Career Paths

6 Tips for What to Wear for A Summer Interview — Men & Women

min read
Vera Chan

You have landed an interview for a role you were looking for and want to dress the part, but the season makes it hard. How do you dress for the summer heat and still look professional?

There are a few cheat sheet ways to dress for men and women. Avoid turning up looking drenched and out of breath or flushed. Here is how to maintain your part before you ace the job interview. Getting through the door to an interview with your resume and cover letter is half the way. Here is the remaining quarter:

Summertime for Women

1. Wear Layers

This is the key to summertime dressing. This will allow you to look smart and not entirely bare. A lightweight blazer is a good look and it means you can put it on at the last minute. For bottoms, wear tailored pants or a pencil skirt that hits just above or below the knee. Mid-thigh lengths should be avoided. Midi length is appropriate. Avoid maxi skirts.

Top tip: If you wear a suit it should be matching. If you choose to wear a blazer and the bottoms, make sure they are clearly from different sets.

2. Wear Plain Colours

Avoid bold patterns that are too loud in an interview. Red is also too sharp. White is a great colour to reflect heat and looks sharp on women in a suit. Other neutral or dusty colours are a good way to go. Avoid black in the summer heat. Grey and navy are still suitable if you prefer darker colours.

3. Wear Sleeveless

Opt for a blouse that has no sleeves. This will keep you cool as much as possible while you are travelling to the interview. A sleeveless top allows for maximum airflow. The blazer that goes on top keeps the look smart, but also hides any potential sweat patches. Choose airy fabrics that are breathable, such as silk or special moisture-wicking fabrics. Select a modest neckline that does not dip too low.

4. Wear Minimal Accessories

Less is more. Keep your jewellery pieces simple. Plain silver or gold is tasteful and can be well accepted by others. Go for studs to keep dangling earrings out of your hair and to avoid distraction. Keep the necklace to a single chain. Keep your rings to a minimum and bracelets are optional. Avoid chunky bracelets that take up too much space. A watch is always a great idea should your phone battery run low or technology fails you. An automatic or battery watch is always a classic. These days apple watches are acceptable. A FitBit or Garmin may or may not be suitable depending on how formal the interview is.

5. Wear Comfortable Shoes

This does not mean go for trainers, but you want to make sure you can walk in them. Even if you are not travelling by foot, the employer may decide to take you on a tour of their building or facilities. In this instance, you want to ensure you do not totter on your tiptoes because your heels are too high.

Classic block heels are suitable as well as stilettos. Keep the heel height to below three inches. Both round and pointed toe shoes are fine. You can opt for ballerina pumps and loafers are also sometimes acceptable if they are sleek. Avoid open-toe or open-back shoes that will look too casual. Do not wear glove shoes as they will cover up too much of your feet and make you feel hotter than usual.

6. Hair

Keep your hair tied back or out of your face. A plain bun can be a good look to keep strays away. A ponytail is also a classic. Avoid braids as it can sometimes look too laid-back. A French twist is a well-loved hairstyle that also looks professional. You can also use a hair clip to hold all or half of your hair up, but make sure you choose a plain coloured hair clip. Or one that is not too sharp and out there. A classic pattern such as tortoiseshell acrylic is still acceptable.

Top Tip: Keep your hair tied up on-the-go and let your hair down just before you enter the building.

Summertime for Men

1. Wear Layers

A jacket is a must for men for formalwear. This does not mean you need to whip out your three-piece suit. You want to wear a matching two-piece suit or blazer and tailored trousers. Opt for an unlined jacket that is not too summery. Linen and seersucker should be avoided out of being too laid-back. Go for synthetic 'dry' fabrics or a cotton mix whereby the cotton portion is higher than wool for instance.

2. Wear a Modern Cut

Men should go for streamlined looks that are properly tailored. A contemporary suit jacket should not cut too low down the back, stopping in the middle of the buttocks. It should have a double-vent to look sharp while allowing for movement. A blazer should have two-buttons. Wear tailored pants that break just at the ankles, but not so that it is touching the top of the shoe.

3. Wear Subdued Colours

Avoid black in the summer heat and white because it looks too coastal on men. Navy is a safe colour option and light grey is still suitable for summertime.

4. Wear a Formal Shirt

You want to choose a breezy option that is breathable, such as a lightweight oxford or poplin. Cotton is light, crisp, and naturally breathable. Light blue and white are easy-to-match options. A tie may not always be required but if you do wear one, ensure the width is proportional to the suit lapels.

5.  Wear Laced Shoes

Wear laced dress shoes, such as a cap-toe oxford. A wing-tip is also a classic shoe that looks professional and dapper at the same time. Traditionally, black is considered the most formal colour. Dark brown is also suitable. Select a colour that best matches your outfit. Be sure to get them polished and the heels fixed beforehand, as you do not want them to look worn down.

6. Hair

For formal interviews, make sure you are cleanly shaved. Avoid the haggard look. You want to look like you know how to take care of yourself. If you are interviewing for a client-facing role, it is even more important to look spick and span. If you have long hair, cut it and avoid the man bun. If you have short hair, make sure not to use too much hair gel. A short quiff is acceptable if it is controlled.

Top tip: Carry a comb with you, so that you can do a final comb through. Just in case you happened to be standing in front of a windy fan or happen to be riding a bike and have helmet hair.

Top Tip

It is always good practice to leave early, but it can be relieving to factor in extra time to use the restroom. Prior to your job interview. you can make sure you still look prim and proper. Women can touch up their makeup and fix their hair. Men can make sure their suit is flattened out and the tie sits straight. Now you are ready for the part, you can walk into your job interview with renewed confidence.

Are you still preparing for a job interview? Here are a few dos and don'ts to consider in advance.

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