Last Updated Jun 17, 2011 10:08 AM EDT
The good news is that you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to look professional and polished. First step: avoid trends. "Invest in a great fitting suit or sheath dress, with classic details, in dark, neutral colors like black, navy, charcoal and chocolate brown," says NYC-based stylist Allison Berlin, founder of Style Made Simple.
Then, stand out by adding a personal touch. "Add a modern twist to express your personality, like a cuff bracelet [for women] or monk strap shoes" for men, says Berlin. This is especially crucial in creative industries like publishing or public relations.
Finally, get your outfit professionally tailored and pressed. "This shows your interviewer that you pay attention to detail," says Berlin. Wear wrinkly, ill-fitting clothes to your interview and a potential boss won't see someone they want representing the company.
Follow these rules, and you'll be on your way to a solid, stylish start to your meeting. Because don't you feel a little more confident auditioning for a role when you know you look the part?
Berlin created two complete, all-purpose interview outfits, one for gals and one for guys -- both for under $500:
$500 Interview Outfit For Women
- Simple wool sheath (pictured above), JCrew, $188
- Stylish 'Pamela' slingback, Banana Republic,$98
- Classic shoulder bag, Ann Taylor, $178
- Simple suit, Men's Wearhouse, $199
- Lace-up shoes by Kenneth Cole, Zappos, $138
- Ben Sherman modern briefcase, Zappos, $95
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