We’ve reached the dog days of summer, y’all. And whether you’re embarking on a career change or interviewing for your first big gig post-internship, it can be tough to figure out what to wear to an interview when it’s crazy hot outside.
You’ll need to look professional, of course, but you also want to stay cool. And if you’re traveling to your interview by public transit — meaning there will be walking and sweating involved in your commute — your outfit will require a little extra planning to ensure you arrive looking as fresh as you feel (mentally, at least). We’re here to guide you.
Below, find our best advice on what to wear to a summer interview.
Wear short sleeves.
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Wearing a button-down shirt doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rock full-length sleeves. A pretty blouse with short sleeves is appropriate for an interview with wide-leg trousers or a knee-length skirt. If you opt for a bold print, though, consider keeping your lower half neutral.
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There’s nothing worse than walking into an interview with a sweaty back or pit stains. To keep your outfit looking pressed and professional, carry a cardigan, light jacket, or blazer over your arm, then put it on before you walk into the interview room. That way, you’ll be comfortable if the office is overly air-conditioned, and no one will be able to tell how sweaty you are from your walk outside in the heat.
Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics.
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Cotton, linen, and bamboo are all naturally derived fabrics that are breathable, allowing air flow to your skin and helping to wick away sweat. Try a blouse or dress in one of these fabrics to stay cool — but still look profesh — on the day of your interview.
Consider a dress.
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If it’s not super tight, super short, or spaghetti-strapped, a dress is perfectly appropriate for a job interview. Plus, if it’s on the looser side, it will leave you feeling cooler and more comfortable — critical for performing well in the hot seat.
Make sure your clothes will disguise sweat marks.
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If you know you get sweaty, choose fabrics that won’t expose your secret (or, like we said before, carry a jacket). Polyester isn’t super comfortable to wear in hot weather because it’s not breathable, but it won’t show sweat stains — so it might be a worthwhile tradeoff if you’re only wearing it for a short time. You could also wear wide sleeves (as above).
Wear pants or a skirt that covers your thighs.
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Simply put, there’s nothing worse than standing up and having a chair stick to the backs of your sweaty thighs, or leaving an unsightly indentation. Wearing pants or a longer skirt will solve that problem. Plus, wearing a skirt that lands above the knee might be considered unprofessional in many offices. Play it safe and opt for a longer length.
Try wide-leg pants or culottes.
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This paper-bag waist, wide-leg trouser style is not only trendy right now, it’s also comfortable and easy-breezy — sure to keep you cool and looking like a boss lady at every interview this summer.
Wear comfortable shoes.
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Your feet will inevitably swell in the summer, so those heels you loved so much at your June graduation might feel a bit different when you’re power-walking through the financial district in 95-degree weather. Whatever your tastes and personal style, choose a shoe you know is comfortable (Lauren Conrad says she always wore nude flats to her post-college job interviews) and can go with many different outfits.