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How To Dress For An Interview

Preparing for an interview is just one of many high-pressure situations that you will come across in life. Akin to a first date, creating a great impression is absolutely critical if you want to move forward in the process. The proper interview ensemble is the first step in ensuring that things start on the right foot. No pressure, right?

Thankfully, it’s easier than you think. We asked our Philadelphia tailoring crew here at Henry A. Davidsen the dos and don’ts of interview attire for men, and this is what they had to say.

Do – Wear a Tailored Suit

grey three piece mens suit on a mannequinA suit is almost always required for any type of interview or other business-related occasion and needs to fit you perfectly. A poorly-fitted or untailored suit will definitely create a lackluster first impression. Now we firmly believe that it is always better to be over dressed than underdressed especially for an interview but there is a limit. It is safe to leave your double breasted and tux jackets in the closet. But try reaching for a neutral wool suit like a classic navy, grey, charcoal, or black as opposed to a lighter more casual pastel colored suit in a less formal fabric like linen.

Don’t – Wear a Crazy/Wild Tie

Opt for a traditional tie with simple patterns and neutral colors instead of a wild and bold. Think burgundy, blue, and muted yellow in stripes or subtle plaids. There are some studies that say a plain red tie denotes confidence and trustworthiness.

If you’re trying to come off as the funny guy by wearing a novelty tie, you will likely succeed in that endeavor, but you won’t get hired.

Do – Consider Adding Texture

plaid custom mens shirt with double collar buttonsSolid-colored suits are best for interviews, but don’t be afraid to add a bit of texture to the fabric for added visual interest. Herringbones and birdseyes give solid color fabrics depth and movement while being very subtle. You can also apply texture to your shirt. Explore more about custom shirts here.

Don’t – Have Too Many Accessories

men's lapel pins and flowers in display caseYour tie clip and belt buckle should match, your socks should match your pants, and your belt should match your shoes. These are the basics, so stick to them.

Keep your accessories to a minimum. A nice watch and wedding ring are acceptable but leave the leather wrist-wear and anything else you’d wear to the bar at home. If you do want to venture for more bling try cufflinks and a lapel pin. These are subtle ways of adding style and personality without sacrificing formality.

Do – Shine Your Shoes

black dress shoesSome say that you can tell everything you need to know about a person by the way he or she take cares of shoes, and we agree. Always make sure your shoes are scuff-free and shined. Using cedar or alderwood shoe trees regularly will help them maintain their shape over time, which has more than just aesthetic benefits: they’ll last longer and be more comfortable during that extended lifespan.

Don’t – Dress Too Casually

Some companies have a business casual dress code, and some industries veer away from formality in dress (think creative industries and departments, like graphic design). However, you still need to be careful when dressing for your interview. If you must dress casually, opt for a pair of tailored khakis, a dress shirt, and a sport coat. The non-matching pieces and absence of a tie defangs the ensemble while still saying, “I’m taking this interview seriously, just as I take all of my professional endeavors seriously.”


With these tips and a quick visit to our suit store in Philadelphia, Henry A. Davidsen is confident you are going to ace your interview and finally land that job of your dreams! Give us a call at 215-310-0219 or email us at info@henrydavidsen.com to set up a time to look at what we can do for you.

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