Smart casual dress tips for the perfect interview

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Look good, feel confident and ace that interview. It’s easy!

So you’ve landed a job interview and you’re trying to figure out what to wear. First impressions count, right?! You could default to just wearing another navy suit and look exactly the same as everyone else, but who’s going to remember you?

Businesses are moving towards a more individual and relaxed dress code, that also throws up a few issues on what to wear especially if you’re meeting them for the first time. The contradictory term ‘smart casual’ office dress is often thrown around and and greeted with nods of approval but few know what it actually means. If you take one thing away, looking good in smart casual is just as powerful as a suit. Here are some tips on your getting ‘smart casual’ right for a job interview.

Smart casual job interview outfit Smart casual job interview outfit

Create the perfect look for your interview with these 3 core items

  1. The Chino. More casual than a suit pant, smarter than jeans & we’re not talking about your Grandads chino either. Go for a chino in Navy, Brown or Sand. These are your base colours and will pretty much go back with any shirt. The fabric needs to feel and look smarter, don’t pick the casual one - they usually have more details, a washed out look and different shape.
  2. Button up long sleeve shirt. We all know what this is. Picking the right one is key so look for a check or plain fabric. Look for lighter colours in checks but don’t be afraid to pick a bold check if it works with the Chino. Plain shirts are good in white, mid blue and navy.
  3. Lace up shoes. A dark or mid brown shoes is generally your best friend in ’smart casual’ land. Pick something with a little bit of detail like different shoe lace, lighter sticking around the sole. These details look good but also take the formal out of lace up shoes.

Piecing it together

The beauty with these items is the flexibility. Get some chinos, 4 shirts and two shoes and you’ll have a wardrobe with 15 different options. Get a brown belt. It doesn’t need to be the same colour as your shoes, keep the belt plain or woven leather, stay away from jean belts with big buckles.

Amp up the smart side with a blazer, not a suit jacket. Blazers on the casual side have more relaxed tailoring and tend to be lined with interesting looking fabric. If you want get a pocket square, but keep it on the plain side.

Here’s some combinations that we like:

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Personalise your outfit

Here’s where you make it your own outfit. You can mix and match based on your own personal style and wardrobe. Some items to think about adding in: Watch - a nice mechanical watch always adds a touch of elegance and can smarten up your outfit Jumper - if you’re looking to tone it down or not feeling the blazer pop on a round or V-neck jumper.

Get the perfect outfit for your job interview

Whether you’re interviewing at a bank who has a smart casual policy or an advertising agency where casual code rules, Kent & Lime can help get the perfect outfit for you. Kent & Lime has a fantastic team of stylists who can help you looking good in no time. Forget about walking around the shops buying items that don’t match, take the hassle out of what to wear and get Kent & Lime to do it.

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Some other outfits our customers love

Casual outfit kit

Great shirt and chino combinations

When in doubt about colours, refer to these two. You can't go wrong with them

Casual outfit kit

Mix and match shirt colours

You can pair nearly anything with Navy and Sand - whether it be a dark shirt or a bright coloured check

Casual outfit kit

The smarter look

Dark brown laced shoes with a smaller check paired with chinos will give you that smarter look whilst not looking like you're wearing a suit

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