What Kind of Business Suit Should You Wear for an Interview?

Business casual and casual Fridays have become the norm in many workplaces. Some organizations are moving to an entirely casual work environment every day of the week. However, suggested attire for interviews has remained relatively conservative. One constant guideline is that business suits generally are considered professional attire, and professional attire is what job candidates must wear to receive favorable consideration during the selection process.


It is perfectly acceptable for women to wear pantsuits to an interview, although women still have the option to wear business suits with skirts. Women's business suits appropriate for an interview should be tailored and fairly conservative without ruffles. The skirt length should be about knee-length, never mid-thigh. Although two-piece coordinates aren't business suits, if they are in a matching color, they could substitute for a tailored suit if they are simple with clean lines. Dark colors are the best choice, meaning black, navy blue and dark brown.


Business suits for men should follow the same basic guidelines as those for women. Dark colors appear to be more acceptable for men -- a khaki-colored suit lends itself to a less formal look. For example, a man who is interviewing for a position at a law firm or bank should wear a black, navy or dark brown suit. The shirt and tie should coordinate well. In a 2011 article for MSNBC, contributor Eve Tahmincioglu writes this about men's interview attire: "The advice on business suits stands even if your prospective employer allows workers to wear flip-flops and shorts to work, hiring managers say."


The suit jacket and pants or skirt should be the same color. However, in a very casual work environment, it may be acceptable to wear a navy blazer or jacket with a khaki skirt or pants. Men should wear white shirts; however, light blue or pink shirts can be fashionable without being too trendy. Women should wear a conservative blouse that's not revealing.


Dress appropriately for the climate and choose a business suit that you will feel comfortable wearing all day. In many areas of the country, a polyester or wool blend is acceptable; however, adjust your interview attire according to the forecast and the season. You may not want to wear a wool suit if you're going to a lengthy interview during the spring months. However, don't wear a business suit made from pure linen -- by the end of the day you will look a wrinkled mess. If you are interviewing in a warm climate and want to don a linen business suit, look for one crafted from a linen and rayon blend to minimize the potential of excessive wrinkles.