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Etiquette column: When dressing for an interview, err on the side of formality

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

And for women, that may mean wearing hosiery

Friday, February 07, 2014 12:01 am
Q. Karen, I am starting the interviewing process and wonder what I should wear for those interviews. No stockings for women is the trend, but I wonder if I need to wear stockings for job interviews. What do you think? If I wear stockings, what color is best?A. When in doubt, err on the side of formality with your dress in a job interview. It is more difficult to make a good impression if you are under-dressed. And as far as wearing hosiery, I'd say, yes in most cases. Going into an interview you may not be privy to a particular company's dress code, and some places require women to wear hosiery. If the field in which you are interviewing is a more traditional field, such as finance, law or accounting, hosiery should be worn. As far as the color — nude or skin color sheer hosiery is best. Opaque or dark colors are not quite as professional in some settings.

Building a professional wardrobe for women is not as difficult as it seems. Start with a good basic three piece suit: jacket, pants and skirt in a dark blue or gray tones. These three pieces can then be built upon. They can be dressed down with sweaters, blouses and accessories to accommodate a more relaxed work environment, but still be dressed up when the situation calls for it.

Have a good pair of black pumps in your closet. A toe and heel in shoe is the most professional, and black goes with everything. Keep the heel height to 1-2 inches. If it is too high, it can be perceived as sexy.

Keep accessories to a minimum, but good quality. No oversized earrings or noisy bracelets for an interview. They become too distracting. Carry a well-kept purse that is not overstuffed. A purse that will handle your resume and other items needed for an interview will allow you to carry only one bag, which is best.

Wear a little makeup, minimal or no perfume and a hairstyle that is well-maintained and out of your eyes. You don't want to be fussy with your hair during an interview.

Happy job hunting.

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