What is the worst outfit ever worn to a job interview? For a career services director at the University of Chicago, it was the applicant who sported a Madras tie as a belt and a patterned cotton hat. Other contenders, according to a CareerBuilder.com survey of hiring managers, include candidates with dirty fingernails, micro-miniskirts, t-shirts with offensive slogans and even bare feet!
Are you guilty of one of these top 20 fashion faux pas?
1. Sunglasses on top of your head or headphones around your neck
Be sure to remove all your "transit gear" and tuck it in your briefcase before entering the lobby.
2. Carrying a backpack or fannypack instead of a briefcase or portfolio
Some image consultants suggest women ditch their purse, too!
3. Too-short skirts
Your skirt should cover your thighs when you are seated.
4. The wrong tie
Ties should be made of silk, no less than 3 ¾ inches wide with a conservative pattern. Image consultants say the best colors are red or burgundy.
5. Overly bright or large-patterned clothing
With the possible exception of creative fields like advertising or computer programming, it's best to stick with navy, black or gray.
6. Heavy makeup on women
(or any makeup on a man)
7. Earrings on men
In fact, men should avoid wearing any jewelry unless it is a wedding ring, class ring or metal watch.
8. More than one set of earrings on women
9. Facial piercings, tongue jewelry or visible tattoos
10. Ill-fitting clothes
Few people can wear things straight off the rack. Spending a little extra to have your garments tailored is a worthwhile investment.
11. Long fingernails, especially with bright or specialty polishes
Nails should look clean and be trimmed to a length that doesn't leave an observer wondering how you keep from stabbing yourself.
12. Unnatural hair colors or styles
Remember, Donald Trump was a billionaire well before he began wearing a comb-over. If you're balding, try a close-cropped cut like Bruce Willis or Matt Lauer.
13. Short-sleeved shirts
Even worse when worn with a tie
14. Fishnets, patterned hosiery or bare legs (no matter how tan you are)
Women should stick with neutral color hosiery that complements their suit.
15. Men whose socks don't match their shoes
Or whose socks are too short and leave a gap of flesh when they are seated
16. Rumpled or stained clothing
If interviewing late in the day, try to change to a fresh suit beforehand.
17. Scuffed or inappropriate footwear
Including sneakers, stilettos, open-toed shoes and sandals
18. Strong aftershaves, perfumes or colognes
Many people are allergic to certain scents. For a subtle fragrance, use a good quality bath soap.
19. Belts and shoes that don't match
Shoes and belts should be made of leather or leather-like materials and the best colors for men are black or cordovan.
20. Telltale signs that you're wearing a new suit
Remove all tags and extra buttons -- and remember to cut off the zigzag thread that keeps pockets and slits closed!
Don't be a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. Plan and lay out what you're going to wear several days before the interview, so you'll have time to shop or get garments pressed and cleaned. Save "innovative" or revealing garb for the club (or your couch) and strive for crisp, clean and professional. Remember, you want the interviewer to be listening to what you're saying, not critiquing what you're wearing.
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