life·9 min read

What to Wear on an Interview (or Your First Day)

interview and first-day outfits for work
Design: theSkimm | Photo: M.M.LaFleur, Loft
Sep 6, 2022

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Prepping for an interview or the first day of a new job is nerve-racking enough, not to mention the added stress of picking out the perfect outfit. First impressions are important, so we’re here to take some of that work off your plate.

From business to business-casual to casual, we’ve got options for everything. Like chic blazers, dresses of varying lengths, and some handy layering pieces. So you can look your best and feel your best. You got this.

Psst…this is part of our Relatable Fashion Week series. For more of our recs, click here. We’ve got layering items for freezing offices and work clothes under $50.

Business

A fitted blazer that’ll show off your blouse…

Since it’s a slim cut, it’ll look great with a crisp button-down underneath. The blazer is lined with just the right amount of stretch too. So if you’re moving around the office with some jitters on your first day, you won’t feel constricted. Because no one wants something that’s too tight causing them to pinch at and readjust their outfit. Lookin’ sharp. ($178, J.Crew)

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Machine-washable trousers with a straight-leg fit…

Can you say deep pockets? Throw these pants on and you’ll feel and look like a boss. (Which you may be.) They’re made from wool, so they’re a bit on the heavier side, perfect for those crisp autumn days. The pair comes in an array of colors and sizes 0P–18, and can be easily tailored if they’re a bit too long — there’s extra hem so you can find the best length for you. ($265, M.M.LaFleur)

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A flutter-sleeve dress that hits just below the knee…

You’ll get great coverage and a cute little cinching detail thanks to the tie at the waist. The cotton dress has a hint of spandex so it’s pretty flexible and can be pulled over your head (no annoying zipper in the back). Slip this on, throw on a blazer, and out the door you go. ($99.95, Eloquii)

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A pencil skirt in a medium weight for cooler days…

If your next interview is in person, you’ll wanna arrive in your best fit. This skirt checks all the boxes. It’s fitted without being too tight, it has an elastic waistband for increased comfort, and it’s got enough stretch to keep things comfy. We suggest pairing it with a long-sleeve blouse for the perfect ‘hire me’ look. ($16.97+, Eloquii)

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A satchel that’s a cross between a purse and a briefcase…

Introducing the one bag that’ll hold everything you need for a first day. It’ll match your formal look, so consider this an item that can impress. It’s got more than enough room for essentials, like a padded pocket for a laptop, an inner water bottle holder, and zip pocket for keys. There are also easy-access pockets with magnetic closures for those moments when you need quick access to your phone. ($195, Haerfest)

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Black leather heels with a slim strap and block heel…

Having a low heel means you’ll be more comfortable throughout the day. No shaky moments or aching feet as you pad around the office to meet everyone. And these are also available in suede tan and snakeskin colorways. ($79.95, Steve Madden)

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Business-Casual

Leggings that can double as pants…

They’re made from a tweed fabric that’s got lots of stretch, so you won’t feel constricted throughout the day. You can pair the pants with a blouse and longer cardigan. If you decide to grab a drink with co-workers or friends to celebrate your first day, you’ll be ready to shed your outer layer. Customers love how low-maintenance and comfortable they are — they don’t have to be hung up since they won’t really wrinkle. ($109, Honeylove)

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A culotte jumpsuit that’s just the right amount of casual…

Since the top sits just off the shoulder, you’ll feel a bit more relaxed rolling up to your interview or first day. To dress it up, we suggest wearing a low block heel. If you’re going for a more low-key vibe, pair it with flats. PS: It’s also got pockets and and should be machine-washed cold. ($49.07, Torrid)

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An Oxford shirtdress that’s incredibly trendy…

You showing up and showing out? Yep, that’s right. Sport some true fashionista vibes with this high-low option. It features a button-down front, a pointed collar, and double chest pockets. We love that it’s very roomy, so if you’re somewhere where the weather is warm, you’ll stay cool even with some nerves. You’ve got this. ($60+, Everlane)

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An oversize button-up available in lots of colors…

Stock up on this one — trust us. It’ll come in handy and it’s a true wardrobe staple. The perfect piece to pair with trousers or jeans, it’s got a bit of a boxy cut, so take note that it won’t be fitted to your body. You can even wear it open and layer it over a dress. ($60, Abercrombie & Fitch)

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A sleeveless tie-neck blouse that’s incredibly versatile…

Made from 100% cotton, this trusty blouse is a great transitional top. We all know fall weather can run the gamut, so if it gets unexpectedly warm, keeping a few sleeveless options around is a win. If you’re heading into the office for an interview, you can always grab a sweater or blazer for that added layer (especially if the AC is blasting). PS: For a similar option, check out this top. ($29.99+, Loft)

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Casual

High-waisted jeans with a straight-leg fit…

This pair has a bit of a vintage vibe, so don’t expect stretch from them. They’re made with a purposeful level of rigidity that feels supportive — kinda like a hug for your waist and hips. They come in four washes (including a worn-in black). Pro tip: Check out the size guide, since they’re also available in two inseam lengths. ($108, Everlane)

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A short-sleeve tiered midi dress that’s pretty lightweight…

Save this piece for warmer fall days and carry a cardigan if you need an extra layer. It’s incredibly easy to throw on and can be paired with ankle booties or flats. We suggest the patterned or pink option for a casual look, but the black could also be dressed up for a business-casual vibe if you accessorize right. Just be aware: There is a slit detail, so this is probably a more ideal option for a relaxed work environment. ($120, Abercrombie & Fitch)

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A knit utility shirt with rolled sleeves…

Yet another great wardrobe staple for work. Since it’s a neutral color you can really pair it with anything on the bottom, from jeans to shorts. Customers note that it does run a bit small (and narrow), so we suggest sizing up. ($39.99+, Loft)

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High-rise utility ankle pants with multiple pockets…

Slim-fit fans, these are calling your name: They run tapered in the leg, so don’t expect too much room. But don’t let that fool you — they’re made from breathable cotton and move with you. Customers note that they’re heavier than expected, so save ’em for a cooler day. They’re also available in a range of sizes, from 0 up to 26W. ($27.99, Target)

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