Career Development CenterCareer Development CenterDivision of Student AffairsUniversity of Cincinnati

Career Development Center

Dress For Success

In our new hyper-competitive job market, you can't afford to put yourself at any disadvantage. Yet, thousands of people go to job interviews every day wearing the wrong clothes and sending the wrong message before they even say a word. It is as if they are turning up to an ice-skating rink wearing rollerblades. Dress for the The Job You Want helps your present your best self to employers in a job interview situation, by taking you through the elements of men's formal work wear. The tips in this FREE Guide help to keep you in the game.

Workplace fashion consultant Adrian Ackerman give you the benefit of his insights into dressing for a job interview, covering the basics from selecting a suit (Chapter Two), through to caring for your wardrobe (Chapter Six). Also included in the book is advice from career counselors from leading university, as well as real life stories from job seekers.

As you prepare to face the competition in the job market, this guide will help you project the image you need to be competitive. It gives you all the tips and tricks that create the right first impression with employers and will stand you in good stead when you get that job of your dreams.

View Dress For The Job You Want.   Download a copy of the book.

What to wear for an interview.

For Men

  • Suits

    Solids and Pinstripes

    • Medium shade of navy
    • Navy pinstripe or chalk stripe
    • Medium shade of gray
    • Gray multicolor stripe
    • Medium shade of olive
    • Medium shade of taupe or tan


    • Black or white
  • Shirts
    Long-sleeve business shirts: white, blue, or striped (blue or burgundy on white)
  • Shoes
    Black or brown cap-toe, black tassel loafers, or cordovan slip-ons
  • Socks
    Select only dark-color socks that match your pants
  • Belts and/or suspenders
    Black or brown belt; suspenders
  • Ties
    Choose assorted colors to coordinate with suits. Beware of overly bright colors or distracting patterns (you want the interviewer to remember YOU, not your tie!)
  • Jewelry / Decoration
    No earrings or other piercings; no more than one ring per hand; if you have any tattoos, do not display them; no hats

For Women


Primary Solids

  • Black
  • Navy
  • Gray

Secondary Solids

  • Hunter Green
  • Olive
  • Burgundy/Eggplant
  • Camel



  • Solid colored jacket (not too bright)
  • Black or navy jacket
  • Black or navy skirt


  • Houndstooth, pinstripe, or herringbone jacket
  • Patterned skirt: houndstooth, pinstripe, or subtle plaid


  • White or cream cotton/silk shirt
  • Subtle pattern
  • Silk Sweater Twinset
    (only for casual interviews)


  • Black pumps
  • Navy pumps
  • Taupe or chocolate brown pumps


  • Tailored business dress


  • Neutral or taupe, sheer black, or sheer navy hosiery

Handbag / Briefcase

  • Color should match shoes; either a handbag or briefcase but not both

Accessories (optional)

  • Paisley or solid scarf, single-strand pearl necklace or simple gold chain (necklace or scarf but not both together); simple pin or brooch


  • Button-size or stud only; pearls, gold, or silver