry, so take your sartorial cues from that.


- Create a whole outfit to get yourself in the right mindset.
- Spend time on hair and facial hair grooming, as your face is front and centre.


- Underdo it – you want to make as much of an impression as you can via a small screen.

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Other tips

Doing an online interview has its perks (no getting lost, no getting caught in traffic), but it also requires a bit more thought than just what to wear to an interview. You’ll need to 'dress' your background appropriately, too.

You can keep the background totally blank or have a few things visible as long as it's not cluttered (the interviewer will be looking at this to see what sort of person you are). Your bed should be made, and art and books should be appropriate. You can also opt for a subtle faux background – no novelty backgrounds, please.

Also, be sure to:

- Check that the lighting in your interview spot is good - not too glaring or dark - and ensure the sound is spot on. Book a test call with someone.
- Stand up straight so the computer is at eye level
- Check that you’re looking at the interviewer and not at a second screen
- Ensure your internet connection is good
- Check there are no distractions

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business interview
formal interview
Smart casual interview
Casual interview
Video interview

When to wear a tie to an interview?

Yup, you guessed it - men typically need to wear a tie to all formal interviews. Check the company’s take on dress code, just in case, however. A creative enterprise may not require one. Remember that a conservative company may also not particularly approve of novelty ties and other items with more personality, so keep it classic.

When to wear a suit to an interview?

Men should wear a suit to a job interview if it’s a traditional corporate and thus formal environment. If it’s a more informal enterprise, you may not need to wear a full suit. It’s best to still go in business-appropriate tailoring.

If you aren’t sure what to wear to your upcoming meeting, look at the company to see what their culture is like and what employees are wearing. You can also ask the person who has set up your interview what would be an acceptable outfit.

Should you wear a belt to an interview?

The short answer is yes, wear a belt. Make sure it’s good quality leather. A belt makes interview outfits look complete. It shows you put in some extra effort and that details matter to you, which is a desirable trait for a prospective employee. Remember that your belt needs to match the colour and overall look of your shoes (and your shoes and belt should complement the rest of the outfit).

The smaller details

What makes the difference between ordinary and extraordinary interview wardrobe? It’s the small details that add class and sophistication to your ensemble.

These touches may include accessories like:

- Pocket squares
- Cufflinks
- Tie bars
- Watches
- Lapel pins

You may not want to wear all of these at once, as your outfit could look too flashy, but a few carefully chosen pieces can make interview outfits pop.

What not to wear to an interview

Now that we’ve covered what to wear to an interview, it’s important to touch on what not to wear. You do have a certain amount of leeway in selecting your interview attire. However, there are a few things to avoid. These include:

- Too much cologne or perfume
- Too many or too flashy accessories
- Torn, wrinkled, old, or poorly-fitting clothes
- Uncomfortable, restrictive clothes that don’t complement your personality
- An outfit that isn’t aligned with the culture and feel of the company
- Conflicting colours, textures, patterns, and fabrics
- Trainers or casual sandals
- Jeans

In closing

As you can see, dressing for a job interview generally requires more formal, good-quality attire. You’ll find all you need to wow your prospective employers at our physical and online stores. Now that you know what to wear to an interview, you can browse our range of outfits, accessories, and more to find your ideal ensemble.