Individuals looking to snatch their dream job must prepare for every aspect of the job interview. That includes making a good impression with your sense of style and attention to detail. This begs the question, can you wear a maxi dress to a job interview?
The answer is yes. There is a lot to consider, such as the company’s dress code and the type of maxi dress you choose, but if you do it right, a maxi dress can provide the comfort and sophistication you need to nail an interview.
Why a maxi dress, you ask? Well, it’s elegant, modest, and comfortable. If you’ve ever worn a tight dress or a pencil skirt to an interview, you can attest to how unsettling it is to keep pulling it down. It really does distract you from what brought you there in the first place- nailing the interview. Pants are not always the best option either because you don’t know the mindset of the interviewers or the company culture.
These aren’t issues you worry about when wearing an official-looking maxi dress, especially if you have styled it appropriately. It is safe, appropriate, and at the risk of repeating myself, it’s damn comfortable. Besides, you can just go on with your day’s activities after the interview because a maxi dress is good for any occasion.
Sometimes, the job you are interviewing for calls for something a little more modest or stylish, like a maxi dress. For instance, a maxi dress is more appropriate if your interview is at an education or religious institution, retail establishment, fashion house, or housekeeping. As a fashion retailer or designer, I would choose a maxi dress similar to what is offered at that establishment and dress it up.
In short, these are our 5 ways to style your dress for a job interview
1. Choose the Right Dress
Before we discuss styling maxi dresses for an interview here, note that we are not talking about that strappy white summer dress you wear to the beach or the heavy gown you wore to the last ball. Instead, we are talking about a well-tailored, official-looking dress that can’t pass for beach wear or parties. It can be straight and plain or pleated like those dresses first ladies worldwide wear. This is the first secret to passing an otherwise casual dress to something formal like an interview.
But the silhouette is not the only issue. You also have to pick colors that are easy to work with. Plain darker colors like navy blue, dark green, and black give a more formal vibe than prints or bright colors.
2. Add Structure
Even if you choose the most formal-looking maxi dress, it will still have that casual feel to it. You can counteract this by adding structure with an official blazer, especially if the dress is sleeveless. Wear a structured jacket if the company has a business-casual culture or is completely casual.
You can also add the necessary structure with a slim belt. This works great if the dress has sleeves (short or long) and the only thing needed is a waist structure. A slim belt is more formal than a thick one, and you can match it with something else on the outfit.
For jobs that allow a more casual look such as housekeeping and teaching elementary school, you can choose a cardigan or button up sweater. Putting on a slim belt on top of the cardigan will elevate the look even more.
3. Elevate with the Right Shoe
One aspect that makes maxi dresses look so casual is the shoes you wear them with. Most people don a nice sandal or white sneakers, which adds to the casual feel. Instead, choose a nude high heel pump or open high heels. The elevation and seriousness of this type of shoe transform an otherwise casual look into a formal one.
A high-heel pump also adds to your confidence, so you will feel more serious and lady-like when walking into that interview. But, again, keep the colors toned down to black, nude, or brown if it goes with the outfit.
4. Keep the Accessories to a Minimum
I get it, maxi dresses bring out the bohemian chic in you, and that triggers the desire to wear more jewelry and add more color. To pull off a formal look, however, you must do the opposite. Choose your most delicate jewelry and keep everything to a minimum. A minimal gold or silver chain with a matching watch and a pair of studs will suffice. This is not the time to wear hoop earrings, bangles, and pearls.
5. Finish Up with a Tote Handbag
Last but not least, you need to push the formal aspect with a tote handbag, preferably a leather one. A tote handbag is formal and appropriate for office wear, but it also gives off that serious vibe, unlike clutches and cross-body bags. It’s also a nice place to put your file of documents that you’ll be presenting to the panel.
If you choose to rock a maxi dress to a job interview, it’s important to ensure everything else tones it down to a more formal look. The colors, the jewelry, the jacket, and the shoes should all be formal at best. This is regardless of the company’s dress code. After all, it’s better to look overdressed and formal than carefree and ill-prepared.
While maxi dresses are considered casual, you can find one with the right structure and silhouette to wear to an interview. Make sure the colors and prints on the dress are toned down, and style the outfit to look a bit more formal. Adding a blazer or a slim belt, for example, elevates the maxi dress to status if you wear the right shoe.
When preparing for a job interview, consider the color of clothing you wear because colors convey emotion. The best colors to wear are neutral and dark such as black, navy, gray, brown, and dark green. Colors such as red, yellow, light green, orange and purple convey that you are fun and exciting instead of serious and professional.