What to wear to a job interview: 3 outfit ideas

A new year means a fresh start—and for some, a new job. Landing an interview can seem like the hard part, but choosing the right outfit can be almost as tough.

After all, the wrong look can cost you the job. We’ve had candidates show up in flip-flops and cutoff shorts (and you can guess whether they got hired). Even a nice shirt and slacks can give off a careless vibe if something is wrinkled, covered in cat hair or too tight.

On the flip side, the right outfit can make a winning first impression and help you relax. You’re more confident when you’re comfortable and not tugging on hemlines. That translates to a smoother job interview.

Need a cheat sheet? Here are three different interview outfit ideas based on the type of work environment. (If you’re interviewing to be a paralegal, your look will obviously be much different than Chief Officer of Fun at a startup.) When in doubt, contact the HR person who scheduled the interview with you and ask for general dress code guidelines. Here we go!

  1. Conservative job interview outfit

Finance, law, politics…if you’re interviewing in a conservative environment, play it safe. Start with a classic black suit. (According to experts, orange is the worst job interview color; black is safest.) If you’re wearing a pencil skirt, sit down in the dressing room to make sure it’s long enough and doesn’t pull at the hips. Whether you wear a skirt or a pantsuit, make sure it fits perfectly–take it to your tailor if necessary.

As for suiting material, we’re partial to our Seasonless Wool or Ultra 9™ wool suiting. The latter has a pinch of stretch. Either way, wrinkles fall out of wool and it just plain looks sharp. (What can we say? We’ve been perfecting wool for over a century, so we’re biased.)

Once your outfit is clean, ironed or steamed and impeccably fitting, add subtle jewelry and moderate heels. Since it’s winter, finish everything off with a peacoat or trench coat. For last-minute touch-ups, toss a lint roller in your car’s glove box or tuck a travel-sized one in your purse. Last, don’t forget to breathe. You’ll do just fine.

Here are a few of our pieces we love for conservative job interviews:

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  1. Creative job interview outfit

Applying for a job in the arts, fashion or teaching? Your outfit can be more fun. Play with color, pattern and texture while staying squarely in “professional and polished” territory. January in particular can be a dull sea of black winter coats, so seize the chance to showcase your personality with a touch of florals, stripes or color. But don’t go too wild. Pick one eye-catcher and keep the rest of your outfit simple in solid, more subdued tones.

Now to accessorize! Unlike conservative workplaces where quiet, delicate jewelry is key, creative settings mean you can wear statement jewelry. As for shoes, heels are always safe, but why not try booties, Oxfords or equestrian boots? Stay away from sneakers no matter how nice they are. (I know. Wait until you get home.) Hint: If you’re interviewing for a job here at Pendleton, you should be at least this dressed up!

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  1. Casual job interview outfit

At certain tech companies and startups, wearing a suit won’t impress the boss; it’ll get you strange looks. (It’s especially true here in Portland, land of the casual.) The good news is, you can tone down the formality without heading into jeans-and-hoodie territory.

It can be tricky to strike the right balance, so start with a blouse, casual slacks and a blazer to give a “I’m competent” vibe. Then add nice flats and a brightly colored belt or vibrant bag for a down-to-earth touch. And remember, no matter how casual your outfit, it should be well-fitting, well-maintained and not too revealing.

You’ve probably heard the general rule: However employees in your (future) department dress, you should dress one step nicer for the interview. Translation: Even if everyone in the company wears jeans, resist the urge. Save your favorite faded denim for once you get the job! One last tip: Don’t forget to send a thank-you card after the interview. Works every time.

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Good luck—we’ll see you in the conference room!

What’s your go-to outfit for a job interview?

C&I Magazine’s Spring Fashion Issue

Spring is getting here, we hope, and Cowboys & Indians is making us look fantastic in their latest Spring Fashion Issue.

Denim

 

 Our women’s Denim Shirt with an adorable afghan skirt!

Shell

 

Our Mixed Media Shell makes a perfect first layer.

Frontier

 

Everyone loves our Frontier shirt.

Canyon

 

Our original High Grade Westernwear wool shirt, the Canyon.

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We always love to see what C&I does with Pendleton! Here’s one of our favorite shoots from a few years ago.

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Apr_Cowboys&Indians_MWShirt_Spread2So go get your Spring on! It’s about time, yes?

Welcome to the Lobby

This is Shelley, the Visual Director for our stores.  We are lucky to have her creative visual input around the corporate headquarters. While down in the archives, Shelley found some sepia-toned prints of people at work in the Pendleton mills. She brought them up, dusted them off, and let them inspire some beautiful lobby windows with blankets, and Fall 2012 apparel from Womenswear, Menswear and The Portland Collection.

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Hope you enjoyed this tour of Shelley’s creative work. We are thankful to enjoy it every day. From all of us at Pendleton, have a happy Thanksgiving.

The Toboggan Coat for Fall 2012; come with us to the Pendleton archives!

Pendleton’s heritage stretches back to the earliest weaving endeavors of the Kay/Bishop family, which officially starts in 1863. This means we have a trove of archival textiles, garments and blankets to draw from.

This year you’ll see some Jazz Age inspiration in our Fall 12 Toboggan Coat.

This coat is based on examples from the 1920s we have hanging on the racks down in the archives. Here’s a peek of what that rack looks like:

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Our new store at the PDX airport opens soon!

We’re pleased to announce the opening of our first store at the Portland International Airport. This location will showcase Pendleton’s heritage for travelers from all over the country and the world. Doors will open on Saturday, August 4th, with a grand opening celebration planned for Thursday, Aug. 9th at 10 a.m.

The new store’s expresses Pendleton’s ‘green’ sensibilities. Upcycled fixtures and shelving made from reclaimed barn wood work alongside gears salvaged from our mill. Various vintage carts, wagons and display pieces add to the aura of industrial heritage. “We took an Industrial Chic approach to the design,” says Robin Crowell, Retail Division Manager for Pendleton. “You’ll see replica mill-style lighting and various elements of a working mill interior, galvanized pipe, specially designed wool fabric for fitting room curtains along with distinctive wallpaper and stained concrete floors throughout . . . all taking the sensibilities of the mill and translating it into a dynamic retail setting.”

This dynamic translates into an exclusive merchandising mix, with Menswear and Womenswear in an extensive assortment of iconic Pendleton plaids and patterns. A rich collection of blankets will include plaid and tartan throws and National Park blankets, and the Native American-inspired jacquard Trade blankets for which Pendleton is so well-known. Beginning in September, shoppers will find The Portland Collection for Fall 2012. This collection offers a fresh perspective on Pendleton’s iconic textiles as seen through the eyes of three independent and talented Portland designers. To mark the grand opening, Pendleton will host a ribbon cutting and an American Indian blessing along with store specials throughout the weekend.

For now, we invite you to enjoy a slideshow tour of the store in progress. You will see a lot of Shelley Prael in these images. The slideshow starts with her scrubbing away a century of wear on the gears that eventually grace the store’s walls. Shelley also designed and created the dressing room wallpaper, a collage of vintage ads from Pendleton’s past. As Pendleton’s visual director, she has been hands-on through the creation of this exciting, unique space. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to Shelley for her vision and hard work in bringing our new store to its opening day!

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Crossroads: Where it All Comes Together

When an especially unique vintage Pendleton garment comes through our design areas, it can cause a stir. It’s like a new baby. People from other divisions come to visit, photos circulate in email, and everyone asks a lot of questions. What was it called? When was it made? And most importantly, what will we do with it?

A jacquard coat that came to the sewing room of the Men’s division was no exception. The Crossroads pattern was bold and dramatic, and the coloration was unique. Menswear decided to bring it back, so Fabric Design got to work redesigning and coloring the pattern. Womenswear and Home saw the possibilities…and that’s how a corporate jacquard is born.

 

 
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