The Best Colors to Wear to a Job Interview

Interviewers often associate specific colors with personality or work traits and moods. Certain colors, when combined with your background and presentation, can improve your chance of getting the job you want. Other colors, or too much of the same color, can make a negative statement that bumps you from the running. Although you should always select colors that make you look your best, remember that decision-makers are more receptive to specific color and clothing combinations.

Suit Color

Dark gray, navy blue and black are usually the best suit colors for applicants to wear to job interviews. These colors are often associated with professionalism, authority, leadership, confidence and success. If you want to add some personality to a suit, consider wearing a suit that has matching light or dark narrow pinstripes or subtle weave patterns that reflect light in ways that make a solid color appear slightly two-toned.

Top Color

Solid white or ivory, light pastels and dark jewel tones work best for shirts and blouses. Select a color that complements your suit, eyes, skin and hair, and helps you to project a certain image. For example, a light-blue collared, button-down shirt or blouse, when coupled with a black or dark navy blue suit, can inspire confidence and help to make an applicant appear trustworthy and capable of success. A ruby red or dark emerald green shirt or blouse paired with a black suit can help an applicant to appear sophisticated, strong, powerful and confident.


Tie and pocket square colors, if applicable, should be coordinated overall and serve as an accent. Solid or subtly patterned blue, green, red and dark purple are often best for making a positive statement. If you decide to combine a navy blue suit and light-blue pastel shirt, consider a tie in a solid dark blue or silver-blue shade, or a blue pattern. The best colors for dress shoes are black or a shade of brown for men. For women, the best colors are black, a shade of brown, or a solid color or print that matches suit color.


Keep in mind that any color that is too flashy -- and large or conflicting patterns -- can distract the interviewer from your presentation. Certain colors can also wash out your appearance or go drastically against a company’s standard dress code. For example, a white shirt paired with a black suit, without any warm accent color, can create a stark, cold contrast and a depressing mood. Yellow-green shades and bright orange can be too loud. Always ask the company’s human resources representative or current employees for ideas about interview attire. Also, consider visiting a clothing store that sells professional clothing and ask for assistance with selecting styles and colors.