How to dress for a job interview, according to Anna Wintour

Is that what you’re wearing?
Is that what you’re wearing?
Image: Reuters/Carlo Allegri
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By reputation, Anna Wintour is nothing if not critical. And as Vogue’s long-time editor, she has a particularly informed opinion on how a person should dress for that fraught fashion situation: the job interview.

The Cut spotted Wintour giving her thoughts on the matter in a March 4 video Vogue posted to YouTube, where she answered questions from different people. One woman asks Wintour what she suggests a person wear to interview at Vogue. The first part of her reply arguably applies to any job interview, not just one at Vogue:

“It’s so interesting to me how people dress when they come in for interviews. Sometimes you feel they’re wearing clothes that they just bought that morning, or maybe the night before, and not something that in any way suits their personality and who they are. And I think what everybody should remember, whether they’re interviewing at Vogue or indeed anywhere, [is] that we’re not hiring your wardrobe; your wardrobe is not going to be doing the job for you. It’s who you are.”

Wintour continues, saying she always remembers a young man who came for an interview at Vogue in a dress, carrying a handbag. “I gave him the job on the spot,” she says, adding that it doesn’t do anyone a service to “fake it.” (See her full response to the question starts at the 1:59 mark in the video below.)

Just how far you can wander from the usual interview attire likely varies by industry, of course. Fields such as law and finance tend to be a bit more conservative, so you may not have quite as much leeway to let your clothes reflect your personality, though even employers in those sectors may be loosening up.

What matters at a job interview is that you show your prospective employer the best of yourself. Clothes are part of the way we communicate with the world. Let them do a little bit of the talking.