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What Colour should a woman wear to an interview?

What Colour should a woman wear to an interview?

Choosing the right outfit for a job interview is an important part of making a good first impression. The color of your interview attire is a key factor that can influence the interviewer’s perception of you as a candidate. When it comes to women’s interview wear, the optimal color choice depends on the industry, company culture, and position being applied for. Considerations such as projecting confidence, professionalism, authority, and approachability all come into play.

Traditional Interview Colors

For many years, the standard go-to interview colors for women were black, grey, navy and dark blue – conservative shades that denote professionalism and seriousness. While these colors remain safe choices, the norms around interview attire have relaxed in recent decades as workplaces become more casual. Though formal business attire is still expected for most interviews, there is more leeway today for personality and style to come through.

Conservative Colors

Sticking with traditional interview colors projects an image of professionalism and reliability. Blacks, navies, dark greys, and charcoal suits are foolproof options that fit seamlessly into formal business environments. These somber hues have an authoritative air that commands respect and credibility. Worn as a pantsuit or skirt suit, navy blue offers a slightly softer edge to black’s severity while still retaining its gravitas. For roles requiring tact and diplomacy, navy blue may edge ahead as the most versatile choice.

Approachable Colors

While conservative hues err on the side of caution, sometimes an approachable, friendly impression is preferable. Warm tones like camel, taupe and light brown work well for these situations. Neutral but lighter than typical interview blacks and greys, these earthy tones strike a balance between professional and accessible. They send signals of warmth, trustworthiness and affability, which may be advantageous for client-facing, collaborative roles or fields like healthcare, education and hospitality.

Bold Colors

Vibrant shades make a gutsy choice for standing out, conveying confidence, and showing creativity. Deep purples, rich burgundies, and forest greens are bolder options that retain an air of sophistication. Bright blue is another strong contender that reads authoritatively but with less sternness than navy. While eye-catching colors have more risks, they can work in creative fields such as design, media and tech startups with funkier company cultures. For conventional corporate roles, it’s usually better to stick with muted tones.

Subtle Accents

An excellent way to incorporate color is with subtle accessories like a scarf, necklace or shoes. A pop of brightness balances the formality of a dark suit with a hint of personality. Reds, pinks and deep blues make polished accent shades. Limit colorful accents to one vivid statement piece. Avoid heavy patterns and loud jewelry that can look distracting and unprofessional.

Consider Company Culture

The company’s work environment and aesthetic factors into ideal color choices. Corporate law offices call for navy, black and greys. Startups and creative agencies have more flexibility for bold interview looks. Research the company and observe what current employees wear to work to gauge the culture. When in doubt, formal suits in dark neutrals get the job done across most industries. Skip extremes like bright prints or white, which can look out of place or high-maintenance.

Factor in Skin Tone

Choose colors that complement your complexion. Clear, true tones work best for this. Light pinks and peaches lend a healthy glow to fair skin. Darker complexions gain radiance from berry reds, bold jewel tones and rich chocolate browns. Stay clear of washed-out pastels and shades that vie with your skin’s undertones. The wrong color can make you appear tired, sallow or imbalanced.

Consider the Position

Technical and financial roles call for conservative colors that convey precision: black, navy, charcoal grey, dark brown. Roles requiring empathy and collaboration can draw from a warmer, more inviting palette: camel, light brown, taupe, burgundy, forest green. Leadership roles demand commanding shades: navy, deep purple, emerald, dark red. Creative positions have more freedom: mint green, light blue, ruby, pink.


The time of year you’re interviewing can inform color choice. In cooler months, darker tones make sense: black, deep brown, navy, burgundy. Lighter shades suit warmer seasons: light tan, soft pink, powder blue, ivory. Avoid white, which can look out of place year-round. Be wary of light colors that wash you out instead of lending brightness. Keeping colors seasonally aligned conveys polish.

Dress Code

If provided, the interview dress code can clarify appropriate color formality. “Business formal” indicates dark suits – black, navy, charcoal grey. “Business casual” expands options to lighter greys, blues, bright accent colors. “Casual” opens up possibilities like dresses, skirts and colored pantsuits. When no code is specified, traditional interview attire in dark tones is the default safe choice. Ask the company directly if uncertain.

Stay Away From…

Certain colors should always be avoided for interviews, regardless of industry or role:

– White – Too formal and bridal

– Cream – Easily stained and washed out

– Bright red – Can appear flashy/inappropriate

– Orange – Uplifting but not serious

– Yellow – Difficult to pair professionally

– Light pink – Too soft and girlish

– Metallic hues – Seem distracting and loud


For women job candidates, ideal interview attire colors include:

– Black – Authoritative, classic, formal

– Navy – Professional, versatile, softer than black

– Charcoal grey – Substantial, sophisticated, versatile

– Dark brown – Warm but still serious

– Camel, light grey, taupe – Approachable, friendly

– Burgundy, forest green, deep purple – Confident, bold but not overpowering

– Pops of blue, red, pink, green – Subtle vibrancy with neutral suits

Aim for colors that project confidence, competence and professionalism. Avoid anything too bright, distracting or casual. With the right interview outfit colors, you can make the best first impression possible.

Color Positive Impressions Best For
Black Authoritative, formal, serious Leadership, technical roles
Navy Versatile, professional, refined Corporate settings, most industries
Charcoal Grey Polished, sophisticated, modern Finance, law, academics
Camel Approachable, warm, friendly Healthcare, education, service roles
Burgundy Confident, bold, elegant Creative fields, communications