A reader asks
Question: I’ve been told that I shouldn’t wear a black suit to an interview. Why?
Black suits are generally considered too severe for interviews. While black is elegant and formal, it can be severe and a little standoffish for first impressions.
Warm up your interviews with a deep blue or gray suit and a shirt in a muted color. Do a little firsthand research and head to any business center. See what most of the businessmen are wearing and emulate that look for your interview. You’ll find that most wear shirts that are light in color. Try one in light blue or white with a small, subtle pattern. Ties can still be interesting without being busy, so pick a smaller pattern that shows off the tiniest touch of style.
For those of us who have a black suit that fits perfectly, we can lighten up the black with a pale blue shirt or anything with a soft, light pattern. A patterned tie (except those in black, silver and gray) lessens the serious vibe of a black suit. Avoid solid color ties, and you’ll have your interview look ready in no time.