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What Not to Wear: Clothes to Avoid Wearing at a Job Interview and Networking Events

No matter what job you’re looking for, your choice of clothing and appearance will have an effect on the way job recruiters view you. First impressions are important, and whether you like it or not, appearance is part of that impression. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to look good.

Follow our tips so you can plan the perfect outfit for your next job interview or networking event. What you’re wearing (or not wearing) can give you the extra boost of confidence you need to impress employers.

One of the best things you can do to prepare for a job interview or networking event is to pick out your outfit in advance. You’ll feel confident and ready, knowing you’re happy with your outfit choice and have everything you need. Here are some fashion choices to steer away from when dressing yourself for these career-changing opportunities.

Clothes That Don’t Fit Properly

Just because you have to dress a little more spiffy than usual, that doesn’t mean you have to wear clothes that don’t make you feel comfortable. Making sure you can still move and relax in what you're wearing gives you one less thing to worry about. Plus, if your clothes are too tight, it can often be looked at as inappropriate for work. Stick to clothes that fit well.

This doesn’t mean wear clothes that are two sizes too big on you. Find clothes that are breathable and comfortable to your needs.


Even though hats can bring your outfits to the next level, they’re not appropriate in the workplace. Depending on the hat, it can make you look under-dressed, or in some cases, over dressed.

Besides, job recruiters want to focus on your skills, talents, and what you can contribute to their team, not whether or not you look good in a new hat you got from a Macy’s holiday sale.

Blue Jeans

Blue jeans can be cute and comfy. If you have the right pair, they can match almost any top. However, when you're trying to land a job and connect with job recruiters, you should dress up a little more. Even though many companies are having more casual dress codes, you should always make an effort to dress your best.

Instead of blue jeans, try chinos, khakis, slacks, or black pants.

Shoes You Can’t Walk In

Heels make you appear taller and feel confident. However, if you struggle to walk in them, you should probably leave them at home. Plus, uncomfortable shoes can give you blisters and have your feet sore for days.

Try on your shoes and make sure they’re broken in, so you can be present during your job interview. This goes for both girls and guys, because who wants to worry about their pinky toe bleeding while talking to hiring managers?

Be sure to have shoes that are comfortable and appropriate for your outfit and setting – especially at networking events where you might find yourself on your feet for long periods of time.

Over-The-Top Outfits

If you like bright, flashing, and over the top clothes, that’s perfectly okay. Your style can really set you apart from the crowd and allows recruiters to see your personality. Just make sure it’s not a distraction from what’s important.

Instead of over-the-top outfits like, Lady Gaga’s 2019 Met Gala dress that required an army of men to hold her train, you can express yourself through accessories like a funky tie, cool necklace, or a bright bag. These can make great conversation starters at networking events and make you stand out without having your clothes be a distraction.

Of course, it’s helpful to get some real-life inspiration. Check out the photos below of real Hustle Summit attendees who rocked their own personal style and made great first impressions. Remember, VIP attendees at Hustle Summit get a FREE professional head-shot, thanks to IPG Mediabrands. It's another great reason to look your best.

You don't want your choice of style to deflect or distract from your awesome personality and skills. The next time you have to get ready for a job interview, look back on these tips to ensure you’re ready to make the best impression possible.

#jobhunting #networking #interviewtips #professional #jobs #jobhunt

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