With the Kentucky Derby approaching this Saturday, fashion and hats are on everyone’s minds and will be talked about all weekend. But the frills and fancy hats aren’t exactly appropriate for the office and especially not an interview. In honor of Derby week, we bring you our very own KellyMitchell fashion blog. Like it or not, first impressions are powerful and your wardrobe choices play a huge factor in determining how they’re formulated.

Subtlety is an art

Here are 10 choices you should always steer clear of:

1)      Sheer Clothing – Even remotely see through clothing is a no-no…for obvious reasons so please make sure to do a 360 check in a full length mirror.  Invest in quality camisoles in neutral colors – I suggest one in white and one in black – to go under a button up shirt.  Camisoles are great staple items for your business wardrobe.  Tip:  Check out stores that sell professional clothing, as you can typically find undergarments like this for a very reasonable price and you’ll use them all the time.

2)      Loud Makeup: Less is so much more when it comes to interview makeup.  Any professional makeup artist will tell you that your makeup should enhance your features, not distract from them.  Especially in an interview setting, it’s important that hiring managers see you, and aren’t distracted by your bright red lipstick or shimmery blue eye shadow.

3)      Heavy perfume / cologne: This is a big no-no; not only is heavy perfume distracting, but many people are allergic to it…so steer clear of anything more than a light spritz at most…the safest bet is to go without any.  Why risk causing the person who has the power to hire you into an allergic reaction?  Not. Worth. It.  J

4)      Distracting jewelry: Leave the bangles and flashy bling at home.  Aim for simple and classic pieces – and steer clear of anything that makes a jingle jangle when you move.

5)      Wrinkled or damaged clothing:  Pull the iron out the night before and be sure to hang your clothes neatly so they’re ready to go.  Not only does having your interview gear hanging the night before keep things neat and wrinkle-free, but it also ensures you don’t have to think about it the day of the interview – one less thing to worry about!  Walking in with a wrinkled or torn clothing item on sends a strong message – you don’t want to give the impression you’re sloppy or (perhaps worse) that you just don’t really care that much.

6)      Prominent logos or patterns: Avoid any prominent logos, as they are distracting.  Stick with solid colors when possible.

7)      Anything without sleeves: Better to go conservative on your options; I’d personally even avoid short sleeves, just to be safe.  If possible, aim for a suit jacket – with either a collared blouse (I refer to them as “Oxfords” – just ask my colleagues) or a nicely tailored top underneath.

8)      6 inch Stilettos: Trust me- I am a girl all about heels as anyone who knows me remotely well knows- so I’m not suggesting you leave the house in flats per se…but avoid anything over 4 inches…to ensure  stability, comfort and professionalism.

9)      A Bad Attitude: Ok, I know this is not a garment or accessory…but it’s important.  Bad attitudes leave an immediate sour impression.  Always come into an interview prepared to talk about the company you’re interviewing with and your background as it relates to the position at hand.  Good energy will be felt by all…and so will negative energy.  J

10)   One for the Men: Yes, our top 10 does focus on women’s attire, but here is one for the boys.  It’s easy – avoid tennis shoes, loud ties, polos, and hats.  Instead stick with button up dress shirt with a simple tie, jacket, dress shoes and dress pants.  Save the seersucker suit for the Derby this weekend.