So, you have a job interview, but one look in your closet, and you realize your wardrobe needs an update for the working world—and fast. Before you head to the mall, make sure you research the company to learn about its dress code, and then follow these tips for a winning look.

  1. Look smart, dress sharp—Even if you know the place you’re applying at follows a casual dress code, choose attire that is more conservative just the same. That means no plunging necklines, no short skirts or shorts, nothing you’ll be tugging and pulling at throughout your interview. Lane Bryant has pieces you can mix and match for the perfect interview wardrobe, like the flattering Ashley trousers in solid black and the Foxcroft wrinkle-free shirt in deep ocean.Appearances do matter at job interviews, and you’ll want to be sure your outfit is saying “hire me.”
  2. Neutrals, not brights; solids, not patterns—You want your interviewer to be focused on you, not distracted by what you’re wearing. Stick to neutral colors like black, gray, brown, and blue, and save brighter hues for an accessory (just one, though), like a scarf. Also avoid anything with a busy pattern—solids will give a more polished appearance.
  3. No naked knees—If you’re wearing a skirt (at or below the knees, please!), make sure you pair it with the appropriate color hosiery, even if the weather is the sticky, muggy unbearable kind. You’re interviewing for a job, not sunning yourself at the beach, and prospective employers do not want to see uncovered legs, tanned or not.
  4. Toes are a no-no—Forego the flip-flops or peep-toe pumps—or any other type of footwear that exposes your toes, for that matter. A nice pair of moderate-height heels in a color matching your interview outfit will go a long way toward your overall impression because yes, employers will notice your shoes. Sneakers or dirty, scuffed and old shoes are just as bad—nothing is worse than ruining a pulled-together outfit with bad footwear.
  5. A spritz of perfume, or none at all—The last thing you want is for your interviewer to have a sneezing fit or allergic attack because your scent of choice is too overpowering. If you must wear perfume, spritz lightly, and remember to go easy on any other scent-laced products, such as shampoo, body soaps and lotions, and hairspray.
  6. Waiting-room appearance matters, too—Leave the headphones in the car, and keep your phone (on silent mode or off altogether) in your purse so you won’t be tempted to pass the time playing a game or surfing the web. You want to be ready with a smile and firm handshake when the interviewer greets you, not be distracted by your phone.

With the right wardrobe from Lane Bryant and these tips for a winning appearance, hopefully your interview outfit can become part of your work outfit.

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