Archive for May 8th, 2008

Q&A: Business Formal Interview Attire for Summer

Q: I need some suggestions for professional interview outfits for the spring and summer weather for an office job located in Washington DC.  I am in my 30s and a little top heavy with thinner hips and legs.

Washington DC Interview

by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: Between Washington DC’s conservative dress code, and the weather, which can be pretty hot and humid, you’ve got to strike a balance between keeping covered and keeping cool.  We recommend traditional suits in lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton.

To flatter your figure, which is a little top heavy with thinner hips and legs, you’re going to want to create a long, lean line with your torso for balance.  Look for lightweight suits with a soft, natural shoulderline and a high armhole.  The high armhole not only looks cleaner and fits better, but it also helps create the illusion of a longer torso.  A low, single button stance is going to be the most figure flattering for the same reason.

Your thin hips and legs make it easy for you to find flattering trousers and skirts.  Almost any pair of trouser pants will work for your figure.  As for skirts, try a nice pencil skirt that hits at just below the knee.  Not only does it work with Washington DC’s conservative dress code, but it’s also going to be one of the most flattering shapes for you.

As for jewelry, I would keep with the traditional, conservative look with simple pearls or gold bangle bracelet.  Complete your outfit with a comfortable pump in a medium high heel.

To add some visual interest to your look, you could invest in a dark green leather briefcase for interviews or a handbag in a surprising color.  Best of luck with your interviews!

Have a great tip about business formal interview attire for summer? Share it with us in the comments!

Wool Crepe One-Button Blazer ($225) and Wool Crepe Trouser ($130), both at J Crew. Flatiron Embossed Triangle Satchel ($238) at Banana Republic.

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Island Print Scarf

Island Print Scarf at Gap

Chill out with these cheerful, airy scarves–and bring a bit of that island vibe into your everyday wardrobe.

$19.50  at Gap.

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